It's week #12 for ZDNet’s Deputy Product Tester of the Week program: a program where ZDNet’s audience members get free tech stuff for keeps. This week, I’m giving away our 19th product (I've given away more than one product on some weeks). But first, for more information on how the program works and how you can participate, see the program’s original announcement and make sure you read the rules and regulations to keep our lawyers smiling.
This week, the folks at Buffalo Technology have furnished me with the 80GB version of their just announced MiniStation turbo-USB drive to hand off to the next ZDNet Deputy Product Tester. This $100 product is so new that you can't even purchase one yet. According to the box it came in (you'll see it in the video above), Buffalo claims that it will run at up to 64 percent faster than traditional USB drives which could be a boon to people who use the drive to work with big databases or a lot of rich media files. In order to get that performance benefit however, you'll have to load the drivers that come with the drive (if you're an XP or Vista user that ends up getting one of these, I always suggest that you set a system restore point before installing new drivers like these on your system).
In the video above, I read the pitch from Buffalo Tech's official press release for the new product and talk about the various capacities it comes in. I haven't tested the drive yet. Instead, I'm leaving that up to the ZDNet reader who can prove to me that they'll be able to run this supposedly Windows and Mac-compatible drive through the best battery of tests. Tests that should include testing of two other utilites that come with it: one for backing up your main hard drive's file and another for encrypting everything that's kept on the MiniStation (question: does encryption affect performance, and how?).
So, who should the Buffalo Tech MiniStation go to? Use the comments area below to tell me why you should be the reader we send it to and by Friday of this week, you could be the next ZDNet Deputy Product Tester of the Week. Lastly, no e-mails please. To participate, you must use the comments area below. Thanks!