The Buffalo Dualie is a portable hard drive and a docking station for your iPhone or iPod.

It connects to your Mac via USB, enabling you to sync or otherwise manage either device while it's in the dock. But as it's also mains-powered, you can recharge your phone or audio player even when your computer's switched off.

Behind the dock sits a 500GB HDD (supplied). Connecting through the rear dock's USB outlet, the drive can be removed and carried around just like any other portable drive.

When used outside the dock, USB and FireWire 800 connections are available, with no power supply required. The Dualie even has two extra USB ports on the back, giving you a hub to connect further USB peripherals.

At the time of going to press it was launching as an Apple store-exclusive, but it might be on sale elsewhere by the time you read this.

The Dualie looks the part, with both the dock and the hard drive sporting a brushed aluminium and rubber finish. Your iPod touch or iPhone looks right at home there. It's perfectly compact too, taking up only 10cm by 10cm on your desk.

In our QuickBench tests, the drive proved admirably speedy with the front dock bare, but docking an iPod or (especially) an iPhone slows it down by up to 25%. It's best to make sure only the hard drive is docked when transferring large files.

It's a little expensive too, but if you wait for the inevitable price drop, it's an excellent addition to any Mac owner's desktop.

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