Kingston MobileLite Wireless
Sharing media files and content with mobile devices isn’t always an easy task. The Kingston MobileLite Wireless is a compact Wi-Fi device that aims to simplify file sharing while on the go and provide additional storage for devices with limited memory. Basically a Wi-Fi enabled card reader, the MobileLite Wireless comes without any on-board storage. Instead, it has a USB port and a built-in SD card reader that allows the user to plug in their own USB flash drives and microSD/SD memory cards. It also doubles as an external battery pack, capable of charging your mobile devices. Could the MobileLite Wireless be an ideal mobile travel companion? Read on to find out.
- Compact size
- Easy to configure
- Doubles as an external battery pack
- Wi-Fi pass through
- Reasonable price ($69.99 MSRP)
- Supports iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire
- USB port is USB 2.0, not USB 3.0
- Wireless pass through to 2.4GHz networks only
The MobileLite Wireless is fairly compact and weighs just 98 grams. It’s about 4.9 inches high, 2.4 inches wide, and 0.67 inches thick. It’d fit comfortably in a jacket pocket or a work bag.
The top of the MobileLite Wireless has the Kingston logo, MobileLite Wireless branding, and three LED indicators (Battery/Power, Wireless, and Internet). The battery LED changes colors depending on the amount of charge remaining. Green indicates 50% power or above. Orange indicates 25-50% and red means there’s less than 25% remaining. The power button is located on the long side under the LEDs.
On the short side where the LEDs are located is the USB 2.0 port and a micro-USB port for charging.
On the opposite short side is the SD card slot, which supports SD, SDHC, SDXC and
microSD (with included adapter). Though the photo shows the SD card protruding from the slot, it sits completely flush when fully inserted.
FEATURES & PERFORMANCE
The primary use of the MobileLite Wireless is as a wireless sharing device. It can share files from USB flash drives or SD cards that are inserted into the MobileLite Wireless, with up to three devices at the same time. For now, only iOS is supported, but I’m told that Android and Kindle Fire support will be coming very soon.
Setting up the MobileLite Wireless is simple, and all the network security options are open by default. After you turn on the MobileLite Wireless, you’ll see its network name show up in your device’s list of Wi-Fi networks. Connect to it and voila, you can access the files on the MobileLite Wireless via the Kingston MobileLite Wireless app. The iOS app is intuitive and easy to navigate. Music, photos, and videos share easily and look great, even when streaming to multiple devices at the same time.
Configuring the MobileLite Wireless is done through the mobile app as well. You can secure your MobileLite Wireless under “MobileLite Connection” by hiding the SSID (network name), and enabling a WPA2 passkey. I like that it also supports hidden networks. If you want to enable the Internet pass through feature, which provides you with access to the Internet while you’re connected to the MobileLite Wireless, you can configure it under “Network Connection.” I found the pass through to work very well with only a small decrease in bandwidth. I should also mention that it connects to 2.4GHz networks only.
Also, if you’re using access lists (MAC filtering) on your wireless router, the MAC address you need to add isn’t the one printed on the bottom of the MobileLite Wireless, though it’s very close. You just need to increase the last digit by one. For example, if the printed MAC address ends in “E7,” use “E8.” You can also check your router logs, which should show failed connection attempts from the MobileLite Wireless and list its MAC address.
Though the Android and Kindle Fire apps aren’t ready yet, you can still connect any Android device to the MobileLite Wireless by using a third party app, like ES File Explorer. ES File Explorer is available in the Google Play Store and in the Amazon Appstore for Android.
My favorite feature of the MobileLite Wireless is probably its charging feature. The 1800 mAh Li-Polymer battery, rated at up to five hours of usage, doubles as an external battery pack that can charge your mobile device. Mind you, it’s only an 1800 mAh battery, so it’s not going to fully charge large smartphones or tablets, but in a pinch, it’s great to have. I had no problems getting a charge on an iPad, Kindle Fire HD, or a Galaxy Nexus. Strangely, it wouldn’t charge a Samsung Galaxy Note II or a Samsung Galaxy S3 unless I put the MobileLiteWireless in wireless storage mode (as opposed to battery bank mode).
The Kingston MobileLite Wireless is a nifty little Wi-Fi device that’s a mobile Swiss Army knife of sorts. It lets you share and copy files, use it as an SD card reader, and functions as a backup battery for your tablet or smartphone. And all in a compact package at a pretty reasonable price. If you’re not keen on carrying a mechanical Wi-Fi hard drive around and prefer a flexible flash-based solution, the MobileLite Wireless might just be the mobile travel companion you’re looking for.
Available soon from Amazon.com.
* Review sample provided by Kingston