SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive
Mobile device manufacturers still charge a big premium for devices with additional memory. The cost difference between a base iPad Air with 16GB of memory and the 128GB version is a whopping $300. There is, however, no shortage of secondary Wi-Fi storage solutions available. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is one of most portable I’ve seen and is definitely a keeper.
- Extremely portable
- Swappable storage
- Convenient design
- Good wireless range
- Slow USB transfer rate
- No Internet pass-through
DESIGN & FEATURES
The Connect Wireless Flash Drive looks like a larger version of your typical USB flash drive. It has a sliding cap in the front and a lanyard clip on the back. It has one button on the top that turns the device on and off. Two thin LED activity lights also adorn the top of the flash drive: an orange one for the drive and a blue one for Wi-Fi.
The small size makes the drive incredibly portable and easy to carry around. It’s so small that a detachable clip might have been a useful accessory to include.
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive comes in 16GB and 32GB versions, but you’d might as well get the 32GB since it’s only about $10 more online. The great thing about the internal storage of the drive is that it’s removable. A SanDisk Ultra microSD card comes inserted in the card slot, but can be easily swapped out for other cards, including microSDXC cards. Those cards, however, need to be reformatted to FAT32 with a 64KB cluster size in order to work correctly in the Wireless Flash Drive.
Accessing the Wireless Flash Drive is done through the SanDisk mobile app, available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. The drive can be accessed through a web browser as well, so computers and other devices that don’t have SanDisk apps can still access the storage.
The internal battery of the Wireless Flash Drive is charged by plugging the drive into a USB charger or to a USB port on your computer. It doesn’t come with any charging accessories, so you’ll have to come up with your own wall charger, if you don’t already have one, or stick to charging through your computer. Its battery is rated at four hours of 720p video streaming to a single device.
Wireless performance on the Wireless Flash Drive was solid. In my testing, I didn’t have any buffering issues or dropped connections and the range was very good. My only complaint on the Wi-Fi front is the lack of Internet pass-through. If you connect to the Wireless Flash Drive, you’ll lose your connection to the Internet. The Wireless Flash Drive can be connected to your home Wi-Fi, though, allowing any device on the same network to access the device. But I don’t find that to be particularly useful, especially since it only supports the 2.4GHz band. The Wireless Flash Drive is terrific for travel, but there’s no point in using it at home. One other feature I’d like to see is support for hiding the Wireless Flash Drive’s SSID. You can change the drive’s network name and even password protect it, but being able to hide the SSID would be great too.
Copying music, photos, videos and documents to the Wireless Flash Drive couldn’t be easier. You just plug the drive in to a USB port and start copying your files over. Transfer speeds are fairly slow, however, so keep that in mind if you want to fill up the card all at once. Copying a 1.03GB file took 2 minutes and 19 seconds to complete. The microSD card performed marginally better when I plugged it into a USB 3.0 card reader, but between the USB 2.0-only support and the modest write speeds of the microSD card, it’s fair to say that you’ll have to wait around a bit while loading the drive up with content.
The Wireless Flash Drive supports uploads too. With more and more people using smartphones as a primary camera, I could see the Wireless Flash Drive coming in handy for smartphone photographers. If you’re weary about uploading your pictures to the cloud, the Wireless Flash Drive is a nice alternative.
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is a fun little storage drive for anyone who travels with mobile devices. Its support for removable storage makes it more versatile and its Wi-Fi performance is solid. I had a couple of nitpicks about its Wi-Fi implementation, but nothing that would keep me from recommending it, especially at its low online price. If you want to supplement your device’s storage with something as small as possible, I suggest taking a look at the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive.
Available from Amazon.com for about $60 for the 32GB version.
* Review unit provided by SanDisk