Earlier today, SanDisk unveiled their latest Connect Wireless Flash Drive, expanding capacity to 64 GB, and we had a chance to go hands-on.
While it may look like a typical flash drive, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive can do so much more. As a drive, the Connect offers 64 GB of storage via a removable micro SD card. It connects to both Macs and PCs across USB 2.0. But, as the name implies, this product is focused on connectivity. Suggested pricing is set at $99.99.
The Connect creates a local Wi-Fi Network that other devices, such as phones and tablets, can connect to. Up to eight devices can be connected while simultaneously streaming media to three of them. These connected devices communicate with the Connect via apps that are available through iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon AppStore. The app is simple to use, giving the user basic functions. You can browse the local files on your phone or tablet along with those stored on the Connect. From there you can transfer files to/from either device.
On a full charge, the Connect can last upwards of four hours, which is impressive for such a small device. Weighing in at nearly 30 grams, the Connect is heavier than you might expect, but that extra heft makes the unit feel more robust. The USB plug is protected by a sliding plastic cap.
Using the Connect is incredibly simple. Once the app is installed and running on your device, simply press the wireless button in the center of the Connect. In our experience, it only took a few seconds to make that connection. While you are connected, you cannot use your Wi-Fi for Internet access. We started by transferring a 1 GB movie from our phone to the Connect. While the app doesn't report transfer rate, our very inexact measurement showed about 1 MB/s. Once the movie was transferred, we were able to stream it back to the phone with ease. The Connect has a 150 foot range, but as with all Wi-Fi devices, your mileage may vary. With direct line-of-sight, our movie kept playing at over 100 feet!
Finally, SanDisk was awarded the Visionary Mobile Consumer Storage award for the Connect Wireless Flash Drive at Storage Visions 2014, which runs the two days prior to CES.
SanDisk has a really interesting product that businesses and families alike can put to good use. Whether it is sharing sales documents at a remote location or streaming movies for the kids in the back of a minivan, the Connect can fulfill many needs.