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Adata's DashDrive Air AE400: Several Features In One Device

Adata DashDrive Air AE400 Review: Wi-Fi, Charger, And Card Reader
By , Achim Roos

Adata's DashDrive Air AE400 is a Wi-Fi hotspot, a power bank with charger, and a USB port and SD card reader, all rolled into one compact package. That's a fairly diverse bag of tricks, and it comes in handy when you're on the go. We like hardware able to lighten our load, and the consolidation of these few capabilities is nice when you know upfront that you will put them all to good use.

To that end, the DashDrive Air AE400 is the little gadget that could. The Wi-Fi transfer speeds are as fast as we could expect from an 802.11n-based device, and the USB 2.0 wired performance is top notch. Getting the DashDrive up and running is a piece of cake, and it's easy enough to get multiple clients hooked up to the hotspot's Internet connection. Unfortunately, the DashDrive Air AE400 doesn’t have its own mobile Internet module and, consequently, can't establish its own connection. Finally, the DashDrive can charge mobile devices, even though it'll almost certainly do that show at a slower rate than the charger bundled with your phone or tablet.

There are a couple of critical points we need to mention. First, the DashDrive Air AE400 could use a more exact indicator of how much power is left in its battery. This information makes a big difference. You want to know if it's completely full or about to drop below 50%, especially before you unplug it to leave on a trip. Otherwise, in both cases, you get a green LED. Android users will find it strange that the DashDrive Air Elite app asks if you'd like to close the app every time you press the back button, which is normally used to jump to the previous menu. Fortunately, this isn't a problem for iOS users.

Those are both minor points though, and don't really take away from the overall positive impression we get from Adata's DashDrive Air AE400. If you're able to put its capabilities to use, it's tough to beat that $55 sale price currently going on at Newegg.

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  • 0 Hide
    hp79 , July 10, 2013 9:39 PM
    This was $20 after rebate from newegg couple days ago, and I was going to buy it but decided not to because it doesn't work like a travel router. The only reason that there's a built-in internet share function is so that you can access the files and have internet access at the same time. This will work if the AP you are trying to connect is a secured wireless AP. But places like starbucks / hotels / airports where you have to enter a password in the webpage or click "I agree to the terms..." are impossible to do with this device so that makes it much less useful. If it only had a Ethernet jack so you can actually use it at hotels as a mobil wifi router would have made this very useful.
  • 0 Hide
    rdc85 , July 10, 2013 10:03 PM
    what about the heat generated? i know heat is bad for component and the battery..

    is there any heat issue with this device?
  • 0 Hide
    seanclark , July 10, 2013 11:06 PM
    How good is this compare with RAVPower ® FileHub $49.99@Newegg
  • 0 Hide
    Pyree , July 10, 2013 11:41 PM
    Can you transfer files between the SD card and the HDD connected to the USB port? This feature will be very handy for doing a backup on photos and videos stored in the camera's SD card when I am traveling. I don't need to carry a laptop.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , July 11, 2013 2:47 AM
    Why not add some built in storage (eg a 1TB laptop drive)

    I tried to make a similar portable setup using a 20,000 mAh battery pack (pretty cheap on ebay)

    then having it power a raspberry pi and an external drive, and a SD card reader, I wanted automate the backup of SD cards using a button attached to one of the GPIO

    it works but it is very slow

    I wanted too do a setup where a user can go on a photo shoot, and when 1 card is full, they can pop it into the reader then press a button and it will copy everything from the SD card into a new folder, then erase the SD card

    only thing is a USB to USB copy on a raspberry pi can be well under 1MB/s in some cases. (when I really want around 10-15MB/s copy speeds which will allow for a backup and erase before the user is done filling the next card.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , July 11, 2013 2:18 PM
    Quote:
    Can you transfer files between the SD card and the HDD connected to the USB port? This feature will be very handy for doing a backup on photos and videos stored in the camera's SD card when I am traveling. I don't need to carry a laptop.

    Similar question here, how robust is that USB port? Can I hook up a USB hub to it? What about a more diverse card reader ( something that can do CF, Memory Stick, and SD all at once? ) And will each of those "drives" be visible? My dSLR uses CF, so if I could use this to dump a CF card onto a mobile HDD, that'd be excellent while traveling.
  • 0 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , July 12, 2013 4:24 AM
    Proprietary? A google device? Tsk-tsk. I'm really disappointed. I expected better.
  • 0 Hide
    Adrinne_J , July 30, 2013 12:26 AM
    Quote:
    How good is this compare with RAVPower ® FileHub $49.99@Newegg


    I personally have bought a RAVPower Filehub from Amazon. It works like a charm. I am happy with it.
  • 0 Hide
    Mikel A , August 28, 2013 11:45 PM
    First off I don't consider this as a portable travel router as good as tplink wr702n, then I suspect the heat will be as much as hurting you when read/white speed is fast, also the 5000mAh would not be sufficient to fully charge up an iPad, could probably only charge half its power.