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.