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SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

Six Battery-Powered Wireless Storage Devices, Reviewed
By , Achim Roos

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash looks like a USB stick that needs to go on a diet. But like the other five devices in our round-up, it's more utilitarian, doubling as portable wireless storage and a Wi-Fi hotspot for smartphones, tablets, and computers. It can simultaneously connect to as many as eight clients, and its internal battery is claimed to last up to four hours streaming video.

You don't get built-in storage from the Connect Wireless Flash. However, the drive comes bundled with either a 16 or 32 GB SanDisk Ultra microSDHC card (64 GB support was recently added, too). Its USB interface is only second-gen-compliant, but even taking those slower transfer rates into account, its performance is still considered sub-par, presumably due to the slow SDHC card. We measured 18 MB/s reads and a meager 6 MB/s during writes. 

SanDisk's Wi-Fi implementation facilitates 802.11b/g/n, and offers access to the SD card via a Web interface and free app. The downloadable software supports Apple's iOS-based devices, Android-based smartphones and tablets, and Amazon's Kindle Fire. Because access via SMB is not possible, we used a stop watch to measure wireless transfer speed. But we could have used an hourglass; the reads trickle in at 1.5 MB/s, making this the slowest device in today's story.

The accompanying app displays data on the plugged-in SD card without a directory structure, but it's at least better-organized than PQI's software. We like the way audio files are presented. In addition to the song title, meta data like the album cover is displayed as well.

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