Sleek expansion for your iOS devices.
How often have you been anxious about storing more songs or videos on your iOS devices because space is running out? At such times you either wish you had purchased the one with 32GB or even 64GB. What if you need more space than that? Well, we have already covered the Seagate GoFlex Satellite wireless drive for iOS devices. Today we’ll look at another option that’s just been made available in the market to expand you iOS device(s) storage space, the Kingston Wi-Drive.
The Kingston Wi-Drive is simply designed to expand the storage of your iOS devices by providing you an external, portable, hard drive for you to carry around. The Wi-Drive, as the name suggests, is a wireless hard drive so that you can connect up to 3 devices simultaneously for streaming media off of it. You can connect both iOS as well as Android devices to the Wi-Drive; all you have to do is download the app from the App Store or Marketplace.
Now the Wi-Drive itself can only play media content that’s compatible with your iOS or Android device in the first place, so you have to be careful about what all you want to transfer in there. The Wi-Drive itself will show all the format media you have, but once you click on an unsupported format, it’ll simply stay there on screen like you never touched it.
Apart from the Home menu that shows all the files, you can view by Photos, Videos and Music. Apart from that you have settings menu where you can upgrade the firmware, connect to a network, and setup a password for your drive so that nobody random in a public place has access to your files. The password itself can be setup using WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPA2 Mixed mode.
Going back to the Network Connections sub-menu; basically you connect your iOS or Android device to the Wi-Drive via a Wi-Fi connection. This essentially means you lose internet connection over your home or office Wi-Fi network. This is not an issue when you’re travelling outside, but when you’re at home or office, you’d also want internet access through your phone or tablet that’s connected to the Wi-Drive. Now the Seagate GoFlex Satellite had the exact same issue, but thankfully Kingston allows you to connect to your existing wireless connection from within the Wi-Drive app. You can basically piggyback your internet connection through the Wi-Drive, thereby having access to all your stored media on the Wi-Drive as well having internet connection through your usual Wi-Fi hotspot.
Of course, you won’t get the full speeds on this piggyback connection; the below SpeedTest results show the difference.
The first result is with the piggyback connection.
While connected to both an iPhone 4 and our recently tested Huawei Honor Android smartphone, continuously playing songs, the battery on the Wi-Drive lasted about 3 hours and 40 minutes. Kingston themselves have rated the battery at 4 hours, but with only one device connected. Not bad for short journeys.
There are two issues I want to mention before wrapping up this review. The first is that once the Wi-Drive is connected to a PC via the mini-USB port, the wireless connection will immediately stop. The Wi-Drive will act as a regular external storage device (formatted FAT32) and will also start charging simultaneously. Once unplugged, you can resume wireless operations again. However, be careful if you’re planning to put the Wi-Drive in your pockets because the area near the mini-USB port gets quite warm with the Wi-Fi on. Imaging you’re wearing double layers with a sweater on top during summer. It’s not impossibly hot, but very uncomfortable. Of course, this heat is concentrated in a small area, so that’s just something to think about.
So eventually the Kingston Wi-Drive is a good product, but with capacities of only 16GB and 32GB, it definitely is limiting. The price difference from and 8GB to 16GB to 32GB or 64GB iOS device (basically doubling the storage) is AED 400. The 16GB Wi-Drive sells for AED 299 while the 32GB goes for AED 499. Now whether this extra storage is worth the price, or whether you’re better off buying a large capacity iOS device in the first place is a decision you’ll have to make yourself.