While Apple offers their iOS devices in fairly large capacities these days, 64GB isn’t always enough, and sharing files between devices isn’t always easy. Kingston has developed a fantastic solution to both of these concerns. Enter the Kingston Wi-Drive ($49.99/16GB, $89.99/32GB).
The Kingston Wi-Drive is a small portable wireless drive that can be used to store movies, photos, and other content, which you can then access using an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The drive makes it easy to share content with others (such as while traveling, or at a meeting away from the office), as well as providing extra storage outside of your device.
It’s clear from the first glance that Kingston has put a great deal of effort in the design of the Wi-Drive. The drive itself is nearly as thin and small as the iPhone 4S, and features a similar design – a glossy black exterior with a slick silver trim. It’s charging, Wi-Fi and access lights are also incredibly small, and do not detract from the pleasing appearance of the device.
Besides being incredibly small and extremely portable, the Wi-Drive is also durable, able to withstand drops and bumps without being phased. The Wi-Drive is charged using Mini-USB, which is a standard for portable devices. This makes it extremely convenient to charge on the go.
The only thing that detracts from the physical design of the WiDrive is the large Kingston logo on the front, which could be both smaller and more tastefully situated on the device.
The main idea of the Wi-Drive is to supplement your iOS Device. The Wi-Drive is very useful for many reasons. Besides being able to quickly add 16 or 32GB of storage to your iOS device, it’s also much easier to drag and drop files to the Wi-Drive than syncing content through iTunes. The Wi-Drive supports playback of any file type that iOS natively allows.
While 32GB of storage may not seem like a lot of space, the basic idea behind the Wi-Drive isn’t to store a large amount of content. It’s to stash some extra movies and videos, which are fast and easy to add and remove, and share them with others. This is especially handy for traveling, as three different people can watch three different movies without interfering with performance.
It’s much more difficult to share content like this using your iOS device alone, especially if each person present doesn’t have their own Mac or PC on hand to sync content with. It’s also extremely easy to add content to the Wi-Drive with any Wi-Fi capable Mac or PC.
The Wi-Drive comes ready to use right out of the box, and works between all Macs or PCs with virtually no setup at all. It uses an 802.11 Wi-Fi connection to sync data. And fortunately, unlike other similar devices I’ve heard of, it can connect itself to an existing wireless network and repeat the signal, so you don’t have to sacrifice your Wi-Fi in order to enjoy content.
Using a free companion app for iOS, you can easily see what content is located on the device, as well as what is being streamed at any given moment. The app also allows you to choose which Wi-Fi network the device is hooked up to, and also allows you to set the device up in ad-hoc mode, in case you don’t have Wi-Fi. Basically, the Wi-Drive works as a wireless router in addition to a media sharing device.
As far as performance is concerned, I found that it was extremely easy to use the iOS app to navigate the content on the device. Photos open quickly and video streams smoothly, and I did not notice any drop in performance, even when three people were all streaming a video. What’s more, the Wi-Drive can last up to 4 hours on a single charge.
I really liked the Wi-Drive. It’s extremely lightweight and portable, makes it incredibly easy to quickly add extra content to your iOS device, and is great for sharing photos or videos with other users.
The Wi-Drive is available at a relatively affordable price, and the fact that it doubles as a Wi-Fi repeater adds significantly to its value. Overall, I’d recommend the Wi-Drive to anyone looking to easily share content, or quickly add some storage to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Rating & Conclusion
For it’s usefulness and compact size, its excellent design and ease of use, and its exceptional performance, I award the Kingston Wi-Drive 4 out of 5 stars, deducting a point for its relatively low storage capacity.
For more information, or to purchase the Wi-Drive direct from Kingston ($79.99/16GB, $129.99/32GB), head on over to Kingston’s official product page. The Wi-Drive can also be purchased from Amazon at $49.99/16GB and $89.99/32GB with free shipping.
- Compact, light-weight, and durable
- Easy to use
- Makes it much easier to share movies, photos, or documents on the go
- Doubles as a Wi-Fi repeater
- Can be accessed by 3 users at once
- Only features up to 32GB of storage
- Can get too warm to keep in a pocket
- Kingston logo is very large and obvious