Review of Sandisk Connect Wireless Flash and Media drives w/lots of pics!!!


  1. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    This is a review of Sandisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive (SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive) and Sandisk Connect Wireless Media Drive (SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive)

    There is no denial the name Sandisk is synonymous with flash and usb storage. I'm sure most of you use their SD cards in cameras, microSD cards in smartphones, and USB memory sticks to transfer files between computers. But I can guarantee not all of you are familiar with their new Sandisk Connect product line of wireless devices designed to store, stream, and share your content across different mobile devices and computers without OS boundaries. As much as I try to keep up with all the latest gadgets, I wasn't aware about it either until browsing their website after my review of Sandisk microSD Ultra 128GB card. Now, after having an opportunity to test their wireless Flash and Media drives, I'm very excited to share with you what I have found. I was debating at first if I should have 2 separate reviews since each product has it's own unique tech "personality", but at the end I decided to combine it in one considering their common functionality.

    Though most of us throw away packaging like kids after opening their x-mas presents, I do want to note about professional presentation of each product with a great cover image display and a detailed spec list on the back. Perhaps if you are shopping on-line it's not as beneficial, but when you are shopping in a place like Best Buy I always find it a big deal to pick up a product and get familiarized with details of it's functionality by reading the package. Of course, everything looks good in the pictures and in writing, so the real test is out of the box. Here, I was in for a big and pleasant surprise with both of the products.

    Starting with Wireless Flash Drive, it actually does look like a typical usb thumb drive and has similar dimensions of about 3" x 1" x 0.5" and weight of about 27g. The top of the drive slides down to reveal a full size usb connector so you don't have to worry about usb cap. As a matter of fact, once you plug it into you computer it will be recognized as usb drive with a logical drive letter assigned to it. And that's where the similarity ends. Inside of this little guy Sandisk packed a standalone wireless server which is activated by pressing a power button located in the middle. In order to take advantage of its functionality, you need to download a free app to your phone. Wireless connection is very simple and once you are connected, by selecting Flash Drive from a list of available wireless connection, just go to the app and start using it. Flash Drive already comes with some preloaded media to get you started with detailed manual documents, tutorial videos on how to setup and configure your device, and a few sample pictures and even some songs.

    After that, it gets even better. Though Flash Drive comes in different storage capacities, the actual storage memory is removable and just a microSD flash card, in my review sample being 64GB. This is very convenient because you can use your own storage media and swap it around, or you can expand it later once a higher capacity flash cards become available and more affordable (example, 128GB card), or you can use it as microSD card reader on your computer. Also, if you already have 64GB card or you have other high capacity microSD cards, you can actually save about $20 by buying 32GB version of this Flash Drive which still going to come with all the common wireless bells and whistles. And speaking of bells'n'whistles, there are plenty in here!!! First of all, Flash Drive has built in 1000 mAh rechargeable battery which you can charge either from computer usb port or any usb power adapter. Full charge from empty should take about 2hr, but you have to be aware that when plugged into a laptop - you can't use it as wireless drive since it goes into usb flash drive mode. But once unplugged in standalone or plugged into a wall charger - it works in wireless mode. The battery is rated to last you 4hr of continuous streaming of HD movie to one device. But in general, you can actually have 8 devices connected wireless to Flash Drive with 3 streaming movies in parallel, though that will affect battery life. But keep in mind, if you plug this flash drive into usb wall charger - you don't have to worry about battery life during streaming. For security, you can also password protect wireless connection (WPA2), and as additional bonus setup Flash Drive as a Wireless Router to outside wireless internet connection. This will enable streaming media from Flash drive while still being connected to your home wireless router to access internet. Or imagine going on vacation where you are charged for every wireless connection; this Wireless Flash Drive will function as wireless router for up to 8 people sharing the same password protected secure wireless connection in a range of up to 150 feet. Plus, if you take into consideration how cool this Wireless Flash Drive looks (awesome 3D textured surface on the top around power button) - this new gadget going to be your smartphone or tablet best new friend!

    Here are the pictures of Sandisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive.

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    Next is Sandisk Connect Wireless Media Drive. I'm sure after reading my review about Wireless Flash Drive you might ask, why bother with another similar product? Though having similarities in functionality, Media Drive is more like a Flash Drive on steroids and some might find it more beneficial for their use. Honestly, after having a chance to test both, I would have a really hard time to decide which one to choose. So, let's find out more details about Wireless Media Drive.

    With a similarly informative packaging, you get a great cover shot picture and a very detailed spec list on the back. Once taken out of the box, I actually expected media drive to be a bulky box, but instead was greeted with a small 2.5" x 2.5" box (about 0.5" in thickness) and relatively light at about 70g. It literally fits in a palm of your hand, and has a very solid design with aluminum frame, very unique 3D textured plastic top, and non-slip bottom. On a side you will find a micro-usb port to charge Media Drive, as well as connection to your computer, SD card expandable slot, and a power button next to 3 led indicators (battery, wireless, internet). Accessories include a high quality usb to micro-usb cable and wall charger, a very thoughtful bonus, though you can charge Media Drive either from external charger or from your computer's usb port. Full charging takes about 3hr, but in here we are dealing with 1500 mAh rechargeable battery that will last you 8 hr (!!!) of continuous single connection HD movie streaming. Of course, if you keep your Media Drive plugged into the wall, you don't even have to worry about battery limitation. But still, when you are on a go away from a power source, or in a car on a long trip - 8hr battery will come very handy, as well as 150 feet of wireless range.

    Just like with Flash Driver, you can have up to 8 simultaneous connections, but Media Drive was actually optimized to have a bandwidth for simultaneous streaming of 5HD movies versus 3 with Flash Drive. Also, similar to Flash Drive, you can configure Media Drive to function as a wireless router with connection to external wireless internet feed. This will definitely come handy in any situation when you are traveling and have to share wireless connection with other devices which can also save you money. The same option of wireless WPA2 security is available so you can protect the content of your drive from unauthorized users. Regarding the capacity, Media Drive comes in two versions with either built in 32GB or 64GB, but you also have an option of SD slot expansion or using SD card adapter for microSD expansion. This way you can have 64GB + 128GB microSD ultra for a total of 192GB of portable wireless storage!!! Just imagine how much HD movie content, audio, and pictures you can store at once. Now, consider you can have it with you at any time inside of the cool looking super compact storage device you can put in your shirt pocket and take it anywhere with you! And as a bonus, you don't need any wires to access or to share this content, either if you are on Android or iOS or Windows.

    Here are the pictures of Sandisk Connect Wireless Media Drive

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    Overall, I personally think that either of these devices is a must have for anybody who has smartphone, tablets, or laptop and want to enjoy streaming and sharing of wireless media. Also, if you have a mix of Android and Apple gadgets at home, wifi connection is universal thus you can share files between two different devices. Though they have a lot of similarities in functionality, each one has it's own strong points such as high portability of Flash Drive without a need for any charge cables, smaller footprint, and easier use like a regular usb thumb drive versus Media Drive with capability of much higher expandable storage, greater battery life, and more simultaneous streaming connections. So the question becomes not really if you should get it, but rather which one to get. Either way, I found both devices to be of a very high build quality and functionality and a perfect companion for any mobile device.

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