Kingston Wi-Drive wireless storage for iOS preview (video)
Thinking about upgrading your iPad or iPhone just to add more storage for videos, photos and music? Kingston hopes to save the day with its Wi-Drive, a WiFi-enabled battery-powered storage device designed exclusively for use with iOS. Several factors make the pocket-sized device a tough sell, however, including its cost ($130 for 16GB, $175 for 32GB), and the fact that this otherwise clever content sharing contraption adds yet another gadget to your already crowded portable mix. We’d probably save up for a new, higher-capacity device before accessorizing our old gadgets, but a compact media server does seem like the perfect companion for a road trip, serving up HD videos and other content simultaneously to multiple devices using the free iOS app. This is strictly a content server — while you can move move content off the drive and later transfer it back, there’s no backup tool included, and Kingston says we shouldn’t expect one in the future, either. Click past the break for our impressions of Kingston’s flash-based server, due to hit stores later this month.
A battery-powered wireless storage solution for iOS may have been a new concept when the Wi-Drive was in the development stage, but we’ve seen other options pop up recently. The Seagate GoFlex is significantly larger, but packs a 500GB WiFi hard drive for $200, while the bring-your-own-storage AirStash lets you stream from an SD card for $100. Similar in size to the latter, the Wi-Drive resembles a MiFi, but unlike the portable hotspot, the device will only be streaming local content — notably, without a bandwidth cap.
Serving as a WiFi access point, you connect your iPad, iPhone or iPod to the Wi-Drive just as you would any other hotspot, then access content using a dedicated app. Kingston says an Android app is coming soon (within 1-2 months), but you’ll probably find it more convenient and cost-effective to add a microSD card to those handsets instead. You’ll use the included mini-USB cable to load up the drive with standard music, photo, video, and document files. It’s also possible to move content to and from the drive sans wires, as long as it’s coming to or from the iOS app. You can move a video to your iPad to free up space on the drive, for example, moving it back later, assuming you haven’t deleted it from your iOS device. Why would you want to move a file off the Wi-Drive, you ask? Well, it’s easy to fill up 32GB of storage, which is likely why you need such a device in the first place. Unfortunately, boosting flash capacity is currently cost-prohibitive, though if we’re spending nearly $200 to expand our portable storage, 32GB probably isn’t going to cut it.
Accessing the Wi-Drive is rather straightforward, but disconnecting and reconnecting often may be a pain, since from power-on to app launch, the process takes up to a minute to complete. There’s also a delay when loading individual videos — a 720p music video took 20 seconds to launch. Naturally, maintaining a constant connection will drain battery life, especially when using the Wi-Drive in bridge mode to access an Internet connection. Speaking of battery life, Kingston reps said that you should be able to squeeze out four hours, with three devices streaming video simultaneously. It’s rated for three devices to play 720p video at one time, but there’s no hard limit in place, so if you’ve been looking for a way to watch Avatar on every iOS device in the house without taking up precious bytes of local storage, you may be in luck.
All in all, the Wi-Drive is a decent option for iPhone owners that need extra storage but are currently locked into a contract, or are otherwise unable to upgrade. It may also be a hit with families that want to load up on movies and TV shows before a trip, but don’t want to transfer content to each device. Unfortunately, with its high price and limited storage capacity, most Apple addicts would likely chose to upgrade their devices, rather than shelling out extra cash for a limited-capacity streamer.
Pubblicato il 02/06/2011, in Hi-Tech con tag apple, apple ipad, apple iPhone, apple ipod, AppleIpad, AppleIphone, AppleIpod, hands-on, impressions, iOS, ios app, IosApp, ipad, iphone, ipod, kingston, kingston wi-drive, kingston widrive, KingstonWi-drive, KingstonWidrive, nas, preview, video, wi-drive, widrive, wireless, wireless hard drive, WirelessHardDrive. Aggiungi il permalink ai segnalibri. Commenti disabilitati.