A Wireless Flash Drive? Too Cool!

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A new wireless flash drive is quietly making its way into the scene. It’s from a maker that is well known in the portable storage industry, so you can be assured that it’s not going to break or die right after you buy it. In other words, it’s most likely going to be quite reliable. So how come it’s “quietly making its way onto the scene,” and not being announced with fanfare? We’ll discuss.

Who Makes This Wireless Flash Drive?

Like I said above, it’s from SanDisk, which already has a rock solid reputation in the mobile/portable storage market. Chances are you have two or three of their devices already, and you probably don’t know it. If you have an Android tablet or a cell phone from just about any manufacturer, or even a digital camera, to just name a few of the numerous devices that use them, you most likely already have a SanDisk SD card or microSD card in that device.

Currently, I have one microSD card in each of my Android tablets — one in my Samsung phone and one in my Nokia phone, plus the SD card I have in my digital camera (from Sanyo). This number (five) doesn’t count the thumb drives (USB flash) that I own, one of which is a SanDisk 16GB model. I buy either Kingston or SanDisk exclusively because the price and quality meet at a very acceptable level.

Flash Drive? What’s That?

What’s a flash drive, you say? Quite simply, it’s the memory device you insert in a USB port to move data around without having to lug a fragile hard drive, or even more fragile laptop/notebook around. They’re about the size of a thumb, hence the term “thumb drive,” but you may know of them as flash drives, USB drives, pen drives, or anything else. Available storage capacity for these devices runs from 1.0 GB (originally, you could buy them as small as 128KB) on up to 256 GB.

Wireless? But You Said USB …

This new SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive does have a USB plug on it. However, it’s really only needed for charging the device. (Its charge is rated as lasting up to four hours). You see, it communicates with up to three devices simultaneously over your Wi-Fi network. Are you using an iPad and want to move stuff to it, but don’t have the cable with you? No problem at all. Simply pull it out, turn it on, and connect it to the network and start moving your files around. You can stream movies to two devices and move data to and from another one, at the same time and you don’t need Internet access, just a Wi-Fi network.

New Wireless Flash Drive

This fact needs mentioning again: You can move any type of data between this new wireless flash drive from SanDisk and three devices at the same time. However, it can connect to up to eight devices at one time. Even better, it’s compatible with any device that supports Wi-Fi networking. Imagine buying the iPhone or iPad with the smallest memory capacity and saving a boatload of money by doing so, but not having to deal with not enough storage space. Pretty cool, huh?

Instantly expand your Apple device’s storage capacity by up to 64 GB. They’re available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB sizes and SanDisk has Android, Windows Mobile, and iOS apps for file management purposes, or you can connect to it using a browser and a fixed IP address.

As stated, you can purchase the SanDisk Connect thumb drive with a capacity of 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB. However, one of the really neat features is that the memory isn’t a standard memory chip (or two) like in a regular flash drive. Nope. This device uses a microSD card as its storage medium. This means you can buy a couple cards and load one up with pictures, one with movies, and one with work files and swap them around as needed, or you can go out and buy a 128 GB or 256 GB and have enough storage to take enough movies on vacation with you for a two-week vacation, watching one movie a night.

A Review in a Nutshell

This is a neat little device that will be handy for quite a few people out there. The list of things it can do is pretty impressive, like you can also use it as a Wi-Fi hotspot if you use the app. However, there is one drawback — the price.

Right now, the 64 GB model is listed at about $100, and if you dig a little, you can probably find a 64 GB model for about $80. That’s at least five times what you’d pay for a regular USB flash drive of the same size. My recommendation? Start saving and give it a few months for the price to come down some, as it surely will once the novelty wears off.

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