Aug 27, 2014 Nick Rego
SanDisk are most commonly known for their list of memory cards, however the company has launched an interesting new product in the form of the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive. This USB stick may look quite ordinary, but with a quick press of a button provides streaming entertainment no matter where you are.
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive looks like your average-sized USB thumb drive. Slide a small cover down and you expose the USB connector. While the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive does come in a variety of sizes, the storage itself comes in the form of a microSD card, so in theory if you want to bump up your space in the future, you’d just swap out for a bigger card. There’s a small loop at the other end so you can hook the drive up on a keychain as well, and a silver button in the middle will turn off or on the device’s Wi-Fi.
Yes, you read that correctly – Wi-Fi. This means that you can quickly connect to the device via a dedicate app on your smartphone or tablet, and instantly stream or download (and upload) data.
Setting up the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is quite straightforward – simply charge up the device using a spare USB port or the optional wall charger, and then press the Wi-Fi button to turn on the wireless network. You can then download the dedicated Android or iOS app, which will then connect to the device and allow you to access data. Once connected, you can configure more settings on the device such as the wireless network name and password, and even connect it to an existing wireless network so that you continue to have Internet access.
Surprisingly, the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive performed quite well when it came down to actually streaming content. There are a number of folders that exist on the drive for music, photos, and videos, but you’re free to make your own as well. Viewing content is as simple as tapping on it in the dedicated app, which then streams the content automatically. Scrubbing through a file also had no noticeable delay, and even when other devices are connected to it there isn’t any issue with delivering a high-quality stream. As a standard USB drive the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive was quick to copy files to and from without any delay.
But while the overall performance may be good, there are still some teething issues with the drive, some of which SanDisk has already acknowledged. For one thing, if you’re on a newer version of Android, the app will prompt you to disable some Android features such as Wi-Fi scanning, which might interfere with the device. Out of the box, the device did disconnect a few times, but after a quick firmware upgrade this problem was eliminated. There’s also no quick way to transfer data from your phone to the device without going into the app – while Android as an example offers quick ways to share a photo to email, social media, Dropbox etc. there’s no such integration with the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive, which is a shame. The device will also last you around 4 hours on a full charge, which is just about fine for a family road trip.
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is an interesting device – while other storage companies have created larger and slightly bulkier devices that perform the same tasks, this one is a lot smaller and easier to carry around. Yes, there are some teething issues within the app and with the device itself, but these don’t happen often enough to ruin the experience.
Approximate retail price is $60 (32GB)
+ Easy wireless setup
+ Provides streaming to several devices
+ Easy to carry around
+ Expandable storage
- Short battery life
- Slight connectivity and software bugs
A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys playing videogames during work hours and tinkering with the latest gadgets.
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