If you dabble in any form of digital media, you likely have USB drives filling up your desk drawers, a couple sitting on your desk at work, and one in your gym bag just in case
It becomes tedious having to connect, disconnect, then reconnect them to all of your devices just so you can transfer a video to your tablet or phone to watch on your commute each morning, or to your PS3 to watch before bed. With the new SanDisk Connect flash drive, you can wirelessly beam your files between your devices without having to fumble around for a USB port in the dark.
Perhaps something of a first world problem, it does actually become tedious to fumble around at midnight, trying to find your desktop’s USB port so you can transfer some files over to your PS3 or tablet to view before bed. Yes, you can just turn on the lights and make the process less tedious, but if the whole point of consumer technology isn’t to make life easier in any way possible, then there’s no point to consumer technology. The SanDisk Connect attempts to lessen your midnight burden via a combination hub and USB drive. Three iterations of the device exist: a 16GB USB drive for $49.99, a 32GB USB drive for $59.99, and a Roku-style square for $79.99 known as the Media Drive. The difference between the USB drives and the Media Drive is the square tops out at 64GB, has twice the battery life, and a standard SD slot for an extra card.
The USB drives last for around four hours without needing a charge, and are convenient in that they charge while plugged into your computer when you’re transferring files. They also have a microSD slot. As mentioned before, the Media Drive lasts around eight hours on battery, and the convenience lies in being able to slide an SD card into it for extra capacity. Both the USB drives and Media Device interact, so you can create a tangled web of convenient wireless file transfers if you wish. However, the SanDisk Connect devices aren’t as convenient as they may seem at first blush.
Currently, the devices can only be used through proprietary iOS, Android, or web apps, which means those of you who went all-in on Windows devices are left out. The iOS capability also requires manual connectivity to the access point, whereas at least Android connects with a simple button press. The drive can’t use microSD cards with speeds faster than microSDHC, so you’re still holed into an acceptable-but-disappointing transfer speed. An internet connection isn’t required to transfer files, but your device will have to drop its internet connection in order to connect. The Verge notes that you can connect the SanDisk devices to a wireless hotspot and then connect your devices through that, saving your devices’ internet connection.
So, while not exactly the most convenient solution for wireless file transfers, it still sounds better than fumbling for your awkwardly placed USB ports in the dark at midnight. The SanDisk Connect devices are available for pre-order today at your favorite internet retailers, Newegg, Amazon, and Micro Center.