SanDisk on Monday announced two flash-based multimedia Wi-Fi drives, the Connect Wireless Media Drive and the Connect Wireless Flash Drive. Both devices are battery powered and function as a portable storage device as well as a mobile multimedia hotspot, allowing you to share data and stream media wirelessly over 802.11 b/g/n.
The smaller of the two devices, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive, looks… well, like a USB flash drive. It’s a bit deceptive however, as it doesn’t actually use standard flash memory but a micro SD card instead (there’s a card slot on the side of the drive). This model is able to stream up to three 720p-quality videos at the same time and should last for roughly four hours before needing a recharge. It’s available in capacities of 16GB and 32GB for roughly $50 and $60, respectively, starting next month.
The Wireless Media Drive is approximately half an inch thick and 2.5-inches by 2.5-inches. Unlike the flash drive, this unit packs a full 32GB or 64GB of internal, non-removable flash memory. There’s also a micro USB port and an SDHC/XC card slot for added versatility and it’s more powerful as well. SanDisk tells us you can stream up to five different 720p video streams at the same time for up to eight hours on a single charge. The Wireless Media Drive can be had for $80 or $100 for 32GB or 64GB of storage, respectively, as of September.
There are a few drawbacks to be aware of. Neither drive supports USB 3.0, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive is limited to just 32GB of storage via SD card and at least one publication found slow load / transfer times during hands-on usage.