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Kingston is a well known system memory module, USB flash drive as well as SSD vendor but today we have something very interesting from Kingston for you if you are an Apple iDevice user. Kingston Wi-Drive is a newly launched wireless storage device for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. This wireless storage expands the storage capacity of your Apple iDevice instantly once the pairing has been done with Wi-Drive app.
Kingston Technology Company, Inc. is the world's independent memory leader. Founded in 1987 with a single product offering, Kingston® now offers more than 2,000 memory products that support nearly every device that uses memory, from computers, servers and printers to MP3 players, digital cameras and cell phones.
With global headquarters in Fountain Valley, California, Kingston employs more than 4,500 people worldwide. Regarded as one of the "Best Companies to Work for in America" by Fortune magazine, Kingston's tenets of respect, loyalty, flexibility and integrity create an exemplary corporate culture.
• Portable, wireless storage
• Works with iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
• Share your data with 3 users simultaneously
• Integrated Wi-Fi 802.11g/n; 30-foot range
Package & Contents
Since Kingston Wi-Drive is purposely designed for Apple iDevices, its packaging box (paper packing box) is also pretty similar with iPhone's packaging. Overall the packaging finishing job was done nicely and some of the main features are described at the back of the packaging in multi-languages.
Besides the Kingston Wi-Drive, it also comes with a multi-language user manual and a USB cable but neither driver nor software is required. The Kingston Wi-Drive is kept inside a polyester bag to protect its shinning surface and a year warranty is given for Kingston Wi-Drive which is pretty standard.
A Closer Look on Kingston Wi-Drive
Wi-Drive is a brand new product from Kingston and we believe it is a concept or so called test product which is a portable wireless storage device for Apple iDevices (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch). The idea of Kingston Wi-Drive is for storage expansion and data sharing (music, video, photo & etc). There are three available capacities, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB where the later model was just added into product line recently.
The whole enclosure of Kingston Wi-Drive is made up by two shinny black surfaces which look pretty sexy. In term of physical size, Kingston Wi-Drive looks pretty identical with iPhone but with slimmer and much lighter weight (85grams). There are On/Off button and a USB connect on the right side and top side of the Kingston Wi-Drive. The USB connector is used for data transferring between Kingston Wi-Drive and computer system.
Kingston Wi-Drive has been integrated with Wi-Fi 802.11g/n which allows wireless access up to 30-foot range or equal to 9 meters ++. One of the advantages of Kingston Wi-Drive is it can be shared and used by up to three users simultaneously. Kingston Wi-Drive is compatible with most of the OS which can be used for data transferring from or to the computer.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Since Kingston Wi-Drive is designed for Apple iDevice, an Apple App is definitely required to run the Kingston Wi-Drive. The app is called Wi-Drive and it is a free app under utilities category; compatible with iOS 4.2 or later. The latest version of this app is 126.96.36.199 and total app file size is about 3.8MB. Other non iOS devices can be accessed the Kingston Wi-Fi Drive via web browser to enjoy the data sharing.
Kingston Wi-Drive doesn't need any external power as it has built-in battery which can last about 4 hours when it is being turned on. Kingston Wi-Drive can be charged via USB port and yellow LED will be flashing to show its charging process; flashing red LED mean low battery. Neither additional software nor driver is required to access the Kingston Wi-Drive via computer; just like a normal USB flash drive; plug & play.
When the Kingston Wi-Drive is connected to the system, two drives will be detected. One is labeled as CD-ROM while another one is labeled as WI-DRIVE. To share the files with Apple iDevices, WI-DRIVE is the right storage drive. Kingston Wi-Drive can be powered on by pressing the power button for two seconds and wait for blue Wi-Fi activity light to start flashing before it can be detected and connected to the Apple iDevices.
Before Kingston Wi-Drive can be accessed by Apple iDevices, a pairing must be done and here is an example to pair up our iPhone with Kingston Wi-Drive. First of all, user has to select and connect Wi-Drive in the Wi-Fi network setting of the Apple iDevice. Wi-Drive will be detected in Wi-Drive app after the pairing is done; click into the detected Kingston Wi-Drive will show up all the stored files.
There are some settings for Kingston Wi-Drive but it is quite minimal and not compulsory to do so. Pairing up Kingston Wi-Drive with the Apple iDevices will make the device lose the Internet connection but this is be fixed by reconnecting to the wireless network by reentering the router/access point password in Kingston Wi-Drive's network connection. Another setting will be visibility status (on or off) and security setup to add a password to prevent unauthorized access.
Notebook: HP EliteBook 2540p
Processor: Intel i7-640LM @ 2.13GHz
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1333MHz
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM
Display: 12.1" LED-backlit WXGA anti-glare
Graphic Card: Intel HD Graphics
Optical Drive: Panasonic 9.5mm DVD RAM
Controller: Vizo PCI-102 ExpressCard
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: Arctic Sound P311
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP3/Win 7 Pro
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
After all the theory explanations and minor setup, now let us talk about its ability and performance. Before connecting to Kingston Wi-Drive with our iPhone, we have loaded quite number of files to the WI-DRIVE drive to find out its compatible level against all these file formats. First of all, Kingston Wi-Drive is able to display the Chinese characters correctly which is a bonus for some of us. For the video tests, we have tried to play AVI, MP4, RMVB and MKV files but only MP4 can be played while the rest of the formats are not supported. Hopefully more video formats can be supported by Kingston Wi-Drive via simple firmware upgrade to enhance its attractiveness.
Next we also tested Kingston Wi-Drive with other multimedia files like MP3 music, JPEG photo, Microsoft Excel, Word and Adobe PDF. All these files are working seamlessly with Kingston Wi-Drive and playing or viewing these files including video from Kingston Wi-Drive is pretty smooth without any lagging; just like playing these files directly from iPhone itself which is quite impressive and we believe the integrated Wi-Fi 802.11g/n is working perfectly. Anyway other supported file formats are ppt/pptx, txt, rtf, WAV, AAC, MOV, m4v, M-JEPG, BMP and tiff.
The proven Wi-Fi test range for Kingston Wi-Drive is about 30 feet but we managed to get the signal 50 feet away from the Kingston Wi-Drive; the last detected signal bar so any further distance will greatly impact the connectivity. The rechargeable battery of Kingston Wi-Drive can be lasted about four to five hours with continuous usage; the power button LED will turn from green to red when power is low. To charge up the Kingston Wi-Drive when the battery is totally flat will take two to three hours via the USB cable which is pretty reasonable too. Overall we did not encounter any issue with Kingston Wi-Drive during the couple of weeks of testing and the device just feels warm even after hours of continuous usage. Hopefully Kingston Wi-Drive's life span can be as lasting as other USB flash drives since only a year of warranty is given.
Storage limitation is one of the common problems for Apple iDevices as it is quite expensive if compares with other kind of storages; higher cost per byte. The idea of Kingston Wi-Drive is pretty new in the market but it is definitely a good concept (a portable wireless storage) and we believe it is a test product from Kingston to find out the market's response. Based on our experiences with Kingston Wi-Drive, we feel that it is a successful protocol device especially it is designed for Apple iDevices which continues capturing market share. There are plenty of good features of Kingston Wi-Drive such as accessible up to three users at the same time, integrated with fast wireless connectivity - 802.11g/n, good battery lifespan, supporting quite number of multimedia file formats and etc. If your Apple iDevice is having any storage limitation and not planning to upgrade to higher capacity iDevice then Kingston Wi-Drive is definitely a good option and it is pretty affordable as an Apple accessories.
+ Creative portable Wi-Fi storage for Apple iDevices
+ Instantly expand the storage for an Apple iDevices
+ Accessible by 3 users simultaneously
+ Integrated with Wi-Fi 802.11g/n
+ Pretty good battery life span
+ supports quite number of multimedia file formats
+ Reasonable price for Apple iDevices' storage
- Lacking of video supported formats
- Looking forward to see 5-year or even life time warranty
Thanks to Kingston for providing this sample for us to review.
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