The SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive focuses in practicality as it offers a light, easy to carry external hard drive with 64GB of storage capacity. Even though this is considerably less than what other more affordable hard drive options can provide, SanDisk Connect is more versatile. The apps for mobile devices allow you to stream movies and music from the hard drive to up to five devices simultaneously using a Wi-Fi connection. If storage capacity is crucial for you, you will find that the SanDisk Connect fails to impress when compares to devices that offer 1TB or more for a price that is only slightly higher. Still, if you prefer a drive that is small enough to bring with you anywhere you go, this may be a convenient option.
Design and Settings
The major advantage of the SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive is that is light and fits your handbag, backpack or even your pocket easily. You can forget about bulk or added weight because this drive is designed to be the ideal portable solution for your file storage needs. The looks of the drive are appealing and modern, thanks to the silver aluminium borders and black plastic textured pattern on the front. For anyone that wants to travel light, this is an ideal and beautiful hard drive that will allow you to keep your files with you in style and conveniently. You will also receive an AC adapter to recharge the battery.
Getting started with the Connect Wireless Media Drive is simple. Simply connect it to your PC using the USB cable and you will be able to transfer files. In order to connect the SanDisk Connect to your tablet or smartphone, you will need to keep the power button on the drive pressed until the indicators over the battery lights up green, this will establish the drive’s own Wi-Fi network. Afterwards, you will need to get the SanDisk Media Drive app from Google Play Store, Amazon or Apple’s App Store, depending on your device. Once you have installed the app, open it and click on the wireless network, this will give you access to the app’s interface where you can see a menu of options that include photos, music, files and videos.
From the General Settings menu, you will be able to connect the drive to internet using Wi-Fi, which will allow you to use the drive while you browse online. You can also access the Admin Settings option from where you can format the drive, restore default settings and allow anonymous data sharing. When it comes to settings and interface, the main advantage of the Connect Wireless Media Drive is that every function can be easily accessed from the same menu. Transferring data across the drive and mobile devices is easy but as with other drives, large files take much longer when transmitted wirelessly. The streaming works well and all you have to do is to tap on the video and choose Play to be able to watch it on your mobile device. SanDisk’s drive can stream video to up to five devices simultaneously.
Performance and Battery life
The Connect Wireless Media Drive is mainly aimed at offering a wireless streaming solution for your media and unlike other options we have reviewed, it works with a USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0, which slows down the transfer speed significantly. Still, it achieves effectively its main function of streaming media content to mobile devices. The performance in this area is quite good and the video takes only a few seconds to buffer, displaying a high quality of audio and image, without any interruptions. The responsiveness is maintained throughout the duration of a full movie and it is also easy to switch between scenes. The streaming performance is satisfactory even when it involves multiple devices. It may take a bit longer to load the video but the quality remains intact, without major issues.
When it comes to battery life, the SanDisk Connect’s lithium-polymer power can last nearly 9 hours, while playing high quality video, which is far more than what you would expect from this lightweight, small drive. Mechanical hard drives might last much longer but considering the weight and size of the SanDisk device, 9 hours is quite an achievement.
The main purpose of the SanDisk Connect is to act as a external hard drive that allows you to stream video and transfer music files and photos to tablets and smartphones. This is a function that it performs well but in terns of storage capacity or transferring speed, the drive falls short, specially keeping in mind that it costs $119 USD. For the same amount, or even less, you can buy a flash drive that supports USB 3.0, which will offer a considerably better speed than the USB 2.0 that SanDisk Connect features. In spite of this, the drive is practical thanks to its small size and it remains a good solution for almost flawless video streaming and its interface is quite easy to use.