Western Digital, through the Sandisk brand, has dared with an accessory to expand the storage of mobile devices. It is the Sandisk Connect, a USB memory that can be used as such but also connects via WiFi to be able to transfer files.
As in the case of the WD MyPassport 4 TB we talk about a device something bigger than normal (the pendrive can be somewhat annoying if the USB ports of your computer are very close together), but generally should not be problem. Its capacities range from 16 GB to 256 GB, and on computers it is used like any other USB memory.
Sandisk Connect: Technical Features
|DIMENSIONS||20.83 x 78.21 x 12.19 mm|
|CAPABILITIES||12 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 200 GB and 256 GB|
|DATA READ SPEED||Approximately 12.6 MB / s according to Black Magic Disk Speed Test|
|DATA WRITING SPEED||Approximately 12.6 MB / s according to Black Magic Disk Speed Test|
|SOFTWARE||Sandisk Connect App to access data from mobile devices|
|COMPATIBILITY||Windows, Mac and Linux like conventional USB, iOS and Android accessing from mobile applications.|
|PRICE||From 29.95 to 199.99 dollars depending on the capacity at Amazon.|
The device is made of plastic, but does not give you the feeling of being a bit flimsy like many of the pendrives that can give you for example in some promotion. The design, which gives a rough texture that I appreciate when you have to pull the memory to disconnect it, is very sober in any of the colors available. There is a cover that protects the USB connection and, let’s face it, it will be the first thing that we will lose to the least detail.
The only interesting change external to other USB memories is the button that activates your wireless connection, which is narrow but can be pressed with a minimum of comfort. When we do, a small LED will notify us that Sandisk Connect is emitting its own WiFi so that we can connect to it through its mobile application.
In order to do this the pendrive has a built-in battery, but it is not noticeable at all from outside. This battery automatically charges when we have memory connected by USB to a computer, and is able to last up to 4.5 hours connecting through your mobile applications. It may seem small, but it is a lot if we consider that transferring and saving data from the USB memory to the internal memory of the mobile is a matter of few minutes.
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Sandisk Connect: Performance
Do not expect too much speed of what is after all a USB stick, although it is true that we should be talking about speeds of a USB 3.0 while the Sandisk Connect is USB 2.0. At read and write speeds of 12.6 MB per second, I would not recommend it for anything other than backups or rather casual use of a large number of files.
What we can highlight is that the wireless connection is 802.11 n, a standard that is already present on all smartphones and tablets and can give us reliable speeds up to 37 MB per second. Do not always expect that brand because it will depend on the terminal you use, but it is a good thing that in Sandisk have not been confirmed with the 802.11g standard. Another interesting detail for WiFi connectivity: you can connect to Sandisk Connect from more than one mobile device at the same time.
Access to data through an application for iOS and Android
On computers, Sandisk Connect does not require extra setup or configuration. Connect the USB memory to the machine and ready, just like any other pendrive. What you can not do is use this application to connect to Sandisk Connect data wirelessly from a computer: if you want to access the device files from a desktop machine then you have to do it classic, connecting the USB and reading the data. Remember that while connected, the battery in the USB memory is charged.
It is on smartphones and tablets where there is the trick.You download the application dedicated to Sandisk Connect for iOS and Android, which is the only way you have to access the data from mobile devices. The process is simple: you press the button of the USB memory, you look for the WiFi that it has generated and you connect. Once you have done so, the application will automatically detect Sandisk Connect and access your data and files as in any folder.
The application alone is no wonder in terms of design or user experience, it simply fulfills its mission and integrates with the menus to share contents of iOS and Android. The big drawback is that to use the application you have to be connected to the WiFi generated by the Sandisk Connect, which has no internet access.
Therefore, as long as we access data from the USB memory using the mobile applications we are disconnected unless we share a connection in some other way (such as Bluetooth). It is, for me, the worst of Sandisk Connect and one of the reasons why it will generate more “laziness of use” among users. You can configure the pendrive to use a wireless network with connection, but only the effort to do so becomes another inconvenience.
This will make your use through the wireless network will reduce to a connect, get the files and disconnect as soon as possible to be able to recover the internet connection using the mobile data or the WiFi network of the place where you are. Knowing this, many will think of more comfortable alternatives in the cloud.