Review: SanDisk Connect Wireless

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With entertainment streaming options like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go and the like, choices for media on the go is limitless. The data storage mavens at SanDisk has expanded on the market with their new device the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick which packs a big punch in the way of taking the media you want for consuming whenever you want. I got to take SanDisk’s new baby out for a test drive and it is undoubtedly the best experience you can get for the price.

SanDisk Connect is flash drive that doubles as a mini media streaming machine. You plug it into your computer, dump anything from music, photos, documents or video on it. After you’re done, you connect a phone or tablet through WiFi and stream what you saved to up to three devices. All it takes is a free iTunes or Google Play app to access the goodies.

On a recent trip to see the in-laws, I brought it along, pre-loaded with movies, TV shows and a ton of kids programming to keep the little one occupied. The biggest SanDisk Connect unit has a whopping 200GB of space which is way more than enough for binge watching. It was a total blessing as I could just turn it on and open a folder on my son’s hand-me-down iPad. During the flight, lil’ man watched his favorite show episodes and I got to catch up on some anime I’d been saving for the ride. It’s perfect for flights when you don’t want to shell out the money for the airline’s overpriced, under performing WiFi. The battery life on the Connect Wireless Stick is amazing for such a small device as it performed the entire four hour flight including a layover. By the time we got to our destination, it still had about another 45 minutes of juice left.

As awesome as the the Connect is, there are few things to be aware of. Being that it’s a new device, the app isn’t as great as it could be. The built-in video player is just a bit more than basic so it doesn’t support subtitles. There is the option of opening a video in the installed player of your choice but that involves downloading the file from the device which can take longer than desired. I tried to do this a number of times after which the connection crapped out or my patience ran out. I noticed this more so using Apple devices than Android. If you’re planning on viewing any super high resolution videos forget about it. Anything over 480p becomes a problem, you might get away with a 720p stream but to be safe, keep your videos on the lower scale for the best results. Where the unit really shines though, is photo back-up. As a snap-happy parent, being able to move pictures from my mobile phone to the Connect is a godsend.

Also, there’s no way to access your media from another device while it’s plugged into a computer. The Connect goes into charging mode and the only way to get to your stuff is through the computer it’s in. Like most flash drives, Wireless Connect has a detachable plastic cap which is really easy to lose if you’re not careful. A pair of cargo pants is really useful in that area but I would’ve liked to see some sort of tethering for the cap or maybe one of those sliding connectors a lot of flash drives use.

Regardless of my nitpicking, SanDisk has a great gadget in the Wireless Connect and I expect to put to a lot of use this summer. While there are other more expensive options out there, the portability and ease of use of the SanDisk Connect makes it a must-have for traveling.

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is available now and comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 200GB sizes.

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