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MobileLite Wireless Review: A Mobile Cloud For Packed iDevices

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Kingston is no slouch when it comes to all things memory. It has built its brand around storage, be it randomly accessed memory, or more traditional USB drives and solid state devices. Kingston has recently entered into the mobile cloud storage business with the Wii-Drive, but has since upgraded the line with the MobileLite Wireless, which is a USB/memory card reader for smartphones and tablets.

The MobileLite is essentially a portable cloud drive that can be accessed remotely through an app that resides on your iDevice, or Android device, to share files between the unit itself and your piece of tech. Its main purposes is to allow you to keep your phone or tablet as lean as possible in regards to how many miscellaneous files are stored on it. For iDevice users the MobileLite Wireless is the only way to increase the amount of files you can take with you due to the lack of USB flash storage support, and the 64 GB cap on capacity. What makes the MobileLite even more impressive is the fact that it can stream content to three devices at the same time, and each device can be streaming a separate file. That’s not all of the MobileLite’s tricks though, as it also serves as a battery charger for devices that support USB charging.

The MobileLite Wireless unit supports both USB and SD memory
The MobileLite Wireless unit supports both USB and SD memory

It’s safe to say that this $59.99 mobile cloud storage solution isn’t short on features, but what really matters is how well they work. We were lucky enough to receive a review unit of the MobileLite Wireless memory reader, so it was put through the paces at EB’s labs to see just how it performs. Our tests were done with an iPhone 5, the MobileLite Wireless unit, Kingston’s 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive, and the free iOS app. The unit was evaluated for its merits in providing wireless storage to an iDevice, as well as its ability to charge said device in an emergency setting.

MobileLite Wireless – Cloud storage and streaming features

The most impressive aspects of the MobileLite Wireless (MLW) memory reader is its ability to serve content to multiple devices at the same time, and its ability to free up precious space on an iOS enabled device. To test its ability to stream content to multiple devices we had an iPad and an iPhone 5 connected to it at the same time while each device played a movie file. Both devices showed no signs of lag while watching the small movie files, and each could scrub through the clip without delay. The data stream only began to stutter after the two iDevices were moved about 50 feet away from the MLW unit. Quite frankly, the way this device is meant to be used shouldn’t entail situations where you’re far away from its location, so the degraded streaming speeds shouldn’t be an issue.

The MWL is roughly the same length as an iPhone 5, but much thicker.
The MWL is roughly the same length as an iPhone 5, but much thicker.

Imagine those long car rides where every passenger wants to watch a different movie, but there’s only one device to watch them on. With the MLW in tow up to three members riding in the car could watch whatever they want, and the media wouldn’t even have to be stored locally on their phone or tablet. The MLW with a 1TB USB drive, or a smaller high-capacity USB drive attached to it could be loaded with a household’s entire digital movie and/or song library and taken on the road, effectively providing the most amount of entertainment options for those long boring trips. Best of all, the MLW can display DRM content, as long as the device streaming it has the same Apple ID as the file being played.

Multiple streaming is great, but the MLW is also a fantastic way to keep lower capacity iDevices free of files that aren’t used all the time. These days a 16 GB iPhone 5 just isn’t enough to hold all of the rich media files that are available for apps, games, movies, and other types of files used for entertainment or work. Rather than constantly syncing with iTunes to move files back and forth from a Mac/PC to the iDevice, the MLW can act as a single point of storage for all of your files that you want to bring with you, but don’t want on your phone taking up its memory.

The easy to use app and setup of the device make it a simple process to store and view files on your iDevice and the MLW unit. The one downside is that the app only allows you to transfer files from your iDevice’s camera roll to the MLW unit, so it can’t back up your device’s music, iTunes movies, and other data that doesn’t reside in the camera roll. Files can be saved from the MLW’s storage to the iDevice’s storage, but all file types outside of images can only be viewed from within the MLW app, and not on the device’s native apps for movies and music.

The app interface is clean and simple to navigate
The app interface is clean and simple to navigate

Regardless of the saving limitations on an iDevice, the ability of the MLW to free up storage, as well as offer multiple streams to multiple devices is well worth the cost of using its app to view non-image files. The streaming works flawlessly as long as you’re not too far from the MLW unit, and the ability to have unlimited cloud based storage at your fingertips is a godsend for iDevice users running out of free space. Just don’t bank on using the MLW on road trips or movie watching sessions that last longer than 4 hours, because its battery seems to die out after that timeframe even though it’s rated for 5 hours of battery life.

MobileLite Wireless – Emergency charger feature

Almost all iDevice, or Android device power users have run out of juice at least once when it was sorely needed. Thanks to the MLW’s ability to act as an emergency charger, this situation can be prevented. Using its built-in Li-ion 1810mAh 3.8V battery, the MLW can charge a waning device with enough juice to get it back up and running for another Instagram photo shoot.

Throughout our tests with the battery charging feature the MLW always proved to provide enough spare battery power to bring the iPhone 5 unit we used back to life. It can provide a boost of 30-40 percent more battery power in about an hour of being connected to an iPhone 5. Some tests even saw it provide larger battery gains, but on average the 30-40 percent number should be used for an hours worth of emergency charging. There’s no doubt it would be able to bring a completely dead phone back to life either.

Any device that charges through USB can be plugged into the MLW
Any device that charges through USB can be plugged into the MLW

One odd occurrence would appear while using this feature of the MLW unit though, which is its tendency to turn itself off after the device connected to it reached a 100% charge. Without fail the MLW would shut down every time the iPhone 5 got to 97% charged. This could be relegated to the phone we used for testing, but it was a repeated issue on more than one occasion.

The other downside to the emergency charger feature is the fact that it taps the battery power of the MLW, so if you need it for storage purposes on top of charging its internal charge will drain rapidly. For the sake of emergencies it’s still a great feature to have.

Final Verdict

For its price and feature set Kingston’s MobileLite Wireless memory reader is a solid addition to any tech-nut’s utility belt. This is especially true for iDevice users due to the storage limits imposed on the devices by Apple. Streaming multiple types of content to three different devices is a great luxury to have in a home infested with geeks and hi-tech items. Having nearly unlimited storage space is also a bonus for users who don’t like eating up their phone or tablet’s internal memory. The ability to back up camera roll files is also a plus for lazy iDevice users who don’t always sync their precious photos to their Mac or PC. To top it off, the MobileLite Wireless can even step in and save the day with some spare battery power for those times when you find your portable device won’t make it through another busy day.

Head on down below for an in-depth look at the MobileLite Wireless’s specs, and additional images of the unit and its app. Based on our time with it, we wholeheartedly recommend it to users looking for a way to bring more of their content with them without sacrificing precious built-in storage space.

[schema type=”review” name=”MobileLite Wireless | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: Mobile cloud storage, Multi-device streaming, Simple to use | The Not so Awesome: Limited range, 4 hour battery life” rev_name=”MobileLite Wireless” rev_body=”Kingston’s MobileLite Wireless is the perfect solution for smartphone and tablet users looking for a way to bring more of their favorite content with them on the go. Its ability to stream to three devices at once is nothing to balk at, and it can also provide an emergency charge for those times when juice is low. If you’ve been needing a solution for the limited storage on iDevices, the MobileLite Wireless is just what you’re looking for.” author=”Matt Heywood” pubdate=”2013-08-31″ user_review=”8.5″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]

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MobileLite Wireless Specs

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Tags : KingstonTech ReviewThe Cloud
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he's not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB's Star Wars Time podcast show.