updated 08:30 pm EDT, Tue July 26, 2011
Can also be used as wired portable drive
RAM and accessory maker Kingston is offering a new portable flash-based drive called the Wi-Drive aimed specifically at users of Apple's iOS devices, using a built-in wireless 802.11g/n connection that supports up to three users and in effect gives owners up to 32GB more storage capacity, supporting various iOS media and file formats and allowing Windows-based iPad users the freedom to view content without having use auto-sync.
The Wi-Drive uses a companion app for iOS devices (free) to access the contents of the drive wirelessly (the unit offers up to four hours of continuous use on its battery), and users can set up sharing to up to two other users with a password. For example, a user could share a collection of photos and videos taken on a recent trip with two friends (up to 30 feet away) and each could view the album on their own devices at their own pace rather than all having to view them on a single screen.
The unit also supports common Microsoft Office and word-processing file formats as well as PDF, making it a good option for business users who have to store large slideshows or quantities of documents on their portable device. It handles both classic and new Office formats for Excel, Word and Powerpoint.
The drive also includes a mini-USB to USB cable for charging and uploading content from their PC or Mac. It comes in 16GB or 32GB capacities, can use WEP or WPA security, and supports most iOS devices from the iPhone 3G onwards (the app requires iOS 4.2 or later). Pricing for the Wi-Drive is $130 for the 16GB and $175 for the 32GB model. It's compatible with Windows XP (SP3) or later, Mac OS X 10.5 or better, and Linux v2.6 and higher.