SanDisk unveils wireless flash drives that hold up to 64GB

The new Media drive can stream up to five different HD movies at once to multiple devices

SanDisk today announced a line of wireless flash drives that can store up to 64GB of data.

Connect Wireless Flash Drive
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

The new drives include the Connect Wireless Flash Drive -- a thumb drive -- and the Connect Wireless Media Drive, a larger, but still pocket-sized storage device. The Connect Wireless Flash Drive comes in 16GB and 32GB capacities; the Connect Wireless Media Drive comes in 32GB and 64GB capacities.

The Connect Wireless Flash drive is 3.07-in. x 1.04-in. x 0.54-in. The Connect Wireless Media Drive is 2.6-in. x 2.6-in. x 0.52-in.

The Connect Wireless drive family allows users to not only store but share and stream files across multiple mobile devices. They offer up to eight simultaneous device connections and three media streams, and support separate streams of 720p video content at 2MB/sec to three or five devices concurrently (for the Flash Drive and Media Drive, respectively).

According to a SanDisk spokesman, video streaming performance isn't affected by multiple streams because device limits are set at a point that supports the streams without degradation. Devices can connect to the drives up to 150 feet away.

The Connect Wireless drives work with all iOS and Android devices, and Kindle Fire tablets, as well as PC and Mac computers. The drives are compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Mac OS 10.6 or higher

Movies, music, photos and documents can be loaded onto the wireless drives by simply dragging and dropping the files, which can then be accessed via the SanDisk Connect apps. Those apps are available for download from the App Store, Google Play Store and the Amazon Appstore for Android.

The drives contain an internal router, so no external router or Internet connection is needed to stream media. In order to use the drives, mobile device users simply download SanDisk's Connect App.

The drives run on lithium-ion batteries. A single charge provides up to four hours of wireless streaming, with streaming data protected by Wi-Fi Password Protection (WPA2).

"With the new SanDisk Connect product line, we're raising the bar on what consumers can expect from personal storage," said Dinesh Bahal, vice president for product marketing for SanDisk. "We combined the portability of small flash memory storage devices with the convenience of wireless streaming and sharing functionality."

Connect Wireless Media Drive
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive

According to SanDisk, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive is the smallest wireless USB flash drive available on the market today. Users can simultaneously access photos, movies, music and documents on their drive from multiple devices around the house or while mobile.

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive is being pitched as a device for mobile entertainment storage. Users can use it to transport and view content such as high-definition movies, videos, music and photos.

While larger than SanDisk's Wireless Flash Drive, the Wireless Media Drive is still a pocket-sized device designed for portability, and offers up to eight continuous streaming hours on a single charge. The drive comes with SDHC/SDXC memory card slots, which allows users to store or share more content, or view photos on a mobile device from a camera's memory card. The media drive wirelessly connects up to eight mobile devices and can stream up to five different HD movies at once.

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is available in 16GB or 32GB capacities for $49.99 and $59.99, respectively. In the U.S., it is available for preorder on Amazon.com, Newegg.com and Micro Center, with availability at Best Buy starting in August. It will also be available for preorder on Amazon.com in Germany and UK.

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive has a retail price of $79.99 for 32GB or $99.99 for 64GB storage capacity. It is available for preorder in the U.S. on Amazon.com, with availability in Germany and UK in the fourth quarter of 2013.

This article, SanDisk unveils wireless flash drives that hold up to 64GB, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at  @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

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