The Kingston Wi-Drive: The Wireless SSD You Can Probably Do Without

Meet the Kingston Wi-Drive, a wireless solid state drive (SSD) that provides a little extra storage space for your smart phone or tablet — without any annoying cables to get in the way.

It does more than just share disk space: it can stream 720p video and other files, including H.264 video, MPEG-4, Motion-JPEG, AAC, MP3, Audible, Apple Lossless, A IFF, WAV, Microsoft Office, iWork, PDF, and JPG, BMP, and PNG images, with up to four devices at the same time. At the moment the Wi-Drive supports iOS devices, but an Android version is in the works and should hit the street sooner rather than later.

mpressive stuff, but there are a couple of potential deal-breakers: The battery life is only four hours and it doesn’t really give users all that much more space  — just 16GB or 32GB. It is like Kingston designed it to be small and expensive at the expense of functionality. Solid State Drives offer two advantages: They are fast and they require very little power. For portable wireless devices the speed is not important — the wireless connection is not fast enough to really make a difference. It allows a good deal more bang for your battery but less bang for your buck and that is reflected in the price tag — at $130 for 16GB and $175 for 32GB it is a little pricey.

This author cannot help but feel that Kingston went the wrong way with the Wi-Drive. Seagate went the other way: Its battery-powered portable hard disk offers 500GB for $200. Neither solution is perfect, but the Seagate model looks good and is still small enough to not be a burden.

At this stage the Kingston Wi-Drive looks like a bit of a miss — but it offers an interesting glimpse at the future of portable storage. Make no mistake, the wire will be cut and prices will fall — we just need to wait for a few more manufacturers to get into the game.