With everyone living life in the fast lane these days it is of utmost importance to always have your data at your fingertips, and while that 8GB of storage on your iPhone seemed like a great buy at the time, maybe you filled that up and are now looking for an external solution.
The wireless storage market is exploding right now, everyone from Kingston with the Wi-Drive to Patriot with the AERO, has some sort of wireless storage product on the market and now we can add one more to that list; ADATA.
ADATA has been in the business of making flash memory and storage products for the last decade, you will find everything from high-end XPG solid state drives to accessories like the AE400 in their portfolio.
Taking a quick peek at the scope of delivery, we find the DashDrive Air packaged alongside a micro USB cable and user guide for your reading pleasure.
The first thing you may notice when holding the air is its size, or lack thereof. Measuring in at 3.1 x 2.3 inches the DashDrive is very sleek and small enough to fit in your shirt pocket.
The side or bottom of the AE400 carries the I/O connections. To the left a standard USB 2.0 port for charging your mobile devices and utilizing the USB storage option to the right micro USB for charging the Air itself.
On the flip side we have an SD slot that supports SD, SDHC and SDXC with FAT32 and exFAT file systems.
Opening up the AE400 to peek at the internals we found a single PCB controlling the works. To the left the SD card slot is secured to the PCB while the wireless controller is centered. While not shown in the above image the wireless chipset used is the Ralink RT5350F capable of 150mbps.
Under the PCB you will find a massive 5000mAh Li-Poly battery. A battery of this size should be capable of charging an iPhone twice.
Plugging in the AE400 to my Lumia 822 I was greeting by a musical note letting me know my phone was charging. In the end it took the DashDrive Air one hour to fully charge my battery from 50%.
Available in the Google Play store and Apple App Store, the DashDrive Air Elite mobile application allows you to watch videos, open documents and listen to music stored on the AE400.
Opening up the app we are greeted with the ADATA bird. The app only takes a few seconds to initialize on my HTC Incredible.
The first menu we went to was the settings, just to see what we could change. As you can see there is a plethora options available.
The first option we looked into was the power saving features, which allow the device to be shut down automatically after and idle timeout period has been reached.
The internet access menu allows you to connect the AE400 to an existing wireless network as a pass-through so you are not interrupting your Facebook activities while connected to the DashDrive.
The security menu allows for wireless encryption to be setup. However, as you can see above this menu was completely irrelevant and did not allow me to change anything.
The firmware menu allows for just that; a firmware update to the AE400.
Going back to the root menu system you can see the layout of the application. Everything from music to documents are all categorized and made easily accessible from here.
Opening the "all files" menu you can see the raw contents of your SD card.
After using the DashDrive Air for the past three days I have to come to some conclusions. First there is a slight issue when transferring large amounts of data to the device wirelessly. I had several instances where the device would lock up and eventually crash, the workaround for this would be using the USB transfer function or add the data to your SD or USB flash drive before plugging it in to the AE400.
As far as looks go the AE400 is perfect and would look great next to any tablet or smartphone, the additional charging function is great and as my wife would tell you is a godsend for her 4th generation iPhone that can no longer hold a charge past five hours.
Streaming video from the DashDrive Air was a pleasant experience, but could also use some work. We were able to stream several 720p videos without issue, but when attempting to stream 1080p we ran into a few clicks, skips and bumps leaving me wanting more.
To get yourself a DashDrive Air from ADATA you will set yourself back $79.99.