Published on June 17th, 2014 | by Greg0
Canvio AeroMobile: Wireless Solid State Means Access, Anywhere
Wireless hard drives are an interesting new product category, offering portable storage for on-the-go users, while allowing multiple devices to be connected simultaneously. With the ubiquity of smarthphones and tablets, it’s surprising that there aren’t better ways to backup items above and beyond the cloud. After all, cloud storage might be simple (and inexpensive, typically) but it carries with it plenty of risks along with the fact that it’s pretty slow.
The Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile drive is travel-friendly and offers lots of capacity- 128 GB, enough for just about anyone. You can save whole libraries of photos, or bring entire seasons of TV shows with you on the plane or train. Weighing in a a svelte 120 grams, you can slide it into a pocket and barely notice it. And with the SD card slot, you can easily grab pictures from your digital camera, or add additional storage when you need. It’s a smart, handy companion with a pretty big brain, and it’s zippy as well. Only the plastic casing and the fairly short cabling that you have to carry separately kept us from loving it.
You’ll want to download the free app for your mobile devices so that you can access the files and save/grab/stream from your drive. Thanks to the solid-state drive rather than older technology, transfers are fast and the drive is more durable. When connected to the Canvio AeroMobile via wireless, we were able to achieve file transfers for up to 7MB per second during reads and approximately 5MB/s on sustained writes, enough for transferring documents and pictures or even streaming HD videos. As with most similar products, the AeroMobile can also serve as a wireless bridge to share your connection, and we were especially impressed with it’s performance here, with devices showing online SpeedTest results similar to those of being directly connected to our router. The rechargeable battery life is surprisingly good- eight or more hours with regular use- but it doesn’t seem to turn itself off or automatically go into sleep mode to save battery when not in active use. Charging is handled via USB, though the included cord is tiny, and it’s a fairly special cable that won’t work with your other adapters.
The software and user interface aren’t great, though it is easy and straightforward to browse files, perhaps the most important part of the app. However, we did have some issues with the backup utility- it seemed to stall or freeze up, and took a few tries before we were able to get a successful attempt from our Android devices. Unlike some, you cannot use the battery in the Toshiba Canvio to charge your other devices- there is no power output. But for solid state performance, a nifty SD card reader, and great battery life, the Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile offers a pretty great feature set. Available now, expect to spend around $140 online and in stores.