The latest trend making its way across the storage planes is the incorporation of portable hard drive tech with built-in wireless functionality. We’ve already seen the offerings from Kingston with their Wi-Drive and Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite and the latest to make the cut is from Transcend with their StoreJet Cloud. Here’s a closer look.
The design is as basic as it gets. It’s no more attractive than ears on your head – it’s designed for a purpose and not to appeal to your aesthetic values. Having said all that, the StoreJet Cloud isn’t an ugly piece of hardware either. Simply put it’s a rectangular block of storage space. It features a mini USB port (2.0) on one side for PC connectivity and charging and Power switch on the other side to activate the built-in Wi-Fi module. Wi-Fi and the power symbol are located at one corner on top to indicate their values when activated, not unlike any of the other devices in this segment.
Mini USB for charging and PC connectivity
Transcend has also thrown in a little pouch to carry it around in and it also comes in handy to prevent the top-level glossy finish from getting tarnished. A great asset is the fact that the StoreJet Cloud is extremely lightweight. It’s lighter than some high-end handsets at just 90g.
The 32GB drive is formatted in FAT32 making it easy to read by virtually any and all devices. Using the device is extremely simple and requires no major set-up. For iOS or Android devices, simply download the corresponding free app – StoreJet Cloud from the Apple AppStore or the Google Play Store, respectively and you’re all set. Plug-in your device to the PC via USB to transfer your files, switch it on, connect your handset/tablet to the Wi-Fi link, open the app and start streaming.
Simple and easy to use UI
While the device is switched on, you won't be able to access the drive portion, if you’re connected to PC. With a range of access to a total of 5 devices, simultaneously, you’re well covered. Of course if you’re hooked up to the StoreJet Cloud, internet connectivity on your mobile device will cease to function. The odd part is that although there is a Bridge mode option available in the app settings on the phone, it refused to work. After selecting the appropriate options via this setting and entering our key, the app takes about 30 seconds to reboot, but reconnects to the house Wi-Fi. That means you can’t access the drive and will need to reconnect it via the handset’s Wi-Fi settings.
The StoreJet Cloud application is simple and uncluttered for both Android and iOS devices. It allows for access to and from the drive via your mobile. It’s an open connection, but, if you wish you can create a password security option for the link. Encryption settings include – WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPA-Mixed. Files that are on your SD card or mobile phone drive can be uploaded onto the StoreJet Clouds disk space and vice versa, naturally. The only issue is that it has no option for multiple selection of files or folder selection. It also has direct access to the camera via the app itself, so you can capture and store pictures directly to the drive.
Bridging didn't work out too well
The built in media player is designed to handle a large array of formats –
There’s no support for FLAC in the music section or MKV, FLV or WMA for videos. The audio player is simple with no frills, except for a shuffle and repeat option.
The StoreJet Cloud supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. In terms of streaming, it fared reasonably well when it came to streaming SD content, but HD files in 720p and up were a bit laggy. A silver lining here is that the player supports 1080p in AVI quite well, but will require a few seconds to buffer. Audio streaming across platforms and devices was smooth and consistent. High resolution images rendered in a couple of seconds and the app allows you to swipe between pictures just like you would in your gallery on the phone.
HD video playback works well on supported devices
A 10.7MB file took 17.3 seconds to copy from our handset’s SD card to the drive and 16.8 seconds in the reverse direction. In our test lab file transfer test, here’s what we found –
PC to Drive
200MB (Multiple files) – 10.5 MB/s
200MB (Single File) – 12.90 MB/s
Drive to PC
200MB (Multiple files) – 14.38 MB/s
200MB (Single File) – 14.7 MB/s
Drive to Mobile
194MB – Single File – 0.76 MB/s
194MB – Single File – 0.51 MB/s
Wired transfer speeds for files going back and forth proved to be quite good; however, wireless transfers from the drive to a handset and back were uncomfortably slow.
The built-in battery allows for non-stop streaming of SD video content for up to 4 hours. That’s not altogether impressive, but quite decent. You’re looking at at least 2 full length movies, not of the Titanic, LOTR varieties, though. The time will also drastically vary depending on the quality of the video, i.e. HD or SD and how many devices are connected at the same time. You could also just keep the device plugged in to a wall socket or PC to charge and stream away for as long as your mobile or tablet can hold out.
Designed for iOS and Android alike
The Bottom Line
Transcend’s StoreJet Cloud is available in two capacities – 32GB and 64GB and priced at Rs.6,599 and Rs.9,599 respectively, both featuring a 2 year limited warranty. While that may seem like a good deal, you do have a couple of other alternatives available that will overshadow the StoreJet. For one, the Kingston Wi-Drive is significantly sleeker and just as compact, but offers only 16GB of storage for about Rs.4,000, while the Seagate GoFlex Satellite with a ton of features offers 500GB for Rs.10,900. For Rs.1,500 more you’re more than tripling your storage space and getting a little more like eSATA and USB 3.0 support.
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