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SanDisk Connect announced: USB key? Wireless media hub? Both!

We’ve grown accustomed to the assortment of USB memory drives and microSD cards that SanDisk has been pumping out over the last few years, but aside from slotting some extra storage into the back of a smartphone or tablet, we’ve never really seen a product truly tailored for mobile users, until now.

The SanDisk Connect range aims to bring content sharing to connected devices without the need for a computer and we’ve already had our first encounter with the debut product of this new range: the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive.

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This innocuous black stick, which resembles any run-of-the-mill flash drive, measures about 70mm long and holds some considerable weight as well as a distinctive brushed metal WiFi icon on the front. The reason behind this is that the Connect Wireless Flash Drive actually allows users to share content via WiFi Direct, so that they don’t have to rely on an existing shared network arrangement. The stick itself houses a battery capable of offering up four hours of constant video streaming and can fully charge via its USB 2.0 connection in two hours.

SanDisk has also created a web interface and launched free Android and iOS apps so that users can interface with the stick whilst it’s broadcasting. By default there’s allocated space for pictures, music, documents and videos and up to eight users can access the stick’s contents simultaneously. What really impresses us however, is that three users can stream 720p HD video content to their respective devices at the same time, lag free.

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The stick comes in two flavours, a 16GB and a 32GB option, although the difference falls to a microSD card slotted into the side, meaning you can swap out cards as you see fit (maximum supported capacity is 32GB). The 16GB model retails for £41.90, while the 32GB option sells for £49.90 and both are available to pick up from Amazon UK. The iOS app works with devices running iOS 5 and up, with the Android app being supported by 2.3 Gingerbread devices and newer.

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The second piece of the connected puzzle on track to arrive later this year is the SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive, which takes the storage and streaming capabilities found in the Wireless Flash Drive to new heights.

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