It doesn't take long to fill up a 16GB or 32GB iPad with stuff, but what do you do when that data storage capacity is reached? Apple has not opted for an upgradeable storage option with the iPad, for reasons which escape me to be honest, so if you find yourself hitting the limits you may think your only option is to discard data or take the plunge and upgrade to the 64GB iPad. The former is far from ideal, the latter far from cheap. However, there is an alternative in the shape of the Kingston Digital Wi-Drive which goes on sale in August.
The Wi-Drive is, essentially, a combination of portable storage and local user MiFi device. About the same size (121.5mm x 61.8mm x 9.8mm) as an iPhone, and finished in a similar glossy black casing, the Wi-Drive is compatible with your iPad, iPhone (3G/3GS and 4) as well as the iPod Touch and even comes with an accompanying Wi-Drive app. It adds either 16GB or 32GB of additional data storage capability to your iOS device, data which can be wirelessly shared between a maximum of three users within a range of about 30 feet.
It's certainly easy enough to use: dragging and dropping of files from computer to Wi-Drive via USB cable is the name of the game, followed by downloading the Wi-Drive app (which is free from the App Store) and then connecting your iPad to the device. The Wi-Drive uses 802.11g/n wireless with WPA security to share the stored data between up to three separate local iOS devices and a rechargeable battery should provide three or four hours of usage without too much hassle.
The Wi-Drive may solve the ease of updating data storage problem but with the 16GB version selling for $130 and the 32GB model $175 it does little to address the cost issue of adding more storage space. Sure, the ability to stream HD video and other multimedia files to multiple iOS devices at the same time is cool, but you can't do much more than serve content.
Also, it's not unique by any means, and there are already higher capacity devices out there (although admittedly physically bigger ones) such as the Seagate GoFlex which provides an additional 500GB of storage space for around the $200 mark. And then there's the cloud which will be good enough as additional take-anywhere storage for most people, and some even come free of charge...
You can see a video of the Wi-Drive in action here: [youtube]_L1GIXk1JdE[/youtube]
I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .
Anyone else think that this is a retro step in terms of carrying more, rather than less, stuff around with you? I thought the whole point of smartphones, tablets and the like was to reduce the gadget clutter not increase it...