Kingston Wi-Drive review

Wireless storage for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch – but at a price

Kingston Wi-Drive
Add up to 32GB of storage to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the Kingston Wi-Drive

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Kingston wi-drive

If you're constantly on the go and want to add extra storage to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch without lugging around too much extra weight, the Kingston Wi-Drive could be for you.

With an Android app due out later this year, and access from other smartphones and tablets possible via a web browser, it isn't limited to iOS, though you do need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to alter any settings.

Although the forthcoming app improvements will bring a huge amount of (vital) new functionality to the Wi-Drive – not least the ability to open files in other apps on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch– we're struggling to think of many scenarios where we could see it becoming indispensable.

Yes it's a great way to share files in meetings, or to allow several people to watch the same video without needing to copy it to their individual device. And if you want extra storage but don't want to spend several hundred pounds on a new device or are tied into a contract, it is a viable option.

But because your files are accessed through the Wi-Drive app, getting at them can feel a little convoluted, and you can't integrate them with other things on your device, such as your music or movies.

Although this is largely down to limitations of iOS rather than the drive, it's frustrating nonetheless.

Ultimately, although £89 may not seem much in absolute terms, you can't get away from the fact that it's a lot of money to add a relatively small amount of storage to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

We liked

The unit is lovely: beautifully thin and light, meaning it'll easily slip into your pocket alongside your iPhone, or into a bag with your iPad. We also like how you can get online while you're using the Wi-Drive: in today's constantly connected world, this is a must.

And the fact that lots of people can hook up to the device simultaneously makes it a useful way of sharing a document in a meeting or letting several people watch a video without having to transfer it to each of their devices.

We disliked

The Kingston Wi-Drive app, which you use to access your files and alter the settings, currently lacks the sort of finesse you get in good iOS apps.

While there's an update due soon that promises to bring key features, including the ability to open files in other apps on your iOS device, we'd like to see more polish added to create a smoother experience.

Oh, and did we mention we think it's a tad on the expensive side?

Final verdict

For a limited number of situations – essentially, times when you want to get at the same file from multiple devices – the Kingston Wi-Drive is a good idea. Although the app is currently a bit mediocre, pending updates mean it will get better with time.

But ultimately, you come back to the inescapable fact that it doesn't offer that much additional storage for your money. The £89 you pay to add 16GB is a big step towards a new, potentially higher-capacity iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. And if you've quickly filled up the storage on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, 16GB or 32GB isn't going to last you long.

If you do need to add lots of capacity to your Apple device and don't need the slimline portability of the Kingston Wi-Drive, there are better value options out there. But if you want the ultimate in portable storage for your device, this could well be it.