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Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 Multi-purpose Media Reader Review
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Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 Press Shot
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by Rob Williams on June 27, 2014 in Storage

There are mobile media readers, and then there’s Kingston’s MobileLite Wireless G2. When not serving files over Wi-Fi, it can accept a wired LAN connection to become a travel router, and it can also use its huge battery to help charge your mobile phone while you’re on-the-go. Who doesn’t love a device that can act as a jack-of-all-trades?

Introduction

When I met with Kingston at CES in 2011, the company showed me a product prototype that went on to “wow” me – despite it being rather simple in design. At the time, the product was codenamed MobiSX, but it became Wi-Drive for launch. We reviewed it later that year.

The reason Wi-Drive wowed me is because Kingston was offering iOS users a way to expand their storage. Let’s face it: Even phones with 32GB of storage space can be a bit limiting for the media-hungry user, so the ability to expand that storage outside of the device – without the cloud – was huge to me. It was clear that such devices wouldn’t be iOS-exclusive for long, or much less Kingston-exclusive.

Fast-forward to early 2013, when Kingston released the MobileLite Wireless, a device similar to Wi-Drive in that it gives mobile users access to data from an external device, without the need of a cord. That first-generation model was very well-received overall, and while the second-generation model looks similar on paper at quick glance, it proves itself to be a fantastic improvement.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 - Package Contents

In case the purpose of MobileLite is still not entirely clear, it’s best considered a mobile storage router. With it, you can plug memory cards or USB flash drives in, and then log into the MobileLite through a mobile device and access the storage on that connected media. If you happen to have the device with you but don’t need it for its usual purposes, you can instead use it to feed whatever battery-life it has left into one of your other mobile devices, like a phone or tablet.

The G2 offers one major feature the G1 doesn’t: It can act as a travel router. If you’re at a hotel, for example, you can plug the available Ethernet cable into the device, at which point it will begin serving Internet access to anyone connecting to it. This is one of those features that might not be used to often, but believe me, when you do need it, you’ll appreciate that it’s there.

As the top shot shows, the MobileLite Wireless G2 includes a microSD card adapter; in all, the device supports SD and microSD, and the “HC” and “XC” variants of each. It also includes a microUSB to USB cable, which allows you to charge the device through a computer. If you happen to have an AC adapter that allows you to plug a USB cable in (common for phones), you can use that as well.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 - Status LEDs and microUSB Connector

At the front of the MLWG2 are three status LEDs (charging, Wi-Fi, power-on), the power button, the microUSB port, and its branding (which is actually quite attractive). Kingston’s Redhead logo is found front and center on the top (albeit in a more suitable white color).

On the other side of the device is the Ethernet port, allowing you to use the device as a travel router. That feature helps make this MobileLite far more than just a reader, and it’s one feature I’m very glad Kingston decided to implement.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 - Wired LAN

At one of the ends is where the USB and memory storage plugs in. Being that the SD card I plugged in is pure black, it’s nearly impossible to see in this shot, but the same can’t be said about Kingston’s bright DataTraveler Mini 3.0 drive.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 - Connected Storage

Let’s get to testing the device out, shall we?

Page List:
Top

1. Introduction
2. Testing & Final Thoughts


  • xOptix78

    This would be mighty useful to Nexus owners, who have been without a way to expand storage aside from putting their pictures and videos in the Cloud. I got mine in December, and last month had to clear them out due to space issues.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      I find it ridiculous that the Nexus 5 doesn’t have a microSD slot. I can see it on my dinky little Moto G, but the Nexus 5 isn’t a slouch…

      • http://Techgage.com/ Matthew Harris

        I’ve got a Nexus 7 and it lacks an SD slot too. Stupid move on ASUS’ or Google’s parts if you ask me.

        • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

          I’m guessing it’s Google’s decision, but I’m not sure the logic behind it. It’s not like there’s a premium Nexus 7 you can buy that has a microSD slot. The Tegra Note 7 costs the same as the Nexus 7, but has a microSD slot -and- a stylus (it has a smaller resolution, though).

          • http://Techgage.com/ Matthew Harris

            My 7 is first gen with the low res display so the Tegra is probably in the same ballpark.

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            I had that one until I moved over to the TN7. It was a fantastic tablet, and the only hit against it really is the lack of an SD slot. Higher resolutions on tablets don’t do much for me, I’m fine with 1280×800 on one of that size. When you zoom into text it still looks absolutely crisp.

    • PaulDriver

      USB OTG Card Reader and Nexus Media Importer.

      Id 10t problems all over these comments.

      I use a USB OTG hub/card reader that has a microusb power port on it, I can read any memory/storage device you hand me. The optional to use power port makes reading hard drives possible as well.

      The reason for removing MicroSD is the crap quality of 90% of the SD cards out there, the the SD card 4 bit interface. Device stability is greatly improved when running from the harder/better/faster/stronger embedded flash built into the device, and as many app crash when inputs are corrupted eliminating the SD card for even data storage makes sense for a product support / percived product quality vewpoint (few crashes = higher quality )

      • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

        “Id 10t problems all over these comments.”

        I haven’t heard that one in at least a decade; cheers for the nostalgia hit!

        “The reason for removing MicroSD is the crap quality of 90% of the SD cards out there, the the SD card 4 bit interface.”

        If most SD cards are crap as you say, then it’s not going to matter where they’re plugged into; the phone, this Kingston reader, or your OTG adapter. Of all three, I’d rather have the choice of plugging the crap card into the phone itself.

  • Ajzen

    This looks quite similar to the RAVPower 5-in-1 filehub. What’s the difference between the two?

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      They both have an extremely similar featureset. The main difference I see right off is that Kingston’s has a 33% larger battery. I also couldn’t speak to RAVPower’s mobile app.

      • Ajzen

        Thanks. Maybe you can review the RAVPower and make a comparison between them?