I’m sure this is the tiniest product I’ve ever reviewed!
However, it’s one of my favorite pieces of tech I’ve ever parted with cash for, so I would like to share it with you.
I was doing some traveling and relied heavily on my Google Nexus 7 (2013) to keep me entertained. I needed something where I could entertain myself when there was no WiFi available. As an Android device, obviously, you’re supposed to save the movies you’ve purchased on Google Play onto your device.
Cool story bro. But when you have all your apps, music, books etc, there’s not exactly much device storage left for movies and TV shows. Especially inconvenient on the likes of the Nexus 7, which doesn’t have any SD card slot for extending its storage. Awkward.
I needed a solution for this.
It was actually a colleague who alerted me to the existence of this Sandisk USB drive.
The first thing that attracted me to it was the fact that it has a regular USB on one side, and a micro-USB on the other. The idea is that you can put stuff from your PC onto the drive with the regular sized USB, and plug into your tablet or phone with the micro USB side to access the stuff you put on it from your PC.
It sounded like exactly what I needed.
That was just too much clever, so I promptly got my hands on one.
The first thing that struck me when I got it was how small it was. I think I’d underestimated that, and it concerned me. I have a preference for larger things because I lose stuff. I’m just one of those people.
It would be fine if it weighed something, but obviously it’s a USB stick, so of course, it doesn’t.
For someone like me, that just makes it a very lossable thing.
I noticed that there was a little loop on the middle section of plastic, which would be useful for attaching it to my keys, so I figured that might be OK, but it did seem a little bit flimsy and in an awkward spot.
It seemed sensible to have a trial run in the safety of my home to understand how it worked before taking it out on the road with me.
I stuck it into my PC and put a couple of movies on it in AVI format. It was no problem – it was literally any other USB stick.
Plugging it from there into my tablet was a different thing though. Namely, because my tablet didn’t recognize it and wouldn’t read it. I checked online for ideas, and there were all kinds of suggestions for such things, most of which revolved around rooting the tablet.
Now, I’m good enough to write reviews and put them on websites, but playing with hardware like that is something I’m not comfortable with.
Thankfully, after a little more digging, it turned out it was as simple as installing a free app. There are a bunch of such apps available. I opted for USB Media Explorer. I couldn’t tell you why – I think it’s as simple as “I liked the look of it.” Shame on me for being so superficial!
Navigating through the app to get to the movies was as easy as any other file navigation system.
A bothersome thing was that my AVI files wouldn’t just play, and I needed to download a further app – VLC for Android – to be able to play them.
It did work, and with a set of headphones, I was ready to watch movies on the road.
Stores 7,200+ photos at 10 megapixels
Stores 320+ minutes of video shot at 1080HD
Stores 8,000+ songs
I had a very specific purpose for getting this Sandisk USB drive. Although the extra apps I needed to download were a pain at the time, I had to be realistic about the fact that it took about two minutes max to find and install them. In the context of what I needed it for and how much use I expect from it, that’s really not a big deal.
I’ve done a bunch of traveling with it and my tablet now, and it’s been so wonderful. From buses with no WiFi to planes with broken video systems, it’s been a life-saver!
In terms of technical functionality, it hasn’t given me any problems either. It’s been on a few trips with me now, and it works just as well as it did when I first got it. No surprises error messages saying my files can’t be accessed or that I need to format it.
I did use the loop in the middle for attaching it to my keys, but it was indeed pretty flimsy, and promptly broke. I tend to only use it when I’m traveling, so I’ll keep it in one of the smaller pockets in my hand luggage for safe keeping. I’m actually proud of the fact that I still haven’t lost it!