Review: Maxwell’s Airstash A02 Wireless Flash Drive For iOS and Android Devices
17/02/2013 | Nicholas Griffin
We have all been in that situation, on the verge off downloading a new game of your smartphone, only to find there’s not enough space. You don’t want to remove any of those apps you paid for, or even the films you like to watch on the train, so how do you clear up space?
The answer lies with the Airstash portable and wireless USB flash drive, which can store a wide variety of documents, files and of course movies, and then share them via its own 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz-only wireless access point.
Basically any file you don’t want to permanently store on your device, you simply load onto the AirStash’s included SD card via the built-in USB 2.0 stick, and then access them either via the app or through your devices web browser.
The device can either be purchased in a bundle with an 8GB Class 10 SD Card or with a 16GB card, the 8GB model costs around £85 and the 16GB is just £10 more at around £95 on Amazon, SD cards are hot-swappable however, so you can load up your own card with more space, or load a ton of them with different content and swap them according to what you want to access.
AirStash say that up to eight devices can access this connect at the same time, but they do only recommend three for optimum performance, however with the rechargeable lithium polymer battery the device will last for lengthy periods of time, we found it too last about 7 hours on a full charge during testing.
Setup is really easy thanks to the in-built USB port (it will take up two spaces when plugged in due to the size), you simply plug it into your computer or laptop and sync some content over, however I do also recommend you change some of the settings such as setting a password. This can be done through the devices setup webpage (192.168.0.1 in the UK).
Then you simply press and hold the power button until it lights up, then you connect to the device over Wi-Fi, this does mean that you will lose your current connection, however you can allow the stash to link with your home network thanks to some new beta software.
Currently iOS is the only platform with a supported application, meaning Android users will have to access the device via their browser, if you are on iOS however there are some applications developed by other people within the app store that will support the device, including the likes of Apple’s Pages application and media applications like CineXPlayer.
During my tests, I found that the AirStash worked great for streaming in more or less all situations, however I was a little frustrated at having to convert videos each time I wanted to add them and view them on my devices, which is due to the fact different devices support different formats.
However streaming from this device works perfectly, and I found that it kept up well even when accessing the device on a number of devices, (we streamed the same video on a laptop, iPhone, iPad and a Windows Phone).
The best thing is the device will even work from quite a decent distance away, so you can still stream for it in the other room, however that is about as far as you can go.
During my test I used the SideLink Beta settings, which I found to work great, considering it’s in beta, I was still able to access my home connection whilst streaming from the device, however I can’t see much use in this when you are at home, as you could simply stream it or view what you want from something else, I can only see a real use at places like on the train, however I’m not sure how well it would work in those situations.
All of the settings for the AirStash can also be accessed via the application used to stream videos from, which works perfectly, but could defiantly do with a better design.
From the app you can also import and export photos to/from your device, as well as adding new file directory’s within your card and changing the settings on how items are listed.
The only problem is if your on any other device than iOS this isn’t an option, and you have to use the browser instead which makes it difficult to use the device. I found it extremely difficult to access this service on the Windows Phone I was using, as the signal kept dropping out, however I’m not sure if this is the same with Android.
And when I would actually go to play something it would try to download it not stream (which only happened a couple of times), however when it does work, it works well. You don’t get the same sort of settings access within the browser either.
However using the device on a separate device does mean you can play more files that a supported on that particular device, and when it did work I found the stream up held well, fast forwarded a video lets you know how great this streaming quality is as it does it extremely quickly, almost like the file is stored on your phone.
Overall the AirStash is a great solution for a problem that still currently exists, however if you are someone with an always on connection, its kind of pointless. However I can imagine the device would bee great for use during a long journey on the train or a coach where a connection can be hard to come by.
The Maxwell Airstash A02 is available in an 8GB model for £85 and a 16GB one for around £95 on Amazon, you also find out more about the device on their site.
Screenshots From The iPhone and iPad Application:
Screenshots From The Browser Version:
Disclosure: Maxwell sent us this product for review purposes.