Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 review – next gen media reader has some new tricks
Last year I reviewed the Kingston MobileLite Wireless Reader and it proved to be a handy little device – but here comes the next gen, or G2, version. Has Kingston managed to improve on an already good device?
For those who are unaware, the MobileLite Wireless is basically a mobile storage router. You can attach USB flash drives, hard drives and SD cards to the MobileLite and shift all your precious photos and videos from your phone to a safer, more secure location.
But you can also flip that around. Oh yeah, all those storage media can be accessed by your smartphone or tablet via MobileLite’s Wi-Fi connection which means you can have plenty many gigabytes of video, photos, etc stored on USB sticks or external hard drive which can be viewed upon your smartphone or tablet. All of a sudden your 16GB phone storage leaps to becoming however big your portable drive is.
This also means that you can transfer snaps or video from a flash or HD drive straight to Facebook or other social sites just by using your phone or tablet.
As a little bonus, if you happen to have the device with you but don’t need it for its usual purposes, you can use it to feed whatever battery-life it has left to one of your other mobile devices. So it’s an emergency recharger too!
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 in the room’s Ethernet cable into the device, at which point it will begin sharing the Internet love with up to 5 people. It will also support most mobile 3G dongles, allowing you to go truly wireless while out and about.
The MobileLite app
To make all this happen you first need to download the app from either the App Store, Google Play or even the Amazon App Store.
After installing the app, connecting to the MobileLite Wireless G2 (MLWG2) is as simple as joining a Wi-Fi network. Yes – that means that by connecting to Kingston’s device, you lose Internet access, but that’s only until you log into the MLWG2 and configure Internet access through there.
Using the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2
The MobileLite Wireless G2 includes a microSD card adapter so, in all, the device supports SD and microSD, and the “HC” and “XC” variants of each. At one of the ends is where the USB and memory storage plugs in.
At the front of the MLWG2 are three status LEDs (charging, Wi-Fi, power-on), the power button, the microUSB port, for charging (micro USB to USB cable supplied), and the device’s name badge. Kingston’s Redhead logo is found front and center on the top (albeit in a more suitable white color).
The MobileLite app isn’t flash or snazzy by any stretch of the imagination but it definitely gets the job done, and it’s clean and easy to navigate.
The photo-viewer and music player both work similarly to other such solutions I’ve used in the past.
These in-built apps work fine but with some limitations. For instance, the photo-viewer can struggle with really large images, in terms of resolution and / or filesize. They’ll look fine once loaded, until you zoom in, which is when some detail will be noticeably lost.
When music is playing, you can hit the newly created icon in the top-right corner to control it, which includes the ability to loop or shuffle. Again, all works well without much fuss and gives you access to those files on your remote storage but they’re obviously not going to win any stand-alone awards.
If you configure the MLWG2 to have Internet access, accessing the network through the mobile device itself (not the app) will feel the same as if you connected to that network directly. This means you can access local network shares without the interesting configuration getting in the way.
If you’re in the market for a new mobile card reader that will also play nice with USB storage, the MobileLite Wireless G2 has got it sorted.
If you’re looking for a travel router as well as an emergency device charger, Boom! The MLWG2 is there again.
I like the new rounder, and chunkier styling of the G2 too but I would’ve loved it to come with a carry pouch (I have been using the one that came with some Bluetooth headphones) as I’d hate for it to get scratched up and the white to stop being white. The original MobileLite Wireless does feel a little more rugged.
The price has increased over the original but then the original model has less than half of the battery-life and can’t act as a travel router.
You also get a two-year warranty rather than the a one-year of the first gen.
All-in-all the MobileLite Wireless G2 is a great pocket-sized mobile gadget that delivers far above what you’d imagine and performs seamlessly and intuitively.
You can get one from Amazon for £35.