At a Glance
- Can charge the mobile device it’s attached to
- Can stream media from USB drives and flash-memory cards
- Supports SDHC cards
- No internal storage of its own
If you’re looking for a lightweight device for sharing multimedia content on the road, Kingston’s MobileLite delivers. It lacks internal storage, but handles SDHC cards and USB drives, and it offers DLNA and Internet pass-through.
Small, light, and versatile, Kingston’s $70 MobileLite serves as a Wi-Fi multimedia streamer and as a reserve power source for your other mobile devices, such as your smartphone or tablet. The MobileLite has no storage of its own, but it provides a USB 2.0 port and an SDHC memory card slot so you can attach your own.
Easy to use
Using the MobileLite is easy: Turn it on, connect to the MobileLIte’s Wi-Fi network, and use Kingston’s Android or iOS app, or a DLNA client, to stream any media available on attached drives or SD cards. Kingston told me that the unit doesn’t support DLNA, but it showed up as that kind of device in Windows Media Player and XBMC (open-source media player software). You may, of course, treat the MobileLite like any other network drive and access files that way, too.
The MobileLite will also connect to and pass through a Wi-Fi Internet connection. The unit continues to function when connected to your PC’s USB port, although you can’t access the attached storage directly via Windows Explorer unless you turn it off. Many devices turn off automatically when plugged into a USB port. I prefer having the choice.
The MobileLite will stream most common media formats (though not MKV in my hands-on testing), but you’ll be limited by the platform you’re using. An Android or iOS smartphone, for instance, won’t have the large screen and speakers that a tablet running the same OS will, for instance; and streaming to a Windows PC or a Mac should be an even more enjoyable experience. Streaming 1080p video was smooth up to about 2 MBps, and battery life was just a tad shy of 4 hours. CrystalDiskMark rated a USB flash drive attached to the MobileLite at about 26 MBps in sequential reading (par for the course with USB 2.0).
Kingston’s MobileLite is a great little Wi-Fi streamer for the price. It’s far less expensive, if not quite as convenient, as competitors such as the Seagate Wireless Pro or the Corsair Voyager Air, which have internal hard drives. That it can also charge or run your cell phone or tablet in a pinch is gravy.