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Adata Dash Drive Air AE400 review

Alan Lu
19 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
54
inc VAT

A clever if imperfect wireless storage reader

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Specifications

N/A hard disk, USB2, 22x60x80mm

The AData Dash Drive Air AE400 lets multiple devices access storage attached to it. The battery-powered AE400 creates its own Wi-Fi network, and you can attach storage to its USB port or insert an SD card. The AE400 can also be used as a USB battery pack for your mobile device. Sadly, the AE400’s USB2 port didn’t provide enough power to mount any of the USB portable hard drives we tried, but it didn’t have any trouble recognising any of our flash drives or SD cards.

Adata Dash Drive Air AE400

The AE400 creates an 802.11n Wi-Fi hotspot to which you connect your computer or mobile device. Usefully, there’s a Wi-Fi “pass-through” mode that lets you stay connected to the internet using another wireless network, even though you’re connected to the AE400. Connected storage devices appear as SMB shares to a laptop or desktop, but you must use Adata’s app to access them from an Android or iOS device.

Using the Android app, it’s possible to view files, copy them to the phone or upload new files to the storage device. We had no problem streaming videos, but found the app’s photo handling very basic. It doesn’t support gestures of any kind, such as pinch to zoom or swiping back and forth. Plus, the app saves files to an obscure location, so you’ll need a file manager app to locate them. Another odd limitation is that the app can only upload new photos taken with the camera; it can’t upload any other files, not even photos already in your camera roll.

Adata Dash Drive AE400 Android App Screenshot

We found the iOS to be less reliable than the Android app in our tests. It frequently lost the wireless connection or simply froze on both an iPhone 4S running iOS 5 and an iPhone 5 running iOS 6. The iOS app can download photos and documents, but not videos, and it can’t upload files at all. Conveniently, downloaded photos are automatically saved to the camera roll of Apple’s Photos app.

We found the AE400 very slow. Large files were written at 3.5MB/s and read at 2.8MB/s. Small files were written at 0.8MB/s and read at 1.5MB/s. Although slower than any modern NAS, it’s still fast enough for streaming video and copying small batches of files. When used as a battery pack, it added 15 hours of video playback to a Motorola Razr i smartphone, which is good.

Adata Dash Drive Air AE400

Despite its slow file transfer speeds, the AE400 is still a handy wireless storage reader. It’s good value if you need to access the contents of storage devices with multiple mobile devices, and want the battery pack. A cheaper alternative would be a USB On The Go adaptor cable, but it isn’t quite as flexible as the AE400, although it is faster.

Basic Specifications

Rating***

Storage

Hard diskN/A
CapacityN/A
Formatted capacityN/A
Price per gigabyteN/A
Disk sizeN/A
InterfaceUSB2
Power connectorUSB from host
CacheN/A
Seek timeN/A
Weight128.0kg
Size22x60x80mm
Power consumption idleN/A
Power consumption activeN/A

Buying Information

Backup software includednone
Price£54
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.adata-group.com

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