Based on averages we have about 6MB/s. Mathematically these numbers do not make sense…unless we assume that the MobileLite Wireless has a built-in bandwidth cap. In that case these numbers make perfect sense – splitting equal bandwidth of 50Mbps/6.25MBps between three users. Unfortunately the GUI or documentation do not mention this, so these are assumptions.
Downloads regardless are quite fast. The feature is present on every platform, so you can upload and download files to the MobileLite. It is more aimed at iOS which does not have expandable storage universally across the devices that support it. In our case the iPod Touch does not have enough on-board storage, but Android and Windows go a step further by allowing us to save in different destinations:
As a final test we look at the advertised battery life of five hours. Again the GUI is faulted here, which is a recurring theme. That is certainly one place of concern. As streamlined as it is, it does show inaccurate data – such as battery life. When the MobileLite is flashing red, indicating less than 25% battery life, the GUI battery count still shows it having a full charge:
With that said, battery life is accurate as stated by Kingston. With a full charge the device stays active for five hours while streaming. Remember that the MobileLite will charge any device and itself on any mode, even wireless storage/streaming mode. Attaching the iPod Touch, it was charged within one hour, but there was a sacrifice of two hours worth of battery life from the MobileLite. The device itself charges to 100% in about 1.5 hours. A five-hour 1800 mAh battery is decent, but we would have liked to see at least double that.
Finally, for a more permanent solution, you can charge and mount the MobileLite to a USB wall-charger. This way you can plug it into a wall and use it as an always-on wireless NAS unit, and remove it once you are ready to hit the road. Since it connects to the closest wi-fi connection, there will be no problems accessing it at full-strength over your network. The range can potentially be as far as your home network goes, but much is also dependent on the devices you use and their respective network adapters/chips. For us the wireless-N LAN range extended throughout the home (200 feet); as a solo network without any extension, the MobileLite has a 50-foot range.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND CONCLUSION
The Kingston MobileLite Wireless is an excellent wi-fi streamer and storage device. It is essentially a low-profile NAS unit that provides a potentially infinite amount of expandable storage. If those features were not enough, it doubles as a repeater allowing all users to surf both the device, LAN, and WAN wirelessly off of one tiny device. The ability to charge connected devices, act as a card reader, and accommodate USB hubs just adds to its plethora of modes and versatility.
There are a few negatives that accompany the device though. Right off the bat, the MobileLite Wireless leaves out Windows and other operating systems. In fact Android would have followed suit, but a recent addition to the app store gives both iOS and Android users a dedicated app. Still there are limitations like a 2GB cap on Android and Kindle-based devices. The lack of anti-slip rubber feet and extra expandable storage in the packaging is unfortunate considering there is no on-board memory inside the unit. A comprehensive guide would have been nice, as well as a stronger, more powerful battery. The GUI is also a tad rough in certain areas (such as indicating battery life).
Many of these shortcomings can be overlooked due to the modest price of $70. It is just at the right price-point, and we recommend the Kingston MobileLite Wireless for what it primarily delivers – a multi-user universal media streaming experience, a task which it performs exceptionally well. We only tested the resource-heavy video streaming capabilities; but considering it also does pictures, documents, music, and stores all files, Kingston have released a much-needed product for the humongous mobile market that until now lacked a proper media streaming and storage device – overall making it the perfect travel-companion.