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Customer Review

84 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AirStash 2: now faster, smaller... and more expensive!, January 19, 2012
By 
This review is from: Maxell AirStash Expandable Capacity Wireless 8GB Flash Drive 8 A02 (666602) (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I purchased the original AirStash when it first came out; $99 without bundled memory card. Maxell purchased the company and released a new version of the product that is about half the size, offers faster WiFi (802.11n instead of 802.11g) and comes bundled with a memory card. Other than the use of a better SD card slot connector, I couldn't really notice any difference between the old model and this one.

The AirStash is easy to use: plug it into your computer and it charges the internal battery and behaves as an ordinary SD card reader; power it up, and it's a WiFi access point (WEP encryption only) that multiple devices can access simultaneously. For instance, you could copy MP3 music files or MP4 videos to it from your computer, then once away from home, turn it on; connect to its WiFi network from your iPhone, iPod or iPad, browse to these files using the AirStash application, and view them. Up to three devices can access the AirStash simultaneously.

In my informal tests, a full charge lasted a little over 6 hours. You can use the AirStash and charge it at the same time provided you connect it to a charger (not a computer) and WiFi is turned on before you plug it in.

The biggest shortcoming of the AirStash is its implementation of the WiFi networking. The competing Kingston Wi-Drive offers a bridge mode which lets it connect to an available WiFi network; with the AirStash, you either connect to the AirStash or to another WiFi network, but it's impossible to see both at the same time. To be fair, the AirStash has some key advantages over the Wi-Drive: use of standard removable memory, built-in USB connector. Unfortunately, it's also considerably more expensive.
Also, the Wi-Drive software lets you copy any file to any application that supports it. For instance you can choose to open an AVI file in OPlayer or VLC (it will copy the file to that application first instead of streaming the file). As far as I can tell the AirStash software does not offer such customizable behavior.

PROS
----
* Fast 802.11n WiFi
* Uses standard SD memory cards
* Small, self-contained design: no cords to lose
* Long battery life

CONS
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* Expensive
* No bridge mode: the AirStash can't join an existing network so once you connect to it you're no longer connected to the rest of the world
* No support for opening a file in a specific application (added in subsequent iOS client release)

CONCLUSION
----------
The AirStash is a good quality but pricey device with significant limitations. As long as you're OK with the shortcomings and the price, there is a lot to be said about the attractive form factor and the SD card slot. I still think Maxell needs to work on the firmware and significantly reduce the price to keep the AirStash attractive.
[EDIT]
The latest iOS application released in May 2012 introduces the capability to open a file in a specific application (long press)
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 6, 2012 5:13:26 PM PDT
thanks for the review,
something is not clear for me is that: if you have a video (any kind) on a SD card, can you streaming it to the ipad? or you have to download/copy to your ipad/iphone first, then open it ?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2012 1:21:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2012 2:40:18 PM PDT
esanta says:
As far as I can tell streaming on iOS is limited to iOS-supported formats (mp4 and h264). If you try to play an avi file, the app offers you to download the file and send it to an application of your choice (Maxell recommends CineXPlayer, but ProPlayer, GoodPlayer and FlexPlayer are also good choices -- some free).
I was able to stream AVI files to my Nexus 7 using MXPlayer.
One limitation is that the AirStash does not support exFAT format, so you won't be able to have files larger than 2GB on the SD card. SDXC cards are supported by the way (64GB to 2TB)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 2:11:09 PM PDT
Bob says:
AirStash streams the video

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 2:12:16 PM PDT
Bob says:
Third party apps such as CineXPlayer can stream directly from AirStash (http streaming), so you can stream DiVX encoded AVI files with CineXPlayer, for example.

Posted on Oct 12, 2012 2:16:30 PM PDT
Bob says:
1. WPA2 encryption is available with the latest firmware release.

2. Simultaneous internet and AirStash access is available on Apple iOS devices with the previous beta download and in the main iOS release that is currently under Apple's review for App Store.

3. The ability to import and export photos and video for iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS/touch and Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, etc. is a PRO (AirStash+ app for iOS handles up to 75MP photos including most PRO RAW file types.

3. The user experience is a PRO over Kingston hands-down from connecting to app.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 2:28:46 PM PDT
esanta says:
Thanks for the update. I did try the beta version and found the simultaneous network access to be more cumbersome to configure than on the Kingston. The app was also considerably more limited, although the latest version was a vast improvement. I'm not so sure I see the RAW import as a critical feature; it certainly makes more sense to have on the AirStash, which has an SD card slot, than it would on the Kingston.
All in all, I think both devices have flaws and the low price of the Kingston makes it more palatable. The AirStash's SD card slot makes it more flexible, but it's very expensive.

Posted on May 13, 2013 12:58:50 PM PDT
Bob says:
Maxell never purchased the company. Maxell is a distributor of this product.

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2013 1:23:52 PM PDT
esanta says:
Thanks, I had no idea -- but since the AirStash branding disappeared and was replaced by Maxell's, it was a reasonable assumption to make.
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