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Techie says: Good for travelers - and good if you have a mobile device you'd like more storage for even if you never travel
on June 2, 2014
I am a Network Engineer. I travel a lot, and carry with me a Laptop, an iPad, an iPhone, A nexus 5 Android Phone, and a Nexus 7 Mini-tablet. I have bought (and previously reviewed) the Hootoo TripMate 1. On a recent trip to China & the Middle East, I carried both the Nano and the Original tripmate.
Bottom Line: Both versions are great. Choosing between them is mostly a matter of needing a battery-operated mode.
What it does for you
1. Storage Expansion for Mobile devices.
The iPhone, and many of the newer Android devices (e.g. all Nexus devices) do not offer a way to add storage.
The vendors claim this is to avoid confusing us poor users about where we saved which file. According
to the vendors, this is *in no way* related to
(1) encourage us to buy devices with more storage and a high price
(32GB SD card = $20, 32GB additional storage in your iPhone/iPad/Nexus = $100+) and
(2) get us to use their cloud services. (assuming we can afford the data-plan, and we have connectivity)
Don't like it? Enter the Hootoo.
In all likelihood, your mobile device storage is plenty large enough for your apps
and "regular" data (email, documents, messages, even books in your e-reading app) and what really fills up
the device are media files - Music and video. try and carry with you a movie or two, and you can see how
a 16GB mobile device is not enough. Well - The Hootoo (both models) allow you to store all of these Media
files on a cheap USB disk-on-key, and use them on your mobile, by just connecting to the Hootoo as your
Wifi Network, and using their free app for iOS or Android.
Result: my 16GB iPhone and Nexus 5 both have expandable storage. And the cost of the Hootoo + 16GB Small
Disk-on-Key is less than buying a 32GB version of either.
While we are at it, you also get easy data shari g between devices - I can see the same movie on my iPad that i was watching
On my muach-smaller-screen (but more portable) nexus 7.
Note: the disk-on-key storage is also available to your windows computer as a folder. I do not have a MAC but I am
assuming that is supported too.
2. Wifi Router/bridge
You may be asking your self "yes, but if I connect to the Hootoo, how do I get to the Internet - Google, Facebook, Twitter, or
(god forbid) work-stuff"? well - the Hootoo can connect "to the Internet", and when you connect your mobile devices to the
Hootoo's Wifi Network, you are connected to the internet, and it all just works.
Technically, there are two modes: (1) Hootoo connected to the internet by Cable (e.g. in hotel room, or company desk), and
your devices connect to the Hootoo. This is called "router mode". (2) Hootoo connects to the Wifi available at your
location, your mobile devices connect to the Hootoo - this is called "bridge mode". End result is the same: Your devices have
access to both the Internet and the data on the Disk-on-Key plugged into the Hootoo.
This is convenient in itself (and allows sharing storage between several devices easily - sort of like your own private
cloud-storage), but has an added benefit - some hotels either give you free internet for one device only (Leonardo hotels,
I am looking at you), charge you for each connection separately, or just have an annoying "join the network" process,
that you woul normally have to repeat for each of your connected devices. With the Hootoo - I connect ONCE to the local
network (and the Hootoo allows you to deal with the usual connect-open browser-fill in login dialog-submit dance), then
all the other devices connect to hootoo, and we are done.
1. It seems the feature set of the Original Hootoo Tripmate and this "nano" version are that the Original has a built in 6000 mAH
battery. This battery is good for two things. (1) The Tripmate can work from the battery for a couple of hours, allowing you
to watch a movie, hear music etc. even far from electricity (2) can serve as a backup battery for your mobile devices - most
importantly your mobile Phone(s).
If you don't need this (e.g. I already had a good backup battery), the Nano version gives you all the functionality - at a
negligible size and weight. Since I always either have electricity, or can power the Nano from my Laptop
or Backup battery, I have found I have no reason not to have the Nano in my bag on a permanent basis. I am keeping the
original Tripmate charged for those special trips where I have reason to believe I'll need the battery-operated mode.
2. The manual is good quality - if you are used to the sort-of-translated manuals with almost-English instructions, you will
be pleasantly surprised. if your eyesight is not good though, be waned the manual pages are printed SMALL. You
will want to download the PDF version and magnify it ...