TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kingston has launched its second generation of mobile media streamer, the MobileLite Wireless G2.
The 170g device is packed with a ridiculous number of features for the mobile user. The G2 has no on board storage of its own, but has both a USB port and SD card slot. You then make an ad hoc wireless connection from your phone to the G2 in order to access or copy anything on the USB drive or SD card to your smartphone and vice versa.
The same wireless connection lets you stream content -- including audio and video -- to multiple devices as once. We haven't had a chance to test exactly how many devices it can handle or the streaming quality just yet, unfortunately.
The G2 also has an Ethernet port on the side, meaning you can use it as a wireless router for wired internet connections -- always a handy feature for travellers. Kingston says that the USB port can also handle Wi-Fi dongles, meaning you can turn those into a wireless network as well.
Finally, there's a 4640 mAh battery packed in, which Kingston claims will be able to fully charge an average smartphone twice over.
The G2 measures 129.14mm x 79.09mm x 19.28mm, and weighs 170g as we noted before. (That's roughly 5 inches x 3.1 inches x 0.8 inches and 6 ounces). It's about the same size as your average smartphone, although it's noticeably thicker, of course -- it'd have to be just to squeeze in that Ethernet port.
In our hands the set up was remarkably simple. Turn on the device and connect your phone to the obviously named Wi-Fi network. There's a MobileLite app that seems to work mostly as a file explorer. We plugged an SD card in the G2 and were soon browsing the day's photos via smartphone. We were later told that the app hasn't been finalised and may be quite different at launch.
It's definitely something to pop into a satchel or laptop bag -- it's not quite small enough to drop in a pocket in case you might need it, but for many users, the battery charger function might be worth the price of admission alone.
Kingston says the G2 is "shipping later this month". There was no official pricing available at the time of writing, but Kingston representative said they expected pricing to be between US$50 and US$60 -- around AUD$65 or £35. These seems pretty low for this sort of device, but we'll update with more information as it comes to hand.
Updated, 4.09pm CST: Added information about the app and pricing.