July 24, 2013, 4:19 PM — The scoop: SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive (16GB, $50; 32GB, $60) and Wireless Media Drive (32GB, $80; 64GB, $100)
What are they? The Wireless Flash Drive is exactly what it sounds like - a small USB stick that includes Flash memory (it's actually on a microSD card inside the USB drive), but also has wireless connectivity via built-in Wi-Fi. The unit can hold either 16GB or 32GB of content, and a slide-up USB port lets you connect to a PC or Mac for transferring content to the drive (or from the drive). The Wireless Media Drive goes a bit bigger - the small puck-like device contains either 32GB or 64GB of content, but with similar Wi-Fi connectivity capabilities.
Why they're cool: The Wi-Fi connection makes it quite easy for the drives to connect to mobile devices, such as an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone or tablet. With their free apps (either SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Player or SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Player), users can quickly and easily transfer digital data (photos, videos, music) from their mobile device to the SanDisk units. This data can then be stored or transferred to other devices (including PCs, Macs or other mobile gadgets that include the associated app). This is a great option for users to free up space on their phones/tablets, which tend to accumulate photos and videos. It's a lot easier to wirelessly transfer data to the media drive than to connect to a PC/Mac for wired transfer - especially for mobile users who are away from their computers.
The streaming functionality is another great feature, which especially shines with the Wireless Media Drive and its app. Both devices can store multimedia content and stream the content back to a mobile device. The Wireless Flash Drive supports up to three simultaneous streams, and the Wireless Media Drive supports up to eight streams, which should be more than enough bandwidth to keep the entire family happily viewing music or videos during the next road trip.