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  • Lonyo - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    Samsung seem pretty happy having MicroSD slots on their tablets and phones.

    I also picked up a Windows tablet with MicroSD and USB3 port from Samsung.
    My S3 has a MicroSD port and my Tab 2 7" does as well.

    The primary issue is, kind of as noted, accessing networked files. Android and Windows shares doesn't really gel that nicely.
    Hence probably why Patriot include an app. They have to.

    Windows tablet +Windows shares works really nice though... most of the time.
  • madmilk - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    Android and Windows shares get along admirably. The problem is in apps like AndSMB - you simply cannot do something like this in userspace and expect a satisfactory result.

    What works much better is a SMB kernel module, and something to manage the mounts like CifsManager. Windows shares can then be mounted in folders, much like SD cards, and seamlessly accessed from existing apps. It's a pain to set up, requiring root access, but it's worth it if you frequently use Windows shares.

    Ideally, Android should support this directly - but given Google's continuing infatuation with the "cloud", and its continued refusal to put SD card slots in their Nexus devices, this will probably never happen.
  • MrSpadge - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    Given the price increase for slight storage increases I can easily see why they don't like any crad slots at all in these devices.. Reply
  • LadyKate - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
  • ssddaydream - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    Pretty much the first thing I do when setting up my phone/tablet is testing the CIFS functionality using CIFS Manager. Often times, I find that a certain kernel won't work with CIFS, so I go hunting for one that does.
    I have CIFS enabled on most of my devices.
    I use a netbook with Windows 7 to accomplish what this Patriot unit does.
    I enable infrastructure mode and ICS on the netbook.
    So when my Android connects to the netbook's WiFi network, I get internet through the netbook which is connected to an access point. This way, I can still have internet through the Android via the netbook and I can access any shares on the netbook. Basically, I just have a large-sized version of this patriot, but its also a computer. It obviously isn't as portable though...
  • Grok42 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    The aps seem to be the weak link for all devices of this type. Seems the Gauntlet is better than most in this department but it still seems to be the worst part of the device. I wish they would just simply provide a simple web server and script. The WiFi simply transparently redirects all requests to this web server and you can use your phone's browser to access all the content. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    And support of these app for the various mobile OS's and versions will be a major pain in the b*tt over time. Web server acess requires only a half-useful browser, so works universally. Reply
  • clarkn0va - Saturday, November 24, 2012 - link

    I own a Gauntlet Node, and the app is next to useless. Fortunately, SMB browsing works just fine in ES File Explorere and BS Player (in LAN mode), which incidentally also happens to work a treat for playing streamed mkv files (including AAC, AC3 and DTS audio). Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    But a browser can't necessarily display or play back the various media types you'd have on this drive.

    Too bad Apple's fear leads it to cripple its devices so pathetically. The lack of a user-accessible file system renders innovative products like this far less useful than they should be.
  • darkcrayon - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    And it renders them far more secure. Not that you can't use one of the many file manager apps for most of this functionality anyway. Reply
  • nitram_tpr - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    I have an Xperia Ray, this has microsd, I also have an Asus Transformer Prime, this has a microsd in the table, an SD in the keyboard dock and a full size USB in the dock. I hook my portable USB drive up to it, then plug it into my TV and hey presto HTPC (ish).
    Why do makers decide to make life difficult for users and not provide an easy (not expensive) way to add additional memory? I don't want to use the cloud all the time, mobile broadband is still pretty expensive you now?
  • StevoLincolnite - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    It so you will upgrade to a larger model, hence making more profit. Reply
  • nitram_tpr - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    Larger model? You mean the phone? If you do, no I won't, I have my tablet for that, I like the size of my phone. I really don't want or need a 4"+ phone in my pocket.
    The phone I would like to upgrade to is not available in the UK ( or anywhere else as it is a Japan only). It is the Xperia SX which is a smidge larger than the Ray but lighter and more powerful.
  • Grok42 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    I work for an electronics manufacturer and I would disagree with your assertion that SD is easy and cheap. First, an SD slot takes up a LOT of space and complicates the design quite a lot. Between the PCB design and the case design, there are not a lot of places to put them given that they need to be externally accessible. All portable electronics worry about water proof ratings which pretty much means that they have to be located under the battery if it's user accessible or with the charging port so that it only counts as one opening for water intrusion. With the fact that user accessible batteries are almost a thing of the past because of how fragile modern batteries are this only leaves putting it next to the charging port. This tends to cause several engineering issues as well as makes the device thicker because you have to stack a micro-usb and SD slot on top of each other. You would be surprised how much space the SD bays actually take up and it's several times the thickness of the SD itself. All this for a port that almost no one uses according to reports I've read.

    What you should be steamed about is that the built-in capacities haven't kept up with reality. The low capacity devices should be 32GB and go up from there. Dropping a few more flash chips on the PCB is easy AND cheap.
  • Dadofamunky - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    All very good points. I'm sure that a lot of these folks have analyzed their markets and found that most users don't bother with uSD slot usage and found it wasn't cost-effective to include that in the design. I also agree that it's astounding that 32GB isn't the current low-end standard. I'm buying tablets for my entire family of three this Christmas and I'm steamed that an extra 16GB costs an unacceptable $100 per unit. So the portable SSD-based wireless storage is a perfect solution. I'm hoping the features and functionality will improve over the near term. Reply
  • Grok42 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    One other point I'd like to make in response to no one in particular but this post and several others have seemed to have as a sub-text. I seem to get the feeling that if phones and tablets were higher capacity or if they provided SD cards this product wouldn't be needed.

    First, micro-SD only goes to 32GB currently. I guess you could carry multiple cards but these things are micro-tiny and you would loose them no matter how careful you try. We actually glue coffee stirrers to them like some sort of luddite key chain just so we won't loose them.

    Lets imagine a world were 1GB SD cards are plentiful and cheap and phones and tablets have 20GB drivers. I still want something like the Gauntlet. I have 5 people in my family that wants to listen to audio and video when we go places. We would need a full time administrator to keep all our devices synced up with all the stuff we might want on a trip. I would much rather have it stored centrally on one device that everyone can use.

    Now give me 20mbit cellular Internet for a flat fee and I'll throw this thing int he trash.
  • MadMan007 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    There are 64GN microSD cards. They are micro SDXC technically, not all devices can use them, but many that 'only' support 32GB SDHC can, just need to format it in the device first. I've used on in an older Android 2.2 device fine. Reply
  • teiglin - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    Most devices don't claim to support microSDXC because the cards normally come formatted as exFAT rather than FAT32. If you format them as ext4 or FAT32 (the latter isn't officially supported by Windows, but there are plenty of utilities that can make a 64GB FAT32 partition), they'll work fine. Phones like the Galaxy S3 that explicitly support 64GB cards have licensed exFAT from Microsoft so such cards can work out of the box. Reply
  • mfenn - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    What audio/video codecs does the player app support? Reply
  • Grok42 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    I'm not aware that an iPhone supports anything other than a .mp4 file. Not sure about Android devices. Reply
  • darkcrayon - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    iPhone apps can support any format the developer is apple to have them support. It needn't use System APIs to play audio or video (there are dozens of video player apps that support other formats, .mkv, etc) Reply
  • ivwshane - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    What I would love to have is a networked optical drive. I don't care if it's wireless or not. This thing looks like it could work with a standard SATA optical drive.

    Why would I want that? I have multiple computers (laptops, a server, and a desktop) and I would love to have a networked optical drive that all computers can access to do stuff like burn/rip CD's/DVD's, install software and movie playback all without having to have multiple drives or having to physically be present at anyone computer. This thing would just sit on my entertainment center and I'd access it from any computer via RDP.
  • nevertell - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    RDP ?
    Are you mad ?
    Are you metal ?
    Either mount it as a samba share, or have a custom interface with it for burning.
  • martyrant - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    Or get with the times and start using backup ISOs and a Virtual Drive (clone drive, daemon tools [though they include bloatware now])...not that hard. Reply
  • Grok42 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    Yes, this. All physical media are considered legacy these days. Reply
  • Grok42 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    I've been waiting for a device just like this. I know there have been others but they all receive terrible reviews. The fact that it is BYO for the HD is a truly great bonus. It wasn't clear but reading other material seems to indicate that it is capable of being powered by a 12V car charger? Can anyone confirm that the USB to DC cable can get enough juice from a car charger to power the device without the need for an inverter?

    I plan to plug it into my Linux Server that handles all my audio and video. I already have a custom script that creates a iPhone optimized .mp4 file for any video placed on the server. It also has build targets for my WD-Live and a web browsable version for anything on my local network. I'll simply add another target that will copy the iPhone version to the Gauntlet. When we travel I can simply disconnect it and serve video and audio to everyone in the car. I could have used this for the Thanksgiving trip!
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    Considering that all my routers up to now (so for the last ~7 years) had a USB port that allowed external HDDs to be accessed via the wireless network, I don't think these products are worth the premium they demand. I just don't see the added benefit. Reply
  • Grok42 - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    I'm in a top 100 metro area for the US and the MAX upload speed I can purchase for home use is 768k. The other problem is that I want to use this on road trips which would mean using 3g or 4g to access it. This would get very expensive very fast especially with 5 devices going in my car. As I said earlier, give me 20mbit cellular plan with unlimited data and I don't need this either. I would find a way to host the data in the "cloud" to get around the 768k upload limit but I can't fix the wireless data issue. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, November 24, 2012 - link

    If I need storage for this kind of device on the go, that's what USB OTG is for. If it needs to be pocketable, 128GB USB sticks start at 65€ / 128GB. Otherwise, just get a decent USB 2.5" drive for the same money but double, triple the capacity. Good ones can also be powered by the USB OTB cable, that way the storage lasts as long as the device you are using it with. I can't really imagine a scenario where I would have my friends of family all in one room, all accessing this storage via their smartphone, tablet or what have you. That is just weird. But should that be the case, all people I know have routers with USB ports, so I could just plug the HDD in there and have them access it via the local ethernet.
    What do you need this for on the road that the above cases wouldn't solve?
  • tjoynt - Saturday, November 24, 2012 - link

    Anand, thanks for reviewing this: I've been on the lookout for a new product in this category.
    I tried the Segate GoFlex Satellite and really wanted to love it, but I was just too unstable. When it worked it was great, but it took a lot of babysitting and resetting to keep it working. Is this new wifi drive reliable? How long did you have to test it? The issues with the Satellite didn't show up immediately.

    Can you copy files to and from the storage space of other apps (like goodplayer) on an iOS device or are files stuck within the confines of the Gauntlet app? In Gauntlet can you "open with" a file to open it with another app or does it only use the built in players?

    Thanks so much,

    -- Tom

    P.S: Your podcasts have been absolutely phenominal! They are the most technical and engrossing podcasts out there (edging out the equally wonderful Techreport podcast). You and the techreport podcast are heads and sholders above everyone else. The only thing I would change is to ask for more of them. :)
  • speculatrix - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    I use astro file manager as it works quite effectively for transferring files between android and file server. Reply
  • justonecomment - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    Can we get a review of iUSBPort formally CloudFTP? This seems to do everything this device does, and has a iOS and Webapp.

    I've been looking at this space for a while, iUSBPort is the closest portable cloud device I've come across.

    The original Kickstart project page:

    Was bought by HyperShop:

    Same price too.
  • GabeA - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    "No modern smartphone or tablet allows for upgradeable internal storage, and it's not exactly common to find microSD slots or USB ports on them either."

    Practically every vendor save for Apple has high-end models with SD card slots, and all have USB (microUSB). Android smartphones have surpassed iOS ones a long time ago, and are now looking to quadruple its share.

    So don't think just because "Apple doesn't do it this way" means it's uncommon for "modern smartphones or tablets" to feature microSD or USB ports.
  • darkcrayon - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    Interesting how you left out Google's latest flagship phone, which lacks an SD card slot (as have their previous models). If this were such an important feature for android, it's funny Google doesn't seem to think so, no? :). Nexus tablets as well, and the semi-Android Kindle Fires don't have them. Seems like the only tablets people are actually willing to buy lack an SD card slot. Think about that.

    Extra points for off topic inclusion about market share... Gotta stick it to those Apple bad guys! /s
  • jeanleo786 - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Huawei's upcoming smartphone — Vision, and the MediaPad tablet will offer cloud based services with 10 GB free cloud storage. Huawei will launch the high-end smartphone and the tablet in the Indian market during this festive season.


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