Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader Hardware Review

Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader Hardware Review

May 1, 2015

It’s a tough life.

I’ve whined about the first world problem of having to keep up with too many devices. Review units, old retro devices, rooting toys… they add up. When it comes to review units, I’m loathe to use my personal cloud networks with them, so I tend to do data transfer locally via flash storage. It’s easy to, say, take a picture via an SD card and move the SD card to a new device. Yes, there are more efficient ways to do this, but stubborn people think differently.

In any case, I use and move SD cards often enough for me to need a reliable means of reading the data on them. And, frankly, who better to provide this solution that a company renown for making the storage itself? Yep, Kingston. Its Media Reader 3.0 Card Reader is a comprehensive hub that looks to give users the ability to view and manipulate data stored on several types of flash storage.

The review unit Kingston sent us shows the unit in its retail glory: mostly grey and white, with red company lettering (which light up in bright red when the unit is engaged). It’s roughly 3.7 x 0.6 x 2.1 inches, but isn’t strictly cuboid; the angled corners give it some design flair. It comes with a USB cable, is quite light in hand. The storage slots are on one end, while the connection port is on the opposite side.


in action, the unit is very easy to use. it has four slots, for regular SD cards, microSD cards and compact flash. Also included in the package is a short micro-B type USB cable for connection/data transfer. Plug in the one of the corresponding form of flash storage and attaching the unit to a computer allows one to read the contents of said card, and also to do operations like deleting, cutting, pasting, copying and more.

Simple, quick and effective.

Altogether, the portability, affordability ($19.95 on Amazon) and self-contained functionality make it a useful addition. The bundled 2-yr warranty adds some piece of mind.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 Card Reader Hardware Review

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 Card Reader Hardware Review

Aug 15, 2014

Years ago, as an upcoming tech feen, I reached a major milestone. I was rocking the awesome Palm Tungsten T5, was proclaiming publicly about preferring my phone and PDA devices separate, and enjoyed the PalmOS-WinMo wars. Then, one fateful day, I found a huge sale going on. It was for a then-massive 1GB Kingston SD card that could help me expand the T5 with ginormous external space.

I had to sign up for Google Checkout, which helped tie me in further to the Google ecosystem. That card literally opened up a new world to me, and I learned Kingston is a brand worth using. Since then, the company has expanded along with the entire mobile sector, and has stuff out like its MobileLite Wireless G2 Card Reader.

With regards to mobility, this device makes a lot of sense. It is an update to the original MobileLite Wireless G1; in theory, it allows for folks to access data from SD, micro SD cards and USB sticks on the go via the device’s built-in network. On paper, this can be useful functionality to have whether or not one has a device with external storage capabilities.


But all the theoretical functionality is moot if the device isn’t, well, portable. The review package came with the main unit, USB cable and an SD card adapter and paperwork (Kingston also provided a 64 GB micro-SD card to fully test the unit). The MobileLite thankfully doesn’t carry a huge physical footprint, being similar in size visually to the HTC One that was used it with; officially, it comes in at 5 x 3.1 x 0.75 inches and 6.03 ounces. The device is mostly black with stark white band frame around the sides; the sides house LED icons, power button, a reset hole and micro-USB port on the one long side, and a full ethernet port on the opposite long side. On the opposite side, one finds a slot for full SD cad and a full USB port too. All in all, it feels well-fused, and is quite pocketable.


To use it, we charged it up and fired it on, and then we downloaded the companion Kingston MobileLite app from the Play Store. The app provides an interface to connect to the device’s wi-fi network. Connecting it was finicky at first, but it fixed itself, and after that it was fairly easy to use.

While connected, the unit shows the internal memory of the device on its network. The external memory card wasn’t an option, but the onboard memory shows, and it’s possible to move data back and forth. It officially supports, FAT, exFat, NFTS and FAT32, so that is one less thing to worry about. I especially like the streaming functionality that allows for one to access media directly from the card reader. It can also be used as a wi-fi bridge via the ethernet port, and even works as a mobile charger (we found it works best with a full charge; it was able to recharge the HTC almost two times).


One can’t help but love products that do what they do well, and take on extra functionality; this is where the MobileLite excels. At $54.00 (per Amazon), it isn’t prohibitively priced either, especially when one considers the Kingston name.

Kingston DataTraveler microDuo Hardware Review

Kingston DataTraveler microDuo Hardware Review

May 1, 2014

So… just to get it out of the way, the answer is “yes.”

Yes to what? I’ll get to that later. For now, bear with us as we get to take the Kingston DataTraveler microDuo for a spin.

We received the 32 GB variant (it also comes in 8 GB, 16 GB and 64 GB flavors) to test; the microDuo looks to do just what one would expect of valuable mobile accessory: it looks to extend the functionality of mobile devices. It does this by taking advantage of USB OTG, the ability of some mobile devices to interface with USB peripherals. In essence, this little gadget provides a mobile carry-on of 32 GB of extra storage space..

Not that one would guess by looking at it. It’s fingernail small, almost diminutive, with black and chrome stylings that underscore its rectangular shape. On the one end, there is a familiar USB input, and on the other a black cover-like piece. Flipping the black piece reveals a microUSB input piece. The package includes a lanyard, too. It feels solid enough and fairly well constructed.

Using the hardware is easy, and intuitive. On a supported device, it is plugged into the microUSB port, and, with kmd3the right software, it’s pretty much plug-and-play to download or offload data. The same operation works to connect to computers with the full USB end to a “full” computer. Of course, it can be used to transfer and/or sync data between any number of devices that have USB/USB-OTG functionality. On a handheld device, a file reader is required, and thankfully, even if there isn’t built in one, options exists in the Play Store. On a Windows machine, the gadget is recognized like any other drive (it’s listed as compatible with Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows RT, Mac OS X v.10.6.x+ and Linux v.2.6+).

With expandable memory on mobile devices becoming more optional, and mobile devices becoming more proficient at handling media and data, infinitely portable accessories like this can be invaluable.

This doodad is tiny, and as such, the lanyard is welcome accessory’s accessory; still, the lanyard is minuscule. A file exploring app is essential for easy use, and it’s unfortunate that it does not work with all devices. Still, in the short time I used it, it became a valuable part of the mobile arsenal, especially with its five-year warranty.

So… back to the question that induced the answer that started it all. Can the microDuo earn a coveted place in my go bag? A place that only the best gadgets earn based on overall mobility and functionality?

Wasn’t so hard, was it?

The Kingston 32GB DataTraveler microDuo is available for $18.74 on Amazon.