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.

Paragon NTFS and HFS+ for Android Makes Using External Hard Drives Easy

Paragon NTFS and HFS+ for Android Makes Using External Hard Drives Easy

Sep 7, 2012

Paragon NTFS and HFS+ for Android is a free utility that is designed to make it easy for Android users to access external hard drives that are formatted with NTFS and HFS+ file systems. While it's possible for some rooted Android devices to access FAT drives easily, there are limitations to this file system, particularly with file sizes, that do not exist in those. So, what Paragon's app does is to make it easy to mount and unmount drives that are formatted in NTFS and HFS+, allowing Android devices to access the files on them. Have a video collection to access on a tablet while on the go? This free-as-beer app will do the job. This is perfect for Android-powered HTPCs/media boxes, and could even be used on something like the APC.

Paragon NTFS and HFS+ for Android cannot be used by every device. It requires a rooted device with a kernel that has the FUSE kernel module – CyanogenMod roms should include this module, however. The app is available for free from Google Play.