With the popularity of smart phones and tablets, the need expanded storage to house numerous large media files has increased. A big problem is, many tablets and phones (Apple devices in particular) lack the functionality to add additional capacity via media cards, etc. and upgrading to larger capacities is very expensive as compared to adding external storage. This leaves many buyers in a quandary of spending less and hoping they don’t need the space, or splurging for the larger capacity models with a premium price tag. Patriot has recognized this dilemma and decided to answer the knock of opportunity by designing a device to give consumers another option. The Patriot Gauntlet 320 wireless portable drive allows users of iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire to access content stored on the drive wirelessly through an app that can be downloaded for free. Up to eight devices can be connected at once so sharing is encouraged.
As the name implies, the Gauntlet 320 comes with a hard drive already installed that’s 320GB in capacity but can also be purchased without a drive (called the Gauntlet Node – PCGTW25S) if you have an extra 2.5″ drive laying around to use or want something larger. The Node can be purchased for $96.90 and the Gauntlet 320 for as low as $129.99. We reviewed a similar product from Kingston that used solid state storage rather than a spinning platter drive which has its own set of pros and cons as we’ll see. The Gauntlet supports the wireless 802.11 b/g/n spectrums with WEP/WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK security protocols which should allow it to connect with just about every mobile device available that has wi-fi capability.
Included with the drive are the necessary components to support usage. There’s a USB 3.0 cable, a 10W power brick with collapsible prongs and the corresponding removable DC cable. There are two pieces of literature included in the product and quick start guides. That’s all you need outside of the app for the device(s) to be used which is a free download from the applicable app store.
Physically, it’s not overly large which is important for portability. It’s about the size of 3.5″ hard drive and weighs a little over six ounces which isn’t too much more than most smart phones these days. The bulk of this weight comes from the battery and hard drive as the rest is nearly all impact plastic.
The Gauntlet has a slightly arched profile so is slightly taller in the middle than the edges but less than one inch overall. Impact resistant plastic covers the entire exterior and on the next page we’ll look at all sides of the device in our brief product tour.