Kingston MobileLite Wireless Card Reader Review
A Closer Look at the MobileLite Wireless
Looking around the MLW, starting with the face, you’ll see the LED indicators, which tell you if the unit is powered on or charging, when the hotspot is active, and if it is able to access the internet. The power LED will be green for above 50% charge, amber for 50-25%, and red when below 25%.
Moving onto the left side, you will have the MicroUSB port to charge the MLW, or to use as a standard SD card reader, and the full sized USB port to charge your mobile device or plug in a flash drive. The USB port is rated at 3.7v, which will allow you to charge most mobile devices.
The next side we’re presented with the power button and reset button. To power on the MLW, you just have to hold the power button for 3-4 seconds. It is a little tough to press, since the button travels pretty far before it depresses, but it isn’t a deal breaker. In all honesty, it’s nice to have a little more difficult to press, just so you don’t mistakenly turn the unit off. If you want to use it as a charging station, you just hold the power button for one second and it’ll begin charging; flashing the power light repeatedly. The reset button is there should you need to reset the unit.
On the next side you have just a single SD card reader. The SD slot supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. It can accommodate a MicroSD card, should you choose to utilize the included adapter. Unfortunately, this is a spot where Kingston cut a feature; they pulled out the dedicated MicroSD slot to save on cost. I know from my standpoint, if I want to pull out the MicroSD card from my phone, I’d much rather not have to carry an adapter. On the flip side, it is quite nice that Kingston actually supplies you with the MicroSD adapter.
The SD card slot is actually quite tricky to put your card in and take it out. This is the very same problem that we had with our beta unit, in which we were hoping they would address this. Kingston was made aware of this problem on the beta unit and chose not to correct the problem.
On the bottom of the MLW, we have the stickers providing serial numbers and other licensing. You’ll also notice the four feet to help keep the bottom scratch free. Unfortunately these aren’t non-slip feet, so it can easily slip and slide around, should you be in an environment where it could do such (IE: A car ride or in an airplane).
The guts of the MLW include an 1,800 mAh Li-Polymer battery to either charge most mobile devices, or to power the MLW itself for up to 5 hours. I only got roughly 40% of a charge on my Galaxy S3 before the MLW died. The only other thing worth of mention inside is the WiFi radio. It supports 802.11g/n, using WPA2 security. With the MLW utilizing strictly WPA2 security, you’ll either have to leave out old devices completely, or have zero security on its wireless network, should you have a device that doesn’t support WPA2. I personally wouldn’t want to be caught with an unsecured network.
Next up we’ll check out the software that helps drive this wonderful gadget.