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Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile review: An SSD makes this the portable media server to beat

Jon L. Jacobi | June 19, 2014
This portable storage device and wireless media server weighs a mere 4.23 ounces.

Even better, the AeroMobile streamed said movie for an incredible 14 hours--6 hours longer than Toshiba claims as run time. That's easily the longest run time I've seen out of a portable media server, and by a large margin. The AeroMobile also passes through Internet so you can still surf while streaming media from the device.

The AerMobile's Web portal is clean, friendly, and elements are sized with mobile and touch devices in mind. If you're connected to the Internet, it will also automatically upgrade the unit's firmware--given a battery strength of 50 percent or higher. There are facilities for photos, video, and music display and playback, as well as accessing documents you've stored on the drive.

Toshiba's drive also proved to be an excellent performer in its more mundane task as a simple storage device. When direct-attached via USB 3.0, it smoked competitors such as the aforementioned Seagate and Samsung drives, writing our 10GB mix of files and folders at 107MBps and reading it at 140MBps.

With a single large 10GB file, its performance jumped to 126MBps writing and 167MBps reading. Note that those speeds are to and from our test bed's RAM disk; you'll get lower numbers when copying to and from hard drives and SSDs.

The AeroMobile is pricier than most streaming hard drives, it's somewhat capacity-challenged, and it won't charge your phone. Its diminutive size and weight, outstanding run time, speed, and cleanly designed Web interface, however, clearly outweigh its negatives. And you can still fit a fair amount of stuff on it as well as toss it in a suitcase without worrying about breaking it.

It's the first such product I've actually wanted to keep. 

 

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