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Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 WiFi Memory Card Reader MLWG2

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 WiFi card reader

Introduction

The Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 (MLWG2) is a wireless media hub. It has a built-in SD card reader and USB port that can be accessed via WiFi. It can be used to view, move or copy between wireless devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and connected USB devices including thumb drives and portable hard drives. It also supports streaming of video to up to five devices at a time.

In addition to providing access to storage media, the MobileLite G2 can act as a WiFi hotspot and share an Internet connection. Its internal lithium-ion battery can also be used to charge devices that use a USB connection.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 WiFi card reader

The MobileLite G2 is similar in size to a portable hard drive. It measures approximately 5 x 3 1/8 x 3/4 inches (129 x 79 x 19 mm) and weighs 6 ounces (171 grams). Its black and white plastic case has a semigloss finish. It feels durable but the finish will show fingerprints.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 WiFi card reader

One side of the case has three status lights to indicate battery power level, WiFi connectivity and Internet bridge mode. Next to these is the power button, a reset button and micro-B USB port. This USB port is used to charge the MobileLite.

MobileLite App

The Kingston MobileLite App can be used to configure the device and provides a basic file manager. The app is available for iOS and Android, and also works with Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. The app provides access to configure device and provides a file manager and media viewer. The MobileLite App version 3.0.1.19 for Android is used for this review.

Using the MobileLite G2 with a mobile device requires connecting to the MobileLite G2 WiFi network. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11g/n. Its default network label is MLWG2-____, where the last 4 characters default to the last 4 characters of its MAC address.

Connecting to MobileLite G2 Network

When first connecting to the MobileLite G2, the MobileLite App goes through a setup process. The network name can be changed and a password can be set to secure the wireless connection (WPA2).

After the initial setup is complete, the settings provide access to additional items: a battery indicator, auto shut-down timer, firmware version, wireless visibility, wireless channel and WiFi bridge. The WiFi bridge allows devices connected to the MobileLite G2 to remain connected to the Internet through an existing WiFi network. The firmware can up updated through the MobileLite App. Firmware version 2.0.0.6 is used for this review.

MobileLite G2 File Grid ViewMobileLite G2 File List View

The MobileLite App provides two layouts for browsing files: grid view and list view. Files on devices connected to the MobileLite by USB are labeled USB Drive, connected SD cards are labeled SD card and the local device where is MobileLite App is running is labeled Offline. Files can be sorted by name, date, size or type, however sorting is only one direction. Files can moved or copied between USB drive, SD card and local device or deleted. They can also be shared by email, Facebook or Twitter, or opened using other associated apps on the device.

MobileLite G2 Photo ViewMobileLite G2 File Info

The MobileLite App provides a photo viewer to view images, play videos or a slideshow of images. It supports thumbnail previews for JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP. Although TIF files are listed as compatible, none of the TIF files would load thumbnails. The photo viewer did not understand the image orientation embedded in JPEG images; images were always shown in landscape orientation.

Streaming video formats supported include m4V and mp4 with H.264 video codec. Video playback includes subtitle support. Audio file formats supported include MP3 and WAV. Files in other formats can be opened using other apps on the mobile device. DRM protected content may need to be copied to the device for playback.

A basic file search function is provided, as well as the ability to view files by type (photos, videos or music), on a specific device or across all connected devices.

Using other apps with the MobileLite G2

The MobileLite App provides basic level of function, but some users may wish for a more powerful file manger. Those users will be happy to learn the MobileLite G2 is not limited to its own app, but can be accessed with other file managers.

Browsing MobileLite G2 in ES File ExplorerViewing MobileLite G2 in ES File Explorer

The Wireless G2 can be accessed via Server Message Block (SMB). This common file sharing protocol allows other apps such as ES File Explorer to access it. This allows transferring files to other destinations on the network on even directly to FTP sites or other cloud storage systems.

MobileLite G2 in Browser

The MobileLite G2 also has a web interface to allow access through a web browser. When connected to the MobileLite G2 wireless network, load the IP Address 192.168.201.254 to access the SD card or USB drive connected to device. It is also possible to configure the MobileLite G2 through the web interface, however not all devices tested were able to access the browser-based setup function.

Charging Connected Devices

The internal 4640 mAh 3.8v lithium-ion battery can be used to charge phones and tablets connected to its USB 2.0 port. The level of charge provided depends on the device. The MobileLite must be turned off for it to charge a connected device.

The battery in the MobileLite G2 can be recharged with a USB cable connected to its micro-B USB connector. It can be charged whether it is turned on or off. The red battery indicator blinks to indicate it is being charged.

SD Card Reader

When the MobileLite is turned off, it will operate as a USB 2.0 card reader. Plug a USB cable into the mini USB-B port and connect to a computer. SD cards insert fully into the slot and do not protrude, making it easy to transport the device with a card inside. The card can be ejected by pressing it.

As a card reader the MobileLite G2 transfers at about 20 MB/s read and write speed. It is not a replacement for a fast USB 3.0 reader when transfer speed is important. USB devices connected to the USB port on the MobileLite transfer at up to 35MB/s read speed. This speed is limited by USB 2.0.

It is possible to plug a USB card reader into the USB port on the MobileLite to read a CompactFlash or other memory cards formats via WiFi. This allows previewing images on a phone or tablet without the need for a laptop to act as USB host. Multi-card readers also work, however only one card can be accessed at a time.

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 WiFi card reader

WiFi Router

To share a wired Internet connection, connect an Ethernet cable from a DSL or cable modem to the back of the MobileLite Wireless G2. Up to five devices can be connected to the WiFi network. The Ethernet port can also be used to connect supported G3 Mobile Network dongles (see Kingston site for a list of supported dongles).

Compatibility

The MobileLite G2 is compatible with Windows 8.1, 8 and 7 (SP1), Vista (SP2), Mac OS X v. 10.6.x +, Linux v. 2.6.x +. The MobileLite App is compatible with iOS 7+ and Android 4.0+ including Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. The MobileLite G2 is covered by a 2 year warranty.

Conclusion

The Kingston MobileLite G2 packs a lot of features in a small package. It offers many benefits, from viewing images on a mobile phone or tablet, transferring and backing up images on the go. It can allow a travelling photographer to travel light and leave the laptop at home.

Compare prices on the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 reader. The lowest prices are highlighted in the table below.

Card ReaderConnectionModel NumberPrices
AmazonB&H PhotoAdorama
Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2USB 2.0 / WiFiMLWG2Check price Check price$44.95