All too often devices that need to serve too many purposes end up being a jack of all trades and a master of none. That is not the case with the IOGEAR MediaShair Hub with SD/USB Input and Built-in Power Station. It is a jack of all trades and a it plays with a full deck.
So much for the mixed metaphors. Let’s say this little gadget is a a handy piece of kit that travelers will want to keep in their gear bags.
We’ve seen devices from companies like Sandisk and Kingston that allow you to wirelessly access media from SD cards on your mobile devices. They are a great way to store and view media without having to store the files directly on the device that will be used to view them. They work well and are especially helpful when using Apple’s devices since the company continues to refuse to add expandable storage to any of their iOS offerings. The IOGEAR MediaShair Hub lets you access files on the go and also includes the ability to charge your mobile device. That, however, is just the beginning.
So what exactly can this multifunctional piece of mobile awesomeness do?
- With it you can stream movies, music, photos and documents to 7 devices.
- With the ethernet port you can take a wired internet connection and create a Wi-Fi network to which you can connect your devices.
- The built-in SD card reader will let you transfer data from your flash media to your computer. This is especially helpful if your laptop doesn’t have an SD card reader.
- The USB 2.0 port will let you access your flash drive and effectively becomes an external hard drive connection
- It can double as a Wi-Fi repeater and extend the connection to existing Wi-Fi networks
- It even functions as a portable battery for charging USB devices
- And while it offers up to 9 hours of streaming media it also comes with a cigarette lighter charger so you can use it AND charge it on the road.
The IOGEAR MediaShair Hub does all this and is available for under $60 [Affiliate Link] here on Amazon.
As IOGear explains:
With the new IOGEAR MediaShair Hub you can now take your movies, music, photos and documents on the go and share them with all your wireless devices. Just plug in your SD card, USB flash drive, or even your portable USB hard drive into the media hub and the built-in Wi-Fi connection shares the content with up to 7 Android, iOS, or laptop devices within range. The MediaShair Hub has a built-in battery for up to 9 hours of use between charges, and if your playback devices runs low on juice just plug in your charging cable to the USB port and the MediaShair Hub becomes a portable power station! Designed to be the perfect travel companion, the MediaShair Hub’s Ethernet port even converts a wired internet connection to Wi-Fi. The MediaShair Hub is so versatile it can even serve as a Wi-Fi SD card reader for devices without a card slot or USB port!
Tired of not having enough space on your iPad for your movie collection? No problem, just plug in your external hard drive into the media hub and access hundreds of movies at any time! Taking the kids on a trip? With the MediaShair Hub they can each enjoy their favorite music and videos on their own wireless device. Does your hotel room only have wired internet? Simply plug the Ethernet cable into the MediaShair Hub’s RJ45 port and use it as a media hotspot now all your wireless devices can connect to the internet. Want to quickly share photos while on your trip? Pop your camera’s SD card into the slot on the MediaShair Hub, and then view or save your photos on any wireless device in range.
Inside the box you will find…
- The MediaShair Hub
- A USB to Micro-USB Cable
- A Car Charger
- A User Manual
- A Warranty Card
IOGEAR offers free apps for both iOS and Android. With these apps you can quickly and easily access media that is stored on an SD card. That’s ideal for people who purchased a 16GB or 32GB iPad and are now finding themselves in need of more storage. After all, HD videos take up huge amounts of space!
The IOGEAR MediaShair Hub is both Windows and Mac compatible. It comes with drivers for NTFS, FAT32 and HFS+ built in so the MediaShair Hub is compatible with nearly all pre-formatted Windows and Mac storage drives. As IOGEAR puts it, that’s “great news for Mac users” but is, in truth, great news for pretty much everyone. Sure you can always format your media to work with your given computer system but not needing to take that extra step is a good thing!
As noted, the IOGEAR MediaShair HubTravel also serves as a Router and Wireless Access Point. That means it can take a wired internet and create a local wireless network. That’s especially nice in those cases where hotels charge per device. Simply connect the MediaShair Hub and let its wireless connection get all your devices on-line for a single charge.
The last two functions offers by the device are the simplest but are also quite important. The IOGEAR MediaShair Hub doubles as an SD Card Reader so you can quickly and easily download your photos and videos and free up space on your SD card. Finally, the 2600mAh battery in the device keeps it up and running but will also let you recharge your smartphone. That means you can enjoy more media on the go for a longer period of time and do so from a single device that has an MSRP of under $100 and is actually available for quite a bit less.
From an industrial design perspective this isn’t the most refined piece of kit we have seen. The white plastic used in its construction looks rather cheap. It is, however, solid and does its job… Or shall we say jobs… Quite well. It is one of those accessories you don’t think you need but, once you have it, you’ll be glad you do.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample IOGEAR MediaShair Hub
What I Like: Small unit; Easy to use; Works with iOS and Android; Fulfills a number of important functions at once; Extends storage and run-time of smartphones
What Needs Improvement: Does not come with a protective travel bag; White plastic is meh