Patriot Memory Gauntlet Node

11/5/2012 9:08:20 AM

Let’s say you have an extra SSD lying around from a recent PC refresh, or your broken laptop’s HDD still has some tread left on the tires. In either scenario, you have a storage drive in need of repurposing. Patriot Memory offers an enticing possibility with an enclosure that does much more than turn internal drives into external ones. The Gauntlet Node will actually transform your 2.5-inch (9.5mm height) SSD or HDD into a mobile Wi-Fi storage device or a streaming multimedia hub for your smartphone, tablet, and laptop. After we took the Node for a test drive, we think mobile-minded users will get quite a bit of mileage out of it.

Description: Patriot Memory Gauntlet Node

Patriot Memory Gauntlet Node

The Gauntlet Node’s matte black exterior is a muted disguise for a lot of functionality packed into a small package. The plastic enclosure measures 0.96 x 5.47 x 3.39 inches (HxWxD) and is designed to support drives up to 2TB. It can provide Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) access to stored content for as many as eight mobile devices. (And it can stream to five of those simultaneously.) Fill up the Node with music and movies via its USB 3.0 port (backward-compatible with USB 2.0), set it up in your house or at an event, and have five people simultaneously streaming at the same time. Patriot offers a free Gauntlet Connect app (available for both Android [via Google Play or the Amazon’s Apps for Android] and iOS) that you can install on your smartphone or tablet to gain access, and you can also connect any computer to the Node via Wi-Fi. The Node boasts a rated battery life of 5.5 hours when you’re using it for mobile streaming. And with the Node’s IP pass-through capability, you can route an Internet connection to up to eight connected devices.

Installation is simple. You just slide off the plastic backing on the enclosure, connect the cable inside to your 2.5-inch drive, follow the instructions to make sure the drive is snug inside, and then seal it up with included screws. Along with the USB data cable, you also get a USB-to-DC cable and a wall charger. Most computers should automatically recognize the Node, but we had to go into our Disk Management settings and format the drive before the computer would recognize it.

One of our favorite features of the Node is how many different ways you can upload and download content to and from the device. You can either click and drag items onto it when the USB cable is connected, or use Wi-Fi to stream, download, or upload content. For example, you can upload images from your computer to the Node and then download them to your smartphone using the Gauntlet Connect app.

Another option would be to create a document or presentation on you tablet and use the Gauntlet Connect app to push it to the Node. We found that streaming speeds were very good, as well. We uploaded a two-minute video to the Node. Using an iPhone 4, the video streamed smoothly and without any playback issues. And if you want to fine-tune your settings or set up the WPA security, you can do so either through the Gauntlet Connect app or by accessing the Gauntlet Node GUI via its local IP address.

Description: Patriot Memory Gauntlet Node

Patriot Memory’s Gauntlet Node is wireless, compact, and portable. It avoids the USB tether of some other hard drive enclosures and lets you connect to it with your mobile device with an easy-to-navigate app. The Node is certainly a worthy addition to any multimedia setup, especially if you want to stream photos, videos, and music to multiple mobile devices at once.


Price: $99.99


Specs: Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n, USB 3.0; Wireless security: WPA; Internal interface: 3Gbps SATA; Storage drive form factor: 2.5-inch (9.5mm); Max storage support: 2TB; Max connections: 8; Rated  battery life: 5.5 hours


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