Imation Power Link Drive
Easy to use; handy for carrying data
Video playback limited; can only back up some content
Almost every iPhone and iPad user has seen the dreaded ‘There is not enough available storage…’ message when trying to take a photo, shoot a video or download some new music from the iTunes Store. Unlike many Android devices, Apple has seen fit to not allow users to expand the storage in their iDevices. And we’ve all run out of battery at exactly the moment we least can afford to. Imation’s answer to these problems is the Power Drive – a clever device that combines an extra 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage with a 3000mAh battery pack.
The Power Drive is very compact. At about 6 x 7 x 2cm, you’ll barely notice it in your bag. There are two cable connectors integrated into the case – USB and Lightning. When connected to your Mac, you can copy photos, video and other content from your Mac to one of the folders that has been added to the device at the factory. That connection will also charge the Power Drive’s battery.
The Lightning connection lets you charge your iPhone or access data on the Power Drive. The Power Drive’s battery will fully recharge your iPhone once with enough juice left over for another three-quarter charge.
There’s a small button on the top of the Power Drive with four small LEDs. The button activates the charging capability, so you can use the Power Drive to access data without sucking the battery dry if you don’t need it.
We copied a bunch of documents, images, music and movies to the Power Drive via USB from our MacBook. The connection is only USB 2, so it will take a little bit of time if you’re planning to use the Power Drive for several gigabytes of data.
In order to use the Power Drive on our iPhone, we needed to download a free app. The app includes its own video and audio players, as well as a document viewer. When we viewed a Word Document we could read it; however, to edit the document we could use the Share button to send the document to Word. However, that results in another copy of the document being added to the iPhone’s local storage.
Audio playback worked well. We copied albums purchased from the iTunes Store from our MacBook’s iTunes library to the Power Drive. To access the songs, or any other content, we browsed the folders on the device. As long as we kept things organised, finding content was easy.
We did hit some snags with video playback. We copied a movie we’d purchased from the iTunes Store to the Power Drive. Unfortunately, playback simply failed. There was no dialogue box or any explanation. We tapped on the movie, the video player launched and then shut down, dumping us back to the app’s file browser. With videos we’d shot that were saved as M4V files, they opened in the video player, but stopped after a second of playback. If, however, we copied video stills on our iPhone that were in the MOV format to the Power Drive they played without any problems.
If your iPhone is running low on capacity, you can easily copy content from what the Link app calls your ‘Media Library’. This is actually only your Photos library. While that can be useful for copying photos and videos for a backup, you can’t give yourself more local storage by moving music or other files to the Power Link.