2 June 2014

REVIEW: Leef Bridge 3.0

Building bridges

Look at it this way; this review was written on a tablet and the chances are you are reading it either on a tablet yourself or on your smartphone. Most of these devices don't carry a full-sized USB port in them, and instead rely upon good old microUSB. So why are all of our flash drives compatible only with full-sized USB? That is a problem that the Leef Bridge 3.0 solves.

The Leef Bridge 3.0 is basically a 16, 32, or 64GB flash drive with a USB 3.0 connector at one end and a microUSB connector at the other. It can therefore function as a storage device for ALL of your gadgets (expect those mobile products built by Apple). It's a nifty wee thing that is solidly built and beyond handy. We gave it a test drive.

It makes perfect sense to design a flash drive that can serve mobile tech. After all, one day all tech will be mobile tech and the traditional rectangular stub of the USB will most probably be deemed far too big to fit into future gadgets. Although advancements in cloud drive technology are coming on leaps and bounds, it isn't always possible to access them when you're down a mine, out of WiFi range, or you forget to pay your bill. That's a when a physical external drive comes in oh-so handy.

The Bridge 3.0 is a great example of how gadgets are now dominated by the human interface elements, as if you were to remove both the USB connectors, the plastic casing and the slide-along plastic protector, the Leef Bridge 3.0 would be absolutely tiny.

Press down on the central button and you can either slide the USB connector forward, to lock firmly into place, or rather the microUSB connector, again firmly into place. In the central position both delicate connectors are protected from protruding; a design feature which offers great piece of mind as your toss the drive into your backpack.

Obviously the Leef Bridge 3.0 is, as the name suggests, USB 3.0 compatible, making transfer speeds especially quick. The packaging suggests downloading Astro File Manager onto your Android device to help navigate your files, but we found that the native Android File Manager was just as good. We would however heartily recommend ES File Manager, a free-to-use, very in-depth app that makes the transfer and reading of files from the Bridge 3.0 very easy. But, y'know, whatever works for you.

We can certainly imagine that gadgets like the Leef Bridge 3.0 will force the hand of technology developers to rethink exactly what the average user requires these days. We wouldn't be surprised that in the ten years all USB ports and connectors will be tiny, either a newer version of the microUSB or something completely different. Either way, with the Leef Bridge 3.0 you'll be set from the start!

£19.99 (for the 16GB).

© The Test Pit

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