by Tucker Mindrum

Toshiba FlashAir III SD Card Review

Toshiba has released a third generation of their FlashAir Wireless SD card (called the FlashAir III). This card is available in 16GB or 32GB capacity and comes with a wireless LAN chip and antenna for wireless transfers to computers, smartphones, and tablets. Subsequently, the FlashAir III allows users to more quickly share media from their camera to social media. This card would benefit both professionals that desire a faster turnaround as well as amateur photographers.

Thanks to the FlashAir III’s internet pass-thru feature, users don’t even need to have a wifi signal to connect to their computer. Toshiba also developed the FlashAir app, which is a free download that optimizes sharing with iOS and Android devices. The wireless function is powered off when not in use to reduce the card’s drain on the camera’s battery, though the camera must be turned on during wireless transfers. The FlashAir III can be accessed from up to seven devices simultaneously, which is enchanced by the PhotoShare Feature (which regulates access by each device).

The FlashAir III packs lots of features, the most notable compared to its predecessor, the FlashAir II, is its internet pass-thru feature (the FlashAir II needed Wi-Fi). Both generations are available for $49.99 and $69.99 (16GB and 32GB, respectively) and carry a 5-year warranty.

Specifications

  • Capacities
    • 16GB (PFW016U-1CCW)
    • 32GB (PFW032U-1CCW)
  • Card type: SDHC
  • Wireless LAN Security: WEP, TKIP, AES (WPA, WPA2)
  • Speed Class: Class 10
  • Power Supply Voltage: 2.7-3.6V
  • Operating Environment
    • Temperature: -25 to 85C
    • Humidity: 95% RH (at 25C, no condensation)
  • Weight: 2g (0.005lbs)
  • Warranty: 5 years

Design and Build

The design of the FlashAir III is almost completely identical to that of the FlashAir II. The only difference is that the small “W-03” on the face of the device was “W-02” in the older model. It has a nice a fairly sleek appearance with white plastic and a branded white sticker on the front.

The yellow write-lock mechanism on the left side of the device can be used to prevent accidental overwrites. The back of the card has the typical gold connector pins with some product information.

Performance

Using our Consumer Testing Platform, we measured the wireless transfer speeds from Toshiba FlashAir II SD 32GB card with IOMeter. The FlashAir III posted sequential speeds of 18.17MB/s and 5.95MB/s (read and write, respectively). The previous FlashAir model (the FlashAir II) had very similar numbers, with 18.1MB/s read and 6.9MB/s write.

Conclusion

Toshiba's new FlashAir III provides users with an easier means of transfering media from their camera; with its wireless LAN chip and antenna, the FlashAir III can wirelessly send its data to computers, tablets, and smartphones. It can be used with or without a pre-existing wifi signal thanks to its internet pass-thru feature, and Toshiba has included some features like PhotoShare to make it a well-rounded card. It is very similar to its predecessor (the FlashAir II) in price, performance, and features, but wireless SD card data transfer is a novel idea that could benefit both professional and amateur photographers and videographers. As far as perfromance goes, we say sequential read speeds of 18.17MB/s and sequential write speeds of 5.95MB/s.

Pros

  • Wireless data transfer
  • Somewhat low cost

Cons

  • Drains camera battery during transfers

The Bottom Line

The FlashAir III should be strongly considered by professional and amateur photographers and videographers interested in transferring data wirelessly from their camera.

Toshiba Flash Air III at Amazon

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