USB devices are seldom designed to impress based on their visual characteristics, but it is clear that the iTwin breaks the mould in that aspect. From the packaging right down to the actual dongle itself, the overall design of the iTwin package just seems to scream ‘style’ even before the box is opened.
But it is clear that admiring the box is not going to get us any closer to our main aim of the review, which is to find out just how user-friendly the iTwin is for the typical PC user. Filping the lid reveals the iTwin dongles in all their anodized aluminium glory, as shown in the image below. It is also worth noting that iTwin has included an instructional booklet which we strongly recommend reading and not discarding.
iTwin’s website claims that the dongle is available in two colours, namely Lime Green and Gunmetal Grey. And with such colour schemes that are as distinct from each other as night and day, it goes without saying that there will be no prizes for guessing (assuming it is even needed) which particular colour scheme our review unit belongs to.
As its name suggests, the iTwin is made up of a pair of identical USB dongles connected via a special proprietary L-shaped connector at their bottom ends which bear some resemblance to the standard SATA data connector, albeit heavily scaled down in size, as shown below. It may not seem obvious at this point, but this ability to split the dongle into two pieces forms the core foundation of the task it is designed for: to access files on a local machine over a working Internet connection regardless of one’s location. As usual, more on this later where we talk about using the iTwin.
Last but not least, the visual package is topped off with a pair of glowing LEDs located at the sides of each dongle. While they may look nice, those LEDs are not there merely for cosmetic and visual appeal: they function as status indicator lights for users to know when the device is active and idle, or currently in the midst of processing information and broadcasting data.