Patriot Gauntlet Node Portable Wireless Enclosure
We received the Gauntlet Node inside a very sturdy and well-designed cardboard box. Patriot went with a classic, semi-serious artwork theme, focused on the features of the enclosure itself.
Inside the box we found a very good bundle, starting from quick-start, installation and operation guides, to mounting hardware for the HDD, to a USB 3.0 cable and a USB power cable, to a universal A/C power adaptor with USB output. We especially liked the inclusion of the A/C adaptor, which allows the user to charge/power the Gauntlet Node from an A/C outlet rather than just a computer's USB port.
The Gauntlet Node is a beautifully designed device, albeit perhaps a bit large. The internal battery and hardware increase the size of the enclosure considerably, making it significantly larger than common 2.5" USB drives. Patriot embossed the word "Gauntlet" on the top cover of the chassis. Three LEDs indicate power, Wi-Fi connection and battery status.
As expected, the power connector, power on/off button and USB 3.0 cable connector are to be found on the rear end of the enclosure. Unfortunately, the USB 3.0 cable, while a blazing fast way to transfer data from and to the Gauntlet Node, also disables all of the device's wireless capabilities as long as it remains connected. We feel that it would be much better if the USB 3.0 interface could work simultaneously as the Wi-Fi radio; that way the user could keep the Gauntlet Node connected to a main PC and still stream data to all Wi-Fi enabled devices nearby. The button on the side of the Gauntlet is for monitoring the status of the battery. There are four LEDs next to the button, which indicate the remaining battery life once the button is pressed.