Digital cameras, mobile phones, PDAs, MP3 players, and hordes of other digital devices all demand some form of removable media to store data. Though the computer and consumer electronics industries have worked hard to rally around standard formats, flash media still comes in countless shapes and sizes. Worse yet, there are an enormous number of USB connectors that allow digital devices to connect to a PC, so you have to wrestle with a bundle of cables just to transfer pictures, MP3s or work files back to your computer.
- Easy-to-use, zippy transfer rates
- Expensive if you only rely on one type of card
SanDisk's ImageMate 12-in-1 USB 2.0 card reader/writer is a good bet for anyone looking for a hassle-free way to connect multiple cards to a PC or Mac.
Price$ 49.00 (AUD)
SanDisk offers a 12-in-1 USB 2.0 card reader and writer to simplify the process of connecting these cards to a PC. The device simply plugs into any spare USB port and appears under Windows or Mac OS as an extra drive. The slots are clearly labelled, which makes connecting cards a breeze. The ImageMate unit supports all the common standards, including CompactFlash I and II, SD, mini-SD, MultiMedia Card (MMC), RS-MMC, SmartMedia, xD, and all flavours of MemoryStick (MemoryStick Duo, MemoryStick PRO, and MemoryStick PRO Duo).
The silver and black reader measures 2 x 7 x 10cm, but it ships with a USB cradle that allows it to stand upright and save desk space. The reader draws power from the USB port, so you don't have to worry about messing around with AC adaptors, either. SanDisk recognises that the most common users for this type of product are digital photographers, and the company has wisely included a starter edition of Adobe Photo Shop Album 2.0 to help touch-up images.
A transfer button is present on the top of the machine that can be configured to automatically copy images to a hard disk and then perform additional functions like printing or e-mailing. Best of all, the USB 2.0 connection allows for much zippier transfers than older USB 1.0/1.1 devices can manage (we clocked a data transfer rate of 11.2 MB per second when transferring images from an 80x CompactFlash card), which can add up to a significant time-saving if you are working with 2 GB memory cards.
If you have a number of digital devices that rely on different types of flash media, SanDisk's ImageMate 12-in-1 reader and writer is a handy investment.
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