Reviews: Other

SanDisk ImageMate SD/MMC Card Reader

    Though all PDA's with expansion slots support accessing memory cards via a connection to your desktop, this is not a very practical way to transfer large files.  The connection is often slower that normal, not to mention you cannot easily dump files from any computer because must have the devices drivers installed.  I have always been hesitant to buy a USB card reader because of the high cost.  SanDisk recently has started producing a series low-cost USB card readers called ImageMate's. The catch that an ImageMate reader only supports one type of card, though this may be all many users need.
     The SanDisk ImageMate is available for Compact Flash, Secure Digital/MMC, and Memory Stick formats.  Each of the card readers is the same size even though some of the cards are smaller.  Though the readers aren't built to be stackable, I think it is still nice to have uniformity between the readers.  On one end of the reader is the card port while on the other is the USB (B) connection port.  Above the USB port is a small green/yellow light to display if the reader is connected and/or transferring.  For my devices, I most needed the SD/MMC card ImageMate reader.  I was surprised that SanDisk made the SD card stick out and go completly inside like with many PDA's.  This made it much easier to get the card out of the reader while it is on your desk (on a PDA this would not be such a good feature).  The ImageMate requires no power other than that provided by the USB port nor does it require any drivers to be recognized by almost any computer.  On my Windows XP Pentium III 500MHz laptop, it took thirty seconds to recognize the ImageMate the first time and correctly setup a drive letter.  To reconnect it in the future only took less than five seconds.  The ImageMate is a USB 2.0 based device, though it works just fine with my non-USB 2.0 ports and the speed is still much better than when the cards are in the devices.
     I really like the ImageMate card reader.  I really do not need a six-in-one reader, so the ImageMate SD/MMC card reader fits in well with my system setup as well as other systems I may need to use it with.  And what is even better is that it fits so well into my budget.  Each ImageMate USB card reader retails for $20 for the carder reader and a USB cable.

Dave's Score - 8.5
This means, this product is a very good product, though has some features which could be improved.  This product embodies quality in its design and application, and is something I would use though I think there are still areas for improvement.  Weigh the pros and cons before purchasing, but in my opinion this device is a good buy.

Click to enlarge

For more on SanDisk's products, visit their website at:
www.sandisk.com 

May 2003

Bauzaun

Feel free to email me about your own PDA, questions, comments, articles, rumors, and reviews.  I can be reached at dave@davespda.com.