During my life using computers I've used several 'card readers', some have been good whilst some have been about as useful as a chocolate fireguard, leading me to believe that, for portability reasons, small is most definitely best.
One of the 'card readers' I used a while back, and still use sometimes these days when I'm at my desk, is a rather nice blue coloured one from a well known company called Hama. In fact, this card reader is not just any old card reader, it is an 8-in-1 card reader, which means that it is more useful than many others, (although it does have it's slight down side).
Anyway, this 8-in-1 card reader is made of a solid plastic, and is a lovely blue colour, almost like looking at the colour of a calming sea, and is approximately 130mm in length, 80mm wide and about 20mm deep, which is why I don't class this as portable and tend to leave it in my office desk.
To use it your PC will have to be running on
* Windows OS ME/2000/XP/Vista and even 7, (although you have to download drivers for this OS),
* Plus it works just as well on Mac OS 10x.
So once you've decided that you're running one of these OS then you can go ahead and start using this card reader, and, due to the fact that it has built in drivers there's no need to panic about finding the correct ones, thus eliminating that particular headache.
** It can handle such cards as...
* Memorystick duo/pro duo (sony)
* MMC - 4.1/PLUS
* xD series
* Compact flash 1 and 2
* Smart media
** WHAT ABOUT THE SPEEDS THEN..?
The transfer rates vary but as it is a 2.0 the speeds could be up to 480Mbits/s,which are nothing to sniff at, plus it is what they call 'backward compatible', which means that it can be used just as well on a 1.1. (12Mbits/s)
** MY OPINION...
When I got this the first thing I noticed was the curvy shape and the lovely blue colour, which made it stand out from the crowd a little.
Then when I started to use this it was just what I needed, with me having a selection of card reading capabilities, plus the fact it was under a fiver from a well known high street store.
So I jumped at the chance and began using it to transfer all the data that I needed to, at first to check out the speed to see if what it claimed on the box was actually true, and to be honest, the claimed speeds were quite true indeed.
It was easy to begin using, with it being a matter of simply slotting the USB cable into the USB port on my Laptop, later in my desk top and also the works PC too, and each time it found the drivers and installed them in a matter of seconds, (Although I have yet to try it on a Windows 7 PC as yet as I have not used this properly for a while).
This is not the smallest of card readers but as it allows the reading of 8 different cards, with the ports being all around the unit, some on the front some on the sides, with the USB cable being at the rear.
There are markings around the unit so that you know which memory device goes where
And there is a lovely little green LED light which lets you know that it is plugged into the USB port of your PC, whilst an amber light flashes away to let you know which memory card port is in use.
For me, mainly now that I only use a memory stick pro duo for one of my cameras an SDHC card for my other and a micro SD card for my mobile phone I don't really need to use this multi functional card reader any more. I tend to just carry two small readers inside my laptop case.
But, if you have many different cards, like I used to use, then this is certainly worth looking into as it still sells from amazon and the likes for around £5.00, which is pretty cheap indeed for what it is capable of achieving.
In all, this is a good multi-card reader which looks the part and has the speed of a thousand gazelles, (almost). It lies in the lower bracket price range, keeping the students out there happy, especially with the atrocious fees they have to pay these days just to learn.
Although, if like me, you only have a couple of cards that need reading then maybe this is a bit too bulky for what you actually need, but then again, for a fiver you can't grumble can you.
Card readers are a great easy way of quickly transferring photographs from your camera to your lap top or computer without having to connect the camera up to the laptop using a wire. I bought this card reader for my boyfriend because he has recently bought a new camera. Unfortunately the camera runs on AA batteries and whilst he is downloading his pictures from the camera to the computer it is draining the battery life.
*Price and availability*
I saw this card reader on Amazon for the really good price of £10.00 after being reduced from £14.99 and snapped it up. I have seen it in other online stores for around £12.00 - £15.00 so I think I got a good deal.
The device measures 27 mm x 72 mm x 10 mm and weighs 59g. It is great that it is so small but it is not as light as other card readers I own, however you can still throw it in your camera bag and not have to worry about it.
It is made from robust see through plastic. It seems a lot more toughened than other card readers and should hopefully last a while!
The modern sci-fi design where you can see the circuit board and wires inside looks quite cool and novel. There is a cap on both ends that protects the USB stick and the card slots. These are quite fiddly and I've misplaced the USB lid. It didn't click on very well in the first place but luckily it is not really needed.
*Eight in one*
The device is compatible with SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus, miniSDHC, microSD, microSDHC (this can be read directly and doesn't need an adapter,) miniSD via an adaptor (adaptor not included).
The reader is compatible with Windows ME, 200, XP, Vista and 7. Along with Mac OS 10.x.
The card reader does exactly what it should. The 2.0 USB connection is fast and as soon as we plugged the device in the computer instantly recognised it as the SD card port, which appears as a removable drive.
We have been using the card reader with 8 GB cards and it is has had no problem with them. It is such an easy way of reading or writing memory cards in a convenient stick that is compatible with eight different types of card.
It is so easy to use, all you have to do is drag and drop images or copies them.
Oddly, the device comes with an addition of Magix Ringtone Maker Special edition. I'm unsure why this is part of the package. It converts your favorite tracks into ringtones or into full MP3s. I've had a quick look at what it has to offer but we just don't need anything like that. I don't know why HAMA feels the need to add these gimmicky products as a bonus when the card reader is good enough on its own! The ringtone software is also available for free online! I'm still a bit puzzled by this one, however all in all a good reader and it doesn't distract from the quality.