This time we will review what Brando send us: the 55-in-1 card reader.

The card reader is a small, white box with the size 85 x 58 x 12 mm (and a weight of 40 g). The included USB cable has a length of about 60 cm. Because of all those relative small sizes, I think it is a good card reader for users of mobile computers (laptops, UMPCs,..)
cardreader01 The Brando 55 in 1 card reader review cardreader03 The Brando 55 in 1 card reader review

Everyone should notice it – the card reader supports many different kinds of cards. There is a list of compatible cards on the product page. The only card type which is not supported is SmartMedia. I know one person which has a very old Olympus digital camera – that’s the only device I know which uses this cards. This and other manufacturers which had used SmartMedia cards now often use xD cards, the successor of SmartMedia cards. And xD cards are supported.
cardreader02 The Brando 55 in 1 card reader review cardreader06 The Brando 55 in 1 card reader review

The support of newer card types should be much more important: CompactFlash, SD cards and Memory Sticks are standard. But the support of SDHC cards should be mentioned. SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards have sizes of 4 GB and more (4 and 8 GB cards are available) and are supported by many new PDAs (Treo 680), digital cameras and other multimedia devices; for older devices there may be a firmware upgrade for the slot driver.

It should also be mentioned that you can insert Micro SD, Mini SD, T-Flash and M2 cards directly – it needs no adapter like most other card readers.

The card reader is a regular USB 2.0 device and so can be easily connected to the most computers. It acts as a USB mass storage device which is supported by the most operating systems, including Windows 2000, ME, XP and Mac OS (officially supported by Brando), Windows CE, Linux and others. I tried it at both an older Windows XP USB 1.1 computer and a Mandriva 2007 laptop and couldn’t find any problems.

I can confirm the compatibility of the following cards. None of the cards I own made any problems:

  • 16 MB SD, Canon
  • 256 MB SD, SanDisk
  • 128 MB Memory Stick, Iodata
  • 1024 MB SD, Panasonic (Highspeed)
  • 128 MB Compact Flash, Lexar Media

cardreader10 The Brando 55 in 1 card reader review cardreader11 The Brando 55 in 1 card reader review

Because of USB 2.0, data transfers are very fast. I wrote some files and copied many pictures from a SD card. The speed should only depend on the cards you use. I could even insert three cards at one time, and it worked well. An LED shows when a card is inserted / accessed:
cardreader09 The Brando 55 in 1 card reader review

In my opinion, every Palm user who owns an SD card should have a card reader. Although many new computers contain a card reader, there are few ones that read so many different card types and even SDHC cards. This card reader is useful for anyone who has a PDA, digital camera, MP3 player or other device which uses flash cards, because you can insert (almost?) all card types – I think Smart Media support is not too important. You can’t do much wrong if you buy this card reader – it is in the Brando Shop for $ 28.00.

Related posts:

  1. Spectec SDG 810 – SDIO GPS receiver with builtin mini SD card reader
  2. Card Reader review – transform your Palm into an USB stick
  3. Treo 680 supports 16 GB SDHC card
  4. Panasonic 4GB SDHC card coming – but don’t hold your breath, it won’t work in Palms
  5. 2GB memory card compatibility

3 Responses to “The Brando 55-in-1 card reader review”

  1. I was going to pick up a card reader a little while ago, but instead spent my money on Softick’s CardExport II. Best $14.95 I’ve spent. Well, maybe second-best. Bike Or Die slightly edges it out, I think. ;)

  2. Blake, cardex is so sloooow! With a card reader you get ctransfer speeds of up to 2x (IMO) times faster. Bad choice, but hey, to each his own.

  3. Card Export is good – but the transfer speed of a Palm is never as good as the one of a card reader.

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