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,..)
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.
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
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:
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.