Memory Card Readers
Because memory cards are nowadays quite popular, it was time to test memory card readers. Memory cards are used for e.g. in digital cameras, MP3 players and moving data between computers.
The idea of a memory card reader is to provide an universal connection instead of lots of different cables, converters and other equipment, because most devices have certain kind of cables that can't be replaced with another device's cable. Memory card readers mainly support more than one card type. The card reader uses the system's power, so it doesn't require any AC adapters or batteries. This means it saves the power resources of your camera, MP3 player or handheld.
In this review there are two readers, Kingston 6-in-1 and Belkin 2-in-1. As the names tell, Kingston's reader supports six different types of cards and Belkin's two. Both readers are connected to the PC via USB-port. Both devices are of type USB1.1 and they dont support USB2.0. The reader can then be placed where the user wants to place it, of course, depending on the cable lenght. When inserting the card(s), the device is seen as a removable disk(s), from where you can drag and drop files into wanted directory. Or in reverse, you can drag and drop some files and take them with you on the memory card.
|Supported media types:||
Top slot: Compact Flash, type I and II
|Supported OS's:||Windows 98, Windows Millennium, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. Mac OS 9 (9.0 - 9.22) and Mac OS X (10.1.2 or above)|
|Cable||120 cm long built-in cable.|
|Dimensions||8 x 10 x 3.5 cm (Width x Lenght x Height)|
|Package included||Kingston FCR-U26/1 Memory Card Reader
|Supported media types:||Compact Flash, Smart Media|
|System Requirements:||Computer with available USB Port
Windows 98, ME, 2000, or XP
Mac OS8.6 or higher
|Package Contents:||Belkin Dual USB Media Reader/Writer for Compact Flash & Smart Media
USB Device Cable
|Cable||95 cm long transparent and detachable cable|
|Dimensions||11 x 9 x 4 cm (Width x Lenght x Height)|
|Transfer||Transfers images and other files at speeds up to 12MBps – up to 40 times faster than a serial port|
Canon 8MB card
Sandisk 96MB card
There were two cards used in the test. Canon 8MB and Sandisk 96MB compact flash. The smaller card is used because it's bit faster than that 96MB version so this might reveal possible speed differences better.
Kingston with 96MB card
Belkin with 96MB card
As you can see from this SiSoft Sandra's test, both readers as equally fast. In both cases the card itself is holding back the readers. Let's see how the numbers change when we use a bit faster card.
Kingston with 8MB card
Belkin with 8MB card
Like in a previous test the card is still the slowest component. Both readers perform well and with equal speed.
Kingston has made an excellent reader, that supports as many as six card types. This would be qood choise for those who have several devices using different types of cards. The reader is well-formed and it stays firmly on the desk when inserting the card. The size of the reader is quite small, so it won't take extra space on your desk either.
The only negative thing with the reader is that the cable can't be detached. The cable is quite long, though, so there shouldn't be any trouble about this.
Belkin's reader has a modern design, which pleases my eyes. It supports only two card types, but they are the most common types, so you would be happy with this too, if you don't have or aren't going to purchase new devices with different card types.
The reader itself is quite light and because of the short and stiff cable, the first feeling when using this reader is that will it stay on its place when inserting a memory card.
If you have already Belkin's hubs or other devices, you can make a stack of all these. That would look nice on the work desk, especially when you can change the color covers. And the front side led system might be a good place for a mod ;)