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Transfer your digital pictures quickly and easily. Duncan Evans tries out a multi-format card reader from Crucial.
The Hi-Speed 12-in-1 card reader from Crucial has the following features:
- Supports USB 2.0
- Works with Microsoft Windows 98SE and higher, and MacOS 9.0 or higher (drivers required for Windows 98SE)
- Size: 110mm x 61mm x 16mm
- Plastic exterior
- Drag files between memory card and computer
- Card-to-card data transfer
- No external power required
- Supports hot-swapping
- Low power consumption
Installing the card reader is straightforward and easy. In Windows XP it's simply a plug and play process and the drive letters all appear in My Computer. For Windows 98SE, a driver on the supplied CD needs to be installed, and the computer restarted, then its ready to go.
Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro/Pro Duo (with adapter), Secure Digital, miniSD (with adapter), microSD (with adapter), MultiMedia Card, RS MMC (with adapter), Smart Media, Microdrive, Compact Flash Type I/II. The only modern format not supported is x-D Picture Card.
What's great about about this USB 2.0 device is that it supports hot-swapping, so that you can yank cards in and out, and that you can copy files from one card to another, without having to copy them to the computer first. Copy to computer is simply a drag and drop process. As it's a USB 2.0 drive, it doesn't require a separate power supply, and works very quickly. Although copying a 20Mb file from a PC to the card reader takes about 15 seconds, going the other way, which is what it is mainly for, the 20Mb file goes over in under two seconds. Note that the speed of transfer for CompactFlash and MicroDrive cards is limited by the speed of the card itself. for multiple file copying, of 100Mb, from the card to the PC, the transfer was 14 seconds, averaging out at 7.2MB/s.