Electronic Design

Flash Memory Reader: SanDisk 12-in-1 Card Reader/Writer

Flash memory is everywhere and moving data between it and the PC can be a chore if you don’t have the right mechanism. The SanDisk USB 2.0 ImageMate 12-in-1 Card Reader/Writer handles all of the currently available flash-memory formats except USB flash drives, hence the name. The formats include Memory Stick (standard, Duo, Pro, Pro Duo), CompactFlash I and II, SD and miniSD, MultiMedia Card, RS-MMC, SmartMedia, and xD.

There are four slots on the front of the 12-in-1 along with status LEDs for each and a power LED (see the figure). Each slot shows up as its own drive, so you can plug in two different kinds of media and transfer directly from one to another simply by dragging and dropping files using a standard file manager like Windows Explorer.

The unit comes with SanDisk software that works in conjunction with the button found on the top of the unit. Insert a disk, press the button, and the application pops up to let you transfer data.

A copy of Adobe Photo Album 2.0 Starter Edition is included since the unit is often going to be used with digital cameras. It runs on Windows ME, 2000, and XP.

I found the 12-in-1 to be very handy since I have multiple devices that use flash in different form factors. The SanDisk e140 MP3 player and the R817 used SanDisk’s Ultra II SD card, but I also have CompactFlash for a PDA and an MMC card for another MP3 player. You may not need it right now, but having a 12-in-1 means not having to worry who is coming to dinner with their camera or MP3 player. You can read and write it all.

TAGS: Components
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