FriendlyNET GiniII 6in1 Memory Reader/Writer
The FriendlyNET GiniII is a high speed USB 2.0 device and is capable of transfer rates as high as 480 Megabits per second. When used with older systems it's backwards compatible with the USB 1.1 standards but the transfer rate drops to a maximum of 12 Megabits per second.
This card reader / writer is also perfect for those with MP3 players, PDA's and mobile phones as well as digital cameras or camcorders. Anybody that transfers or stores data on flash memory cards or Microdrives will love it. It's true Plug and Play with USB Mass Storage Class (MSC) compliance when used with Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Mac OS X systems. Drivers are included for computers equipped with Windows 98SE, Windows 2000 or Mac OS 9.x operating systems.
The USB 2.0 data transfer is rated at up to 480Mbps but the actual transfer rate is dependant on your computer's processor speed, the USB port (and/or hub) and more importantly, the speed of the flash memory device being accessed. Suffice it to say that when used with a USB 2.0 port it's always faster than using the USB interface built into your camera.
As you can see, the transfer rates vary widely between different media types.
The bottom line - at $39 it's one of the least inexpensive USB 2.0 multi-card readers on the market. It's also as fast as any of the card readers We've tested so far. It worked flawlessly when connected directly to my USB 2.0 port on my motherboard. It directly reads and writes to every type of flash media (and IBM Microdrives) used in digital cameras except for the new xD-Picture cards. Fear not, even the xD-Picture card is useable but requires an optional CF/xD-Picture Card adapter. Media limitations are Sony Memory Stick up to 128MB, it is not Memory Stick Pro compatible. Secure Digital up to 512MB, MMC to 128MB, SmartMedia to 128MB, CompactFlash to 1GB, Microdrive to 1GB.
Once you have used a USB 2.0 card reader you'll never want to go back to the slow USB 1.1 speeds again. You may not have noticed a lot of difference when you upgraded from a Pentium 1.2GHz to a Pentium 2.4GHz computer, but believe me, you'll immediately notice the difference in transfer speed between USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 card readers!
If you don't have USB 2.0 it can be added to existing PC/Windows systems with an open PCI card slot for as little as $20. Most all of the new desktop and notebook computers sold now and in the future will include USB 2.0 right out of the box.