There are many media card readers on the market at the moment and each and everyone tries in vein to woo you with a unique selling point. Imation's tack is to not only offer faster connection speeds with a USB2.0 connection but also shrink the device to the size of a credit card and the thickness of a business card holder. Of course for the upwardly mobile this makes perfect sense, and this device is small enough to comfortably fit into the top pocket of any suit.
The Card itself reads most media formats including SmartMedia, Memory Stick, SD/MMC, Compact Flash Type I and II as well as Microdrive. Royalty concerns annoyingly exclude the xD-Picture Format from Olympus and Fujifilm. Considering the format has been available for almost a year, it's a shame.
For the man-about-town the card reader sports a 7cm USB cable that neatly tucks into the device. In some cases this won't be a problem as numerous keyboards and monitors for both the PC and Mac come with built in USB sockets. All of a sudden though, you've got a device that will expect you to position it a mere seven centimetres away from a USB socket. For most, this just isn't practical and those of us whose socket is at the rear of their machine underneath their desk, it's a long hard flurry of plug-swapping behind your computer. Imation has realised this problem and included a USB cable in the box.
Once connected to the PC however, we had no problem. Windows XP auto recognises the reader and sets up removable drives accordingly for those not running the Microsoft's latest operating system a driver disk is included in the box. The USB2.0 transfer speeds were very quick and overall the product worked well.
It's just a shame that the whole thing is marred by the lack of cable within the device and you are left to carry yet another lead with you in the bag. Imation has tried to be clever with this device and sell it in as a small reader with no hassle. While to some this is the case, to others the need to carry the cable with them takes away from the reader's small and compact shape. That and the inability to read the xD-Picture Format means that while this does do what it sets out to do it does fall short of the mark.