Memory cards are a great creation until you want to transfer the information off them and onto your computer. FujiFilm thinks it's cracked it with a simple USB key. Rather than offering a 15-in-1 reader that reads every memory card under the sun, they have created a simple device that merely reads a single one. Why only one, well is seems so obvious when you think about it, because that's all there cameras take.
The xD Picture Card USB Drive is a small see-through retro-looking device that is no bigger than any other USB memory stick on the market. Simply slide back the case, insert the xD card and then plug the unit into an available USB slot on your computer. After a bit of wurring your computer will recognise the unit as an external drive and you're free to start transferring away. Transfer speeds are only at USB1.1, which means it will take time to copy images or data across and a USB2.0 version would have been a welcomed addition.
Because of the drag and drop ability the card will work on both PC and Apple computers and the drag and drop feature also means you don't have to worry about installing software to use the unit either.
This is a very simple device that does what is sets out to do - ie turn your xD Picture Card from either your FujiFilm or Olympus camera into a USB storage device. Yes it’s limited to only xD, but as Fujifilm state - if you’re digital camera is xD why would you need a reader that supports MemoryStick for example.
So should all Olympus and Fujifilm users buy one?
With USB drives so cheap now, the £30 price tag won’t be for those on a budget, however if you’ve already invested in a large xD card - sizes go up to 1Gb now - for your camera, this will give it another use when its normally in your camera doing nothing. Plus when compact flash was still big, those single readers were the same price too.