Transferring images and any data from memory cards was quick & easy with the new SanDisk ImageMate readers recently received for Mr. Gadget® review.

Maybe you prefer to connect your camera directly to the computer, but I am one who finds benefit in taking out the cards and transferring through a card reader.  Why?  First, it’s usually faster via a reader.  Second, I don’t have to concern myself with batteries in the camera that may or may not be charged.  Third, with a card reader, especially one that accepts multiple formats, I can transfer photos from anyone’s camera and not just my own.

  

SanDisk introduced a pair of stylish black readers recently and I was only too happy to have a look.  On the left above is the Multi-Card USB 2.0 Reader (SDDR-199-A20) and on the right is the SanDisk ImageMate® All-in-One USB 2.0 Reader (SDDR-189-A20).  The differences are, of course, in price and in capabilities.  The Multi-Card Reader supports the following card types without an adapter and sells for a delivered discounted price online as low as about $21:

 

* SD™

* SDHC™

* MultiMediaCard™

* MMCplus™

* MMCmobile™

* RS-MMC™

* RS-MMC DV™

* Memory Stick™

* Memory Stick PRO™

* xD™

* xD Type M™

* xD Type M+™

* xD Type H™

The All-in-One Reader supports the following card types (which is everything currently out there from before and today also without an adapter, and sells online for a delivered discounted price of as low as about $28:

 

* SD™

* SDHC™

* miniSD™

* miniSDHC™

* microSD™

* microSDHC™

* MultiMediaCard™

* MMCplus™

* MMCmobile™

* RS-MMC™

* RS-MMC DV™

* Memory Stick™

* Memory Stick PRO™

* Memory Stick Duo™

* Memory Stick PRO Duo™

* Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™

* xD™

* xD Type M™

* xD Type M+™

* xD Type H™

* CompactFlash ™

 

For the difference in price, I’d advise going for the more expensive model because once you have it, you’re finished and able to handle anything anyone’s got.

In my own transfer tests, both performed admirably.  While some media types transfer faster than others, and one reader may operate slightly faster or more slowly than the other, that, to me, is all academic and not worth sweating over.  I like SIMPLE.  Give me SIMPLE any day.  These devices are SIMPLE and they will not disappoint.

The device styling is clever and minimalistic.  Each is supplied with a USB cable, with a mini-USB on the device side and a standard USB on the computer end.  Use both with Windows XP and higher and Macs with OS X 10.3 and up.

Each product is supplied with a tripod-like magnetic base that mates to the magnetic strip on the bottom of each device.  The magnet is adequately strong.  Frankly, it is easier to not use the legs.  Who needs them, anyway?

Ditto for the little button the sits on the top of the narrow surface on each reader.  The button is designed to be a trigger, telling the computer that you are ready to transfer.  Why?  Again, who needs such a button?  We are all accustomed to connecting devices to our computers.  Even someone new to digital photography or videography with files stored on these cards will quickly discover that as soon as the card is inserted into the reader attached to the computer, the computer senses it.  It is likely that the computer defaults to opening appropriate applications or a window asking what to do with the card contents.  We, the computer users, respond with what it is we want to do and don’t have need of this button.

What I like in the card readers is that they are small and they work just fine, seem to be well made for long service life and that they are not too expensive so as to be overpriced.  My bottom line?

I like these little card readers and recommend them to you!  Short and sweet:  Nothing not to like!  Get one; keep it handy and ready to go.  Know that even the largest capacity cards will be easily read and that data will be shuffled off to your computer.   Search online for the best price.

DON’T FORGET that once the photos or videos are off the card, if it is your card, put it back in the camera and immediately format the card so you will be ready for more picture snapping or video recording.  This is easily done using your camera’s menu.  Get to know how to do this critical, simple process.  Formatting erases what is on the card and sets it up to receive new photos or videos.  Of greatest importance is that after formatting, the card will behave as new.  If you do not format your card before each use (it takes only a few seconds, even for large capacity cards), then you will be subject to weird errors and performance issues that are absolutely, totally avoidable.  Just do this, please, and tell your friends and loved ones to do the same. I know of so many instances when users are disappointed because their cards appear to have failed, ruining their outing and picture-taking experience.  Doing as I indicate will, in the vast majority of cases, prevent such disappointment.  Cards rarely just fail, especially the name-brand cards.  Issues can usually be traced back to not formatting before each use.

Happy picture taking and video recording!

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