PQI has been in the computer memory
business for quite some time and in recent years they've made
flash memory as well. PQI makes all kinds of flash media: SD,
mini SD, MMC, RS-MMC and CF cards. Their SD and CF cards are
available in a variety of speed ratings, and they sent us their
fastest SD card, the 60x model with a 9MB/sec transfer rate.
Their 256 meg mini SD card benchmarked nearly as fast as their
60x SD card.
Not all flash memory is created equal in
terms of speed: high speed cards sport both faster read and
write times, making them the perfect selection for video playback
and use in digital cameras. PQI cards are available at stores
such as Fry's Electronics and Amazon.com at
PQI's 60x SD card is available in capacities ranging from
256 meg to 2 gigs. We tested the 256 meg 60x card and found
it to be both fast and reliable in a variety of PDAs and
smartphones from the Treo 650 to
JAM to the Dell
Axim X30 to the Palm
Tungsten T3 and LifeDrive.
The benchmark numbers below show that the card performs well
and holds its own against very fast cards such as ATP's 60x
SD card reviewed here and beating out
the SanDisk Extreme III card reviewed here.
While ATP's 60x card boasts faster write speeds,
the PQI card is faster on read speeds. For PDA use, read
speeds are the most important to ensure smooth video and
MP3 playback, while digital camera users are concerned with
write speeds (how fast the camera can write and image to
Mini SD cards aren't usually sold in variety of speeds yet
since they're used in mobile phones which don't
have the fastest processors or speed requirements. That doesn't
mean these cards are slow; they tend to be the same speed
as standard SD cards. And PQI's card is downright fast: it's
nearly as fast as their 60x SD card and a bit faster than
ATP mini SD card.
Mini SD cards are the same width as
standard SD cards but are only half as long. They use the
same connector as standard SD cards, but you'll use the
included adapter to use them in devices that take standard
SD cards such as card readers and PDAs.
Of course, you're buying this card because you have a mobile
phone with a mini SD slot and the card works perfectly in
those. We tested the card in the Audiovox
SMT5600 and it worked flawlessly. The card's fast write
times are ideal for devices like the Motorola
1.23MP camera creates relatively larger files which take
longer to write than VGA images. Don't confuse Mini SD cards
with Nokia's new RS-MMC cards which are used in recent phones
like the Nokia
7610. They look the same but these Nokias can only use
RS-MMC cards, which PQI also sells.
PQI's cards are very fast, beating
SanDisk's SD and Mini SD card in our tests. Their cards
are available in a variety of capacities, including large
capacities. Speed and high capacity usually mean high
prices, but PQI cards are reasonably priced at most retailers.