SanDisk ImageMate USB 2.0 Memory
Stick/Memory Stick Pro Card Reader SanDisk Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro Cards by Lisa Gade ,
Editor-in-Chief, July, 2003
Storage Options for your PDA: an explanation of the different types
of cards here.)
SanDisk, a long established name in the memory
card business, makes Memory Sticks, SD cards, CF cards and more.
In addition, they now offer a line of card readers called ImageMate.
Since Sony and SanDisk released
Memory Stick Pro cards for the Sony Clié NX, NZ and TG series models earlier
this year, owners have enjoyed the greater speed and capacity these
cards offer. They come in 3 capacities: 256 meg, 512 meg and 1 gig.
The only problem is that there are few card readers that support
Memory Stick Pro at this time. Who wants to transfer 300 megs of
MP3 files using MS Export for Cliés, or the USB cable connection
to a Sony digicam to transfer large images? Enter the SanDisk ImageMate
USB 2.0 card reader.
The ImageMate can read both regular Memory Sticks
and the new Memory Stick Pro cards. It's a single slot reader that
won't take up much space on your desk or cost you too much cash.
In fact, at $19.99, it's a definite must if you have a great deal
of data you wish to transfer to and from Memory Stick Pro media.
It has an activity LED on top that's green when the unit is plugged
into your USB port, and flashes amber during data transfers. The
ImageMate is a USB 2.0 device, which produced very good tranfer speeds
on our Windows 2000 PC with USB 2.0 ports. If your PC or Mac doesn't
have USB 2.0 ports you can still use USB 2.0 devices since they're
backwards compatible with the USB 1.1 spec.
The SanDisk reader comes with drivers for Win98SE.
You don't need to install drivers for Windows ME, 2000 or XP. Indeed
I just plugged the reader into my Windows 2000 and Windows XP machines
and it was ready to go. Drivers aren't required for Mac OS 9.2 or
Mac OS X (version 10.1.2 and higher), which support card readers
natively without additional drivers. The unit performed reliably
for me under Mac OS X (version 10.2, aka Jaguar).
The reader has a removable 4 foot USB cable. It's
powered through USB and doesn't require a power adapter. The reader
comes with an installation CD that includes drivers and a short printed
SanDisk is one of the big names in the
storage card arena. Heck, they invented the CompactFlash
card in 1994, and worked jointly with Matsushita (known mostly
by the name Panasonic in this country) and Toshiba to develop
the SD memory card. Most recently they worked with Sony to
develop the new high capacity, high speed Memory Stick PRO
cards that will be coming out in 2003. So they're a name
you can trust when it comes to Memory Sticks, and you can
often find them at major retailers for a few bucks less than
Sony brand sticks.
We've used their Memory Sticks, up to the
128 meg capacity, in Sony PDAs such as the SJ30, NR70V and
NX70V without a problem. They behave nicely in card readers
and generally make us happy campers. Transfer rates are excellent,
and those of you who use Memory Stick devices should be pleased
to know that they are one of the fastest memory technologies
used in PDAs and digicams.
Memory Stick Pro
These cards were released in the Spring
of 2003, first by Sony and then by San
disk. The Pro cards were a joint development
effort between Sony and SanDisk, so you can trust you're
getting the same quality that you'll find in the Sony branded
Pro cards. They come in 3 capacities: 256 meg, 512 meg and
1 gig. Not only do they offer larger capacity than regular
Memory Sticks, but they're faster. Just how fast depends
on the device you're using the card with. Devices with native
Memory Stick Pro support show greater than 33% faster overall
speeds improvements compared to regular sticks. Read and
db access are the most improved. I tested the 256 meg Memory
Stick Pro against a 128 meg SanDisk Memory Stick using VFSMark
on an NX80V, which has native support for Pro. Each card
had 60 megs of identical data on them. The VFSMark overall
score for the Pro card was 251, compared to 161 for the standard
stick (higher numbers are better). Not bad! A great choice
if you like to watch videos on your Clie, and want the quickest
image writes when taking photos with the built-in camera.
Sony NX, NZ and TG models are compatible
with the Memory Stick Pro format. The NX73V, NX80V and TG50
have native support. For older NX models and the NZ90, you'll
need to install a Sony-supplied driver. Some recent Sony
cameras also support the Pro format.
Speed Comparisions using a Sony Clié NX80V
each with 60 megs of identical data.
128 meg standard Memory Stick
File Create: 120%
File Delete: 67%
File Write: 28%
File Read: 183%
File Seek: 187%
DB Export: 84%
DB Import: 266%
Record Access: 274%
Resource Access: 246%
256 meg Memory Stick Pro
File Create: 151%
File Delete: 116%
File Write: 28%
File Read: 288%
File Seek: 236%
DB Export: 126%
DB Import: 448%
Record Access: 452%
Resource Access: 421%