Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week
This is a relly good product. Simple and yet really usefull. Reads aup to 4 USB devices at once and there is allso the very usefull card reader, which saves you the problem of adapter cables for cameras ,cellphones and such. (Notice that using 4 USB at the same time may yield speed problems.) Fits really neatly into the case bay. Perfect fit I would say. Tested in Windows XP SP3. It adds a drive letter for the card reader (the "drive"is always present), when you insert a card the windows prompt shows just like when you plug in a USB flash drive). Comes with 6 mounting screws. You probaly won't use that many, but it is a good detail.
Only reads one memory card at a time (at least with my setup). Not really a con, just a notice. Although I haven't tested it, descriptiona says it reads SDHC up to 8GB. Take in consideration that 16GB and 32GB cards may not work. Th reader has two indicator LED's. One (red) is allways on as long as the PC is on (even when it is in sleep mode). The other one (green) lights up when a card is connected. The LED's don't seem to be of much use and some people might find them a little annoying.
Installing is very simple if you know your way with computers. If you don't, consider it requires opening up your case and connecting some cables inside. To connect it you will need a free 4 pin molex (for power), and a free standard usb 9-pin connector in the motherboard. IF you are not shure where to find it, check you motherboard user manual, either a printed one, or, if you don't have it, you can find it online in the motherboard's manufacturer web site. It is plug and play. You don't need to install any software or drivers. However, after starting your PC for the fisrt time after installing, you might need to reboot for everything to work propperly. (In short boot, reboot, adn everything works now. As a side note, the cable in the apadpter might be a little short for some cases. notice it is 40cm long. You might want to check out the distances in your PC case before ordering.
A very usfull tiem, and a very reasonable price. If your case does not have USB front connectors, whis will make plugging you USB gadgets much easier. And the card readers will save you the hassle of adapter cables and USB adapters. A very good purchase IMO.
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