Signalex Multislot USB Card Reader
2 reviews from the community
Review of "Signalex Multislot USB Card Reader"
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Transfer TraumasThese days many desktop computers come with built in slots to accept all the major memory card formats whilst laptops and netbooks seem to stick to offering only SD card readers. This is certainly the case with all the computers I use - the two desktops I have both offer all the slots I need whilst my netbooks and my work laptop have only the more common SD slot. This would be fine if everything I owned used SD cards but of course that’s not the case. My DSLR camera uses SD cards, my husband’s diddy little video camera uses micro SD and his compact uses old long MS sticks and the compact camera that lives at the bottom of my handbag and is used for most of my work travel, uses the smaller MS cards. For the times when I’m not at home (which is most of the time) it’s handy if I have a way to transfer photographs onto my portable computers and for that I use a couple of Signalex Multislot USB card readers.
You may ask why I have a couple and the answer is simple; firstly I’m prone to leaving them around the place so having two makes it twice as likely I can find one and secondly I buy them for the grand sum of just one pound and it seems almost rude not to have more than one. Yes, I know, it sounds absurd that you can buy much for a quid but these card readers are sold in Poundland in the town where my parents live. I bought the first one back at Christmas and the second last weekend. I’ve found them to be really useful and an absolute bargain. My first digital camera was a Sony and so I’ve been tied in to the MS card system –which sometimes feels a bit like buying into betamax and losing out to VHS but I’m not bitter.
Not always NecessaryNow obviously not everyone needs such a thing. If you have near constant access to your home PC and it has all the slots you need, then save the pound and buy an ice-cream instead. I use mine in several ways. When I’m away on holiday, I download my photographs (I take a LOT of photographs) every couple of days so that if my camera were to be stolen or my memory card broken or corrupted, I have a back up. When I’m travelling for work, I often take a few photos in a restaurant or hotel, write the review whilst I’m still on the road, and can load the photos and publish the review without waiting until I get home. For work I visit factories, take lots of pictures with my compact camera and then can share them with colleagues without any of us having to track down a suitable card reader.
Vital StatisticsSo what do you get for 100 pennies? Well firstly you don’t get broken fingernails because Signalex package the card reader in a cardboard sleeve with a transparent ‘pod’ in which the card sits. You don’t need to rip anything, you don’t need to get the scissors out and you won’t have to swear as you fight through impenetrable moulded and fused together plastic to get at it – just slip your hand inside the cardboard and slide out the card reader. It’s 7.5 cm long, 2.6 cm wide and 1.7 cm thick so it won’t take up much space. Mine are both pink which unusually for me wasn’t a conscious choice, it was just the only colour available. The pink part is transparent so you can see all the electrical gubbins inside but the base is white opaque plastic. On one end there’s a plastic loop through which you could possibly attach it to a key ring or similar but it’s likely to be a bit of a squeeze. Turn the reader over and the USB fitting and a short cable are tucked neatly into the base, ready to be flipped out when you want to use the reader.The slots are all clearly marked with the exception of the one on the end which I’m not too sure about but I think it’s an MS Micro slot. On the side you have the standard MS slot which takes both the chunky older MS sticks and the thinner ‘mark 2’ cards. The biggest slot takes SD and Mini SD and a tiny one underneath is marked for Micro SD. I’ve not used the Micro SD as our tiny video camera will download by an inbuilt USB connection so it’s not needed. I’ve also not used the one for MS Micro as we have no devices that need that.
Slot your memory card into the appropriate slot - it's really pretty idiot proof. If you can't read what type your card is, then stick it in the hole where it fits. If you get it wrong or put it in upside down, it will be apparent. Easy. Then stick the reader into the USB port on your computer using the cable which is attached.
I cannot get too technical with you on transfer times and there’s no info on what type of USB this is or how fast it should be. This is a reader for people who don't read instructions and there aren't any - or any specifications - available. It's ultimate plug and play for techno-ninnies. All I can say is that for me it’s ‘plenty fast enough’. I’ve never sat here thinking “It’s a great little widget but I wish it was faster”. I ran a quick test transferring 120 photos from my DSLR all in high resolution, and they transferred in approximately 12 seconds which really surprised me. There’s no need for any batteries as the device takes the power needed for transferring files directly from your computer. I use the readers a few times most weeks and up to now have had no problems of any kind. I would suggest to not store it anywhere too dusty – I slot mine into one of the pockets of my handbag organiser – as with four slots open to the environment, it would be a shame to damage the electrics with a biscuit crumb or bit of pocket/handbag fluff or whatever horrors lie in the dark recesses of your computer bag.
RecommendationWhilst it might sound a strange recommendation, I do suggest checking out the computer accessories section if you find yourself in or a Poundland. We’ve had various other little gizmos from the Signalex range and never had a problem with any of them and all are significantly cheaper than from most places. If you don’t have a Poundland, these card readers are also available on Amazon for around £4, a price at which I’d still say they’re great value – especially if the bus fare or parking to get to your nearest Poundland makes their option less attractive.
Product Information : Signalex Multislot USB Card Reader
Manufacturer's product description
Miscellaneous / Product Type: Card reader
Listed on Ciao since: 13/05/2012