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Verbatim CameraMate ExpressCard CF Reader
Compact Flash reader for your ExpressCard slot
By John Virata

I am all for less cables and wires hanging from the USB ports of my notebook computer. And while that notebook is getting long in years, it still starts up and runs my imaging application just fine. And until I upgrade to the latest notebook with the features that I want, I will still have to hang things off the USB ports when traveling.

One of the external devices that have bugged me and saved me at the same time is the multiple memory card reader. It's a boxy thing that plugs into the USB port. The plus to this device is it supports a lot of different memory cards. The negative is the fact that it is just another device that I often forget to pack in my camera bag. I own three different memory card readers because I've forgotten to bring one along on trips. Verbatim has released a device for Compact Flash cards that eliminates the need for a cable or an external reader with the CameraMate ExpressCard CF Reader.

The CameraMate ExpressCard CF Reader

Designed to fit into your notebook computer's ExpressCard slot, the CameraMate ExpressCard CF Reader is about the size of a first generation iPod nano and slides right into your 34mm or 54mm ExpressCard slot on your notebook computer. It works with Windows 2000, XP or Vista or Mac OS 9.x or later and offers transfer rates of up to 2.5GB per second.  On a MacBook Pro, it took 1 minute 55 seconds to transfer 82MB of data to a PQI 512MB Compact Flash card. Not the fastest in the world, but still convenient enough. You'll get better performance from the faster CF cards, such as the Sandisk Extreme series cards, though I don't have one to test.

The Verbatim CameraMate Express Card CF Reader is ideal for those who don't have a CF media reader built into their notebook computer, but also don't want to have to deal with extra cables to lose or an unwieldy external memory card reader taking up a USB port on their notebook. It sticks out from the side just a little bit, but not enough to be a hindrance. It is priced at less than $30. For more information, visit

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at

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