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Treo SanDisk PLUS SD Memory Cards Review

Although most of us consider SD cards to be extremely simple to use they do require a separate card reader in order to copy your files from PC to card which can sometimes prove cumbersome.  Thinking that this setup was perhaps less than adequate for some users, SanDisk recently introduced their PLUS range of SD cards

At first glance these cards are identical to the standard SD cards that most of us currently have but the difference is that the PLUS folds in two to reveal a USB plug which can be inserted directly in your PC's USB port without the need for an additional card reader (one less item that I'll need to carry around when travelling).  In this sense, SanDisk's PLUS range instantly morphs into a USB 2.0 Flash Drive when folded.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with SanDisk and to play around with their new card snapping it open and shut a number of times to feel how sturdy it was.  I'm glad to report that I didn't break it apart...


More importantly, after introducing their PLUS range at CES back in January, SanDisk has now announced that they will be releasing the ULTRA II SD PLUS commercially in April with a 512MB card retailing for $110 and 1GB for $150 (but as always expect discounts).  There is however still no indication as to when they will be releasing their 'standard' SD PLUS cards that I pictured above and which presumably will be somewhat cheaper than the ULTRA PLUS range.  Also the ULTRA PLUS range features an LED that blinks when data transfer is taking place to indicate that the card is being used as a USB flash drive which I did not notice in the standard PLUS card that I tested.


Sadly, at present SanDisk has provided no indication as to when they will make their 2GB SD cards available (highest listed item on my Treo shopping list) nor if they plan to release 2GB PLUS cards - I would surely buy one if they did to merge my current two 1GB cards and leave my card reader behind.

Finally but importantly, during my meeting with SanDisk I asked them when we could expect to see 4GB SD cards emerge and to my utter surprise I learned that the jump from 2GB to 4GB will require a change from FAT16 to FAT32 file systems - a standard for which has not yet been set but which is expected to be resolved by the Smart Disk Association sometime this year.

SanDisk SD Card with Flip Up USB Update [Gizmodo]
SANDISK demonstrates highly innovative SD card with built-in USB connectivity [SanDisk Press Release]
SANDISK introduces ULTRA II SD PLUS [SanDisk Press Release]

Treonauts can't wait to have 40GB SD cards...

Posted by Andrew on February 23, 2005 at 12:33 PM

Treo Accessories , Treo Memory Card

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by Jnetty | Feb 23, 2005 2:29:33 PM

Those cards are pretty damn cool.

by mE | Feb 24, 2005 3:27:57 AM

Is there any way to encrypt the file system on such a card?

by Spinner | Jul 22, 2005 10:41:06 AM

Very clever indeed. Does SanDisk have any plans for PLUS versions of CF or MS cards?

I remember a few years ago Lexar's Jumpshot CF cards were USB-enabled, but required a special cable adapter which kind of defeated the purpose... http://www.steves-digicams.com/jumpshot.html

by Vertiscope | Feb 12, 2006 6:07:44 PM

This is a great idea, it beats lugging around a flash cable for my PDA. It is great to print a last minute term paper at the school library. Please inform me when these products become available. I am partt=iculay interested in the 1G less expensive blue sandisk card.

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