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Treo Memory Cards: microSD the best choice?

Treo MicroSD CardI have very much been keeping my eyes open for the release of 16GB SDHC cards under the current $175 price range (as well as 32GB SDHC cards which will hopefully become available by the end of the year) to replace my existing 8GB SDHC memory card(s) for my Treo 680.

However, like many I am becoming increasingly aware that my current investment in SDHC (SD High Capacity) cards may not necessarily be that sound considering that newer models such as the Treo 750 and 755p both use the smaller miniSD or miniSDHC cards and the forthcoming Treo 500 and Palm Centro will both use the diminutive microSD or microSDHC cards (pictured here on the right with a standard size SD card).

Leaving aside the fact that miniSD are less than half the size of SD cards and that microSD are less than a quarter its size, the fact is quite simply and obviously that you can’t fit a standard SD card in either a miniSD or microSD slot and so you will not be able to use your existing SD cards in future Treo models.

However, thanks to convenient and simple adapters you can nonetheless move “upwards” in the memory card chain.  There are microSD-to-SD adapters (pictured below right) as well as miniSD-to-SD, microSD-to-SD and microSD-to-miniSD adapters.

Treo SDHC Card Reader

I know… It’s all a bit confusing but the long and short of it is that because microSD and microSDHC are the only cards that will fit in all other larger SD and miniSD card adapters I’ve come to the conclusion that if you want to “future-proof” your investment in Treo memory cards then microSDHC is the route to take because they can be considered “Universal SD Cards”.

Treo SDHC Adapter

I have personally found that the package that I like best is the SanDisk 4GB microSD Card with Reader which is a great deal since it offers not only the microSD-to-SD adapter that I need but also my favourite SD/SDHC memory card reader – all in one convenient bundle.

If you have a standard SD slot on your Treo the only downside to taking the microSD/SDHC route is that (for now at least) these cards have a maximum capacity of 4GB compared to the 8GB or 16GB that the larger SDHC can provide.  Having said this, if your memory needs are OK at 4GB, you own a Treo 750/755p or plan to buy one of the forthcoming Treo 500 or Palm Centro then I think that microSD is the obvious choice to make.

Treonauts always enhance their memory

Posted by Andrew on September 25, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Treo Memory Card

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by GJ | Sep 25, 2007 11:38:53 AM

Recently, I purchased the Palm GPS kit and it has the TomTom software on a 1GB MiniSD with an SD Adapter. Thinking this might be the "wave of the future" I bought a 2GB micro SD with an SD adapter to back up my GPS software and provide more space for music, etc. So far, everything works perfectly. I think you're right...don't toss out the old SD cards, but don't buy any more either.

by dmm | Sep 25, 2007 1:03:56 PM

A consideration to bear in mind here is that not everything will run effectively from a card through an adapter. Palm's web pages for the AT&T 680 update (and IIRC the update for the 700p and 700w/wx) say specifically to use a standard SD card rather than a mini or micro in an adapter. While I haven't looked yet for the 750 update to WinMob 6, I'd venture to say that the equivalent applies and says to use a miniSD rather than a micro in an adapter.

So even if it works for day-to-day usage, you may need something else sometimes. Granted, you can also run the current updates from a PC/Mac; however, that doesn't work for everyone either.

by Laird Landon | Sep 25, 2007 2:33:37 PM

I too, would love to buy the 4GB micro, but I cannot find a micro to mini adapter that is sold on its own.

by Lew | Sep 25, 2007 4:29:54 PM

I told by the sales associates at the Palm Store in NY that no SD card over 2GB should be used in the 680, because any cards larger than that would "burn out" the unit.

Is this true?

by Andrew | Sep 25, 2007 4:50:14 PM

Lew - I've been very happily using 8GB SDHC cards on my Treo 680 for nearly a year... The information given to you at the Palm Store is absolutely not correct as the Treo 680 specifically supports SDHC cards upwards of 4GB.

Cheers, A.

by Sam | Sep 25, 2007 8:19:59 PM

SanDisk also sells a "triple threat" (see the link above) that gives you an adapter that turns your MicroSD card into a MiniSD card, and then turns that MiniSD card into a regular SD card.

I think that's the way to go, when you're not sure if your next device will be Micro or Mini.

by Jim | Sep 25, 2007 9:48:27 PM

One thing to consider in all this is the utility of having the SD+, which enables the simplest transfer of information to systems that DO NOT have Palm Desktop installed or wireless communications capability. Basically, the SD+ is a microSD card in an SD case, with the remaining portion of the SD case turned into a USB connector. Having bigger microSD cards, and such, is fine as long as one isn't transferring any information to others. I know there are other means of digital communications (wi-fi, bluetooth) but nothing, that I have found, nearly as common as USB 2.0.

To me, that makes the current SD "footprint" the most desirable until they can make a microSD card that can likewise plug into a USB port.

by Jim | Sep 25, 2007 9:50:16 PM

One other thing, in case it isn't obvious: having to carry around a card reader is not what I consider an optimal solution. Hence, my preference for the SD+. With the SD+ I retain the ability to transfer information without any additional hardware.

by mike compeau | Sep 26, 2007 1:16:17 PM

**~~ SD Adapter Buyers Beware ~~**

I bought a SanDisk 2GB MicroSD with SD adaptor at my local Sprint/Nextel store. After only a month or two, I noticed some strange behavior when trying to use some applications...
The culprit? The copy-protect slide on the normal SD adaptor does not remain in it's correct position even when it is seated inside my Treo 650 over a prolonged period of time. Hence, as it is jostled in my pocket, or by carrying, and moves off of the standard 'read/write' position, it prevents certain access to the card when the device software tries to update files on the card. Voila--problems!

My fix? I sacrificed my ability to use the write-protect position by carefully super-gluing the tab in the desired position for read/write use. But it was certainly suboptimal! And it caused lots of consternation until I discovered the issue!


by Hank | Sep 27, 2007 1:14:47 PM

Lew asked on Sep 25, 2007 9:29:54 PM -
I told by the sales associates at the Palm Store in NY that no SD card over 2GB should be used in the 680, because any cards larger than that would "burn out" the unit.

Is this true?

Andrew responded on Sep 25, 2007 9:50:14 PM -
Lew - I've been very happily using 8GB SDHC cards on my Treo 680 for nearly a year... The information given to you at the Palm Store is absolutely not correct as the Treo 680 specifically supports SDHC cards upwards of 4GB.

Apples and oranges. Using a regular SD card over 2GB in capacity is rolling the dice. While I am not aware of this burning out anything, I believe there's been a thread on another Palm forum where people have shared their experiences with various SD and SDHC card sizes with their Treo model. The reports of "SD" cards over 2GB have been mixed at best.

The corresponding reports for "SDHC" cards have been much more reliable. So, Andrew can have a perfect experience with an 8GB SDHC card, and the Palm store can indicate that anything over a 2GB SD card is risky, and they are both right.

Personally using a 2GB SD card in my 680.

Also remember that you will most likely need a new USB adapter when converting from SD to SDHC.

by bulls96 | Oct 17, 2007 1:39:10 AM

Im planning to buy the Sandisk 4gb microSD for my Treo 755p. problem is its microSD. I do however have a micro to miniSD adaptor from my Sandisk 2gb SD card kit. Will this adaptor work with the 4gb SDHC microSD even if it is used with my non-SDHC 2gb card?

by PCI Security Standards Council | May 6, 2011 3:06:42 AM

I am very happy using 8GB micro SD cards. Micro SD card is very small and good looking card. I love the my micro SD card.

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