At first glance, the Memory Card Gateway from Digital Foci seems like just another unassuming memory card reader. As it turns out, its diminutive case packs more than I expected to find.
The Memory Card Gateway is a multi-format card reader that supports a long list of card types. The full list of cards includes CompactFlash Type I and II, MicroDrive, MultiMedia Card, RS-MMC, SmartMedia, SD, miniSD, and the Memory Stick MS, MS PRO, MS Duo, MS PRO Duo formats. It connects to your computer via USB 2.0, and includes a status light for power along with lights to indicate which card types are currently inserted, and a CD with Windows drivers - no drivers needed for the Mac.
The reader includes a USB cable and a CD with Windows drivers.
Each card shows up on your Desktop just like any other drive, and up to four different card types can be mounted at the same time. You can copy to and from each card, delete files, and even copy files between cards. When a card is being accessed, its status light will flash to indicate activity, and data transfer speeds were in line with my expectations.
The first time I slid a card into the Memory Card Gateway, I was expecting to feel it lock into place. There isnit a locking mechanism to hold the cards in place, but the pressure from the interface contact points keep them from sliding out, and the status lights will let you know that your cards are properly seated.
Status lights alert you to card activity.
Its small size makes it easy to travel with, which is nice for those of us with overloaded computer bags. For comparison, itis about as long as an iPod nano is tall, about a quarter inch wider, and twice as thick. Unfortunately, the clear plastic case scratches easily, so donit expect it to stay new looking if you plan to toss it in the bottom of your computer bag.
The Memory Card Gateway includes a standard A/B USB cable. Since my computer bag already has one that I share between my Palm, digital camera and rechargeable travel mouse, I can get by without having to carry another cable with me. Thatis a nice feature since custom cables get in the way and are difficult to replace when traveling.
The Bottom Line
Digital Fociis Memory Card Gateway offers a well rounded feature set in a pocket-sized package. Its long list of compatible memory card formats make it a handy tool for anyone that deals with multiple card types, and the standard USB interface means you have one fewer proprietary cables to add to your bag.