Everything is turning digital. From your camera to your organizer and even to your notebook. One thing stands in the way of the digital revolution, transference. There must be a way of easily transferring data between all of these different devices and your computer. Many of these devices have the ability to use a memory stick of some sort, but when do you ever find two different devices that use the same memory stick. Inevitably you end up plugging in each individual device to your computer just to grab some pictures off one memory stick, some documents off of another. It ends up being one big cluttered mess. A central location would be best, a single device in which you can read all your different media types without having to plug in each device. These apparatuses have been around for a while in the form of a memory stick reader. So what is different about the product being reviewed today?
The Eumax Flash Genie 9-in-1 memory stick reader is not your everyday, sit on your desk USB memory stick reader. This 9-in-1 reader fits in your 3.5” bay of your computer and adds 2 extra USB ports to the front of your computer. Portability is a feature of other memory stick readers; you're not bolted down to where you can use it. All you would have to do is just unplug it and take it with you. Well the innovative thing about the Flash Genie 9-in-1 is that it is also portable. Simply push a button on the front, and out pops the memory stick reader, with integrated USB cable and all. Sounds pretty interesting, so let's take a look.
- Red: power on
- Green: Access
- DC 5V from USB port (no external Power is needed)
- 700 kb/s ~ 10 mb/s
Socket of storage card:
- CompactFlash (CF) Card Type I/II
- IBM Micro Drive
- SmartMedia (SMC) Card
- Secure Digital (SD) Card
- MultiMedia (MMC) Card
- Memory Stick (MS) Card
- Memory Stick Duo
- Memory Stick Pro
- Memory Stick Pro Duo
Eumax Flash Genie 9-in-1
Packaging on the Flash Genie is pretty flashy. The blue/yellow contrast is appealing, with a large photo of the Flash Genie and smaller pictures of some of the memory sticks that are compatible with the product. Inside the Flash Genie is held in place with a piece of molded plastic. Also included in the package is the internal USB 2.0 cable for the front USB ports, back plate for the USB cable run through, all mounting hardware and a software disk with an instruction manual.
The actual Flash Genie is made out of plastic, but the 3.5” bay is made from aluminum. The front of the 3.5” bay has the two USB ports to the left. In the middle is the actual memory card reader, and to the right is the eject button, to convert the Flash Genie into a portable version. The Flash Genie includes two LED lights to show power (red) and access (green).
Installation was as easy as installing any 3.5” device. You simply slide it into an open 3.5” bay and secure it using the supplied screws. The wiring for the memory reader I found to be a bit excessive. Eumax uses two USB cables, one for the two front USB ports (the internal cable). The other cable is a male USB end, for you to plug it into the back of the computer. Eumax includes a back plate with a slot cut in it for you to run the cable through, but I feel this is a waste. I would have rather seen them utilize only 1 internal cable to make the install a lot easier.
All tests were performed using the below system:
AMD Athlon 1700+ @ 12.5x166
512MB Corsair PC4000
200GB Seagate Barracuda SATA
Lexar 256MB32x SD card
All results were acquired using HD Tach. Tests were run on each memory card individually and the results are shown below.
As you can see the Flash Genie did quite well, with good numbers in the test.
Memory stick readers seem to be gaining more market share every day. Why bother hooking up 5 different devices just to grab information off of their memory sticks when you can just plug in one. The Flash Genie was in my opinion an excellent product. It did exactly what it was reported to do. It is not only a case-mountable 9-in-1 memory stick reader but also a portable one. By simply pressing one button the Flash Genie pops out of its chassis and is portable. Performance wise the Flash Genie was excellent as well, as shown in the HD Tach benchmark.
The Flash Genie only had one downfall in my opinion, that being the cabling system. Why they decided to run two separate cables for the USB ports and the Flash Genie is beyond me. Added to that, they used an internal connector for the USB ports, but an external connector for the memory stick reader. This just makes it so that you have to loop a cable all the way through your case, through the supplied back plate, and into one of the USB ports from the rear of your system. It just seems like a waste, when there are two USB ports sitting right beside the device.
Pros: Supports 9 different memory sticks, portable, case-mountable, adds front USB to your case
Bottom Line: Having a memory card reader can be quite useful. Being able to not only have the reader installed in your computer to cut down on desk clutter as well as take it on the road can be very useful. The Flash Genie is such a product; it is an awesome 9-in-1 card reader as well as a portable device. If the cabling issues can be fixed it would make this memory reader even better.
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