The GFM USB 2.0 card reader has a design issue and it won’t read older cards, but for $12 I am well satisfied.
I finally got too fed up with the problems my camera has with transferring pictures to my computer, and went to buy a card reader, but I needed to find something that would work and still be inexpensive. This is an All-In-One card reader and writer. It is compatible without installation with Windows newer than 2000 version, and all Macs and Linux 2.4. It will work with Windows 98 and the early Windows 2000, but you must use the included installation disk. (I did not need to try this since I have XP).
Physically it is a tiny box with rounded ends, about 2 x 3.5 x 0.5 inches. On one of the long, narrow sides are four slots. See picture. The maximum transfer rate is 480 Mb/ sec.
The four drive slots in the outer edge take all of the following cards: CF, CF UII, Extreme III, Professional CF, Turbo CF, xD, x-Flash, SD, mini SD, MMC, MMC Plus, MMC Turbo, RS-MMC, RS-MMC Mobile, RS-MMC Turbo, T-Flash, MS, MS Duo MagicGate, PMS Pro Duo MagicGate, and MS-ROM. I don’t really know anything about most of these formats; my camera has an SD card. But by choosing this reader for $10 less than the others the salesperson said that the only thing I wasn’t getting was the ability to read older format cards. But since I don’t have any of those, I didn’t consider it an issue.
When I plug this reader in to a USB port each of the four slots shows up as a separate drive. So when I click on My Computer, I suddenly have a lot more items showing. No big deal, but a little surprising the first time you see it!
It works great... just like any type of external drive. You can read and write from and to the device. There is a red light on the box that glows when it is plugged into the USB port. There is a green indicator light for each of the four drives, and another green light at the bottom of the lineup that flashes when it is actually being read from or written to. You must stop it before removing, just like a flash drive.
The documentation is minimal. It took me a minute to figure out how to use my SD card because it inserts in what seems to me to be upside down compared to my camera, but once I discovered this, all went well.
The one thing that I don’t like about this is the length of the connection cord. It is about 1/2 inch long. The good part of this is that when you aren’t using the reader you just push the plug into the side of the box. But the bad part is that the box just dangles at a funny angle off that tiny cord. See picture. I can’t believe that this is good for it in the long run.
It also doesn’t have a case, but I had a vinyl calculator pocket that I slide it into to keep the dust off.
90 Day limited warranty from Meijer. Made in China.
Update On Jul 05, 2009: Just recently, cards inserted in this reader (in the slot I use at least) cannot have images erased. Some research revealed that this is the fault of the reader- a certain pin or tiny switch gets bent. So I can no longer erase images through this reader. I can do so through the camera itself, but this is a real pain. Still, It's been used nearly daily for just about a year, so I still consider it a good deal.