My First Brush With The MICRO SD:
Recommend this product?
Just When We Thought SD Couldn't Get Any Smaller:
I have been an avid fan of the SD Card form of memory. All of my devices Palm TX, Palm TT, Palm Treo 90, and Palm Centro have used the SD line of flash-based mass storage. Every year we are blown away with new advancements in the technology, bring SD cards to a current high of 16GB and microSD cards to 8GB.
Sometime last year, my Aunt bought a new cell phone with an mp3 onboard and she wanted memory to store a ton of music. At the time, a 2GB microSD came in at about $79 in most retail locations. So onto eBay I went and found the same card for under $30 delivered. Three days later I was blessed with its presence. Now, I have two of my very own Sandisk 2GB microSD cards. I also have an 8GB microSD card of which I shall review shortly.
What You Get In That Blister Pak:
If You Can Get It Open:
The SanDisk 2GB microSD card comes in a fancy blister pak that we all know of and love so very much. After you get it open you are left with a small, clear, plastic protective case. Within the case we find a small, fingernail-sized piece of plastic and what appears to be a regular-sized SD card. The protective case is great to have, as it not only gives you a place to keep microSD card and adapter, it gives them a safe dust-free haven when not in use. And that's it folks. A microSD, an adapter, and a case.
How Small Can 1,400 Floppy Disks Be?
Floppy Disk: Prehistoric Storage Medium:
How small is a microSD card, you ask? Take a look at your thumbnail you've been chewing on for the last ten minutes. There's your answer: you can now fit over fourteen-hundred floppy disks on the tip of your finger. The Sandisk microSD card is only a millimeter thick, about half the thickness of the full-size SD card. It's about a centimeter long by three-quarters of a centimeter wide. They typically don't come with sticker labels as the bigger SD cards do, but rather silk-screen lettering [painted-on letters].
The SanDisk microSD card is shaped so as to avoid improper insertion into the microSD slot. The one long side is straight, while the other side has a locking notch. The notch is used to hold the card into place while in a microSD slot. The top side has the brand name [SanDisk], the given capacity [2GB], the microSD logo and an arrow showing which way to insert the card. On the underside you will find the eight tiny, golden contacts where all the reading and writing travel through.
Aside from that, there isn't much more you can say about it. But you can't help but be amazed when you hold a mass amount of memory on a fingernail-sized piece of plastic for the first time. The first time you get one you will be too nervous about dropping it. Its minute form factor makes it a great candidate for being lost. I've dropped it into the couch, on the floor, you name it.
What Can 2GB Do For You?
Quick, Think Of 500 Songs Off The Top Of Your Head:
Well, going by the standard averages for file sizes, a 2GB microSD card will hold on to about 500 mp3 files, give or take. If your mobile device sports a movie player, you can expect to fit two or three full-length DVD movies encoded to mobile dimensions. In terms of divx-encoded TV episodes, thats about ten half-hour episodes of your favorite show on this little piece of plastic. As for images, that's a toughy. Allow me to elaborate......
Image sizes can vary enormously, based on the different levels of compression technology, image dimensions, color depth, and whatever else. My Aunt's cell phone would take a decent quality picture @ 1280x960, compressed with JPEG and coming in @ 145KB. To put that into perspective, thats about 14,000 of those images on this 2GB microSD card. If you use a 2GB card in a 'real' digital camera, don't expect that many, but don't count on filling the card up on one trip to the Bahamas, either.
On my Palm Centro smartphone, I have the ability to record video with my camera. The resolution is 352x288 [youtube quality], which is typical for a camera phone. The 2GB microSD, when empty, has the capacity to hold nearly 12 hours of video from the Centro, and over 32 hours of video @ 176x144 resolution [makes a great security camera for a day and a hald].
Now that I have an 8GB microSD, the 2GB card seems somewhat obsolete in terms of capacity. To know the storage capabilities of the 8GB microSD, multiply all of those numbers four-fold.
Using It As A Removable Drive :
The Floppy Disk Re-Invented:
When inserted into its full-size SD adapter, the SanDisk 2GB microSD can be used just like a floppy disk back in the 1900s. Upon first installation, the computer recognized the new hardware and accepts. Now it becomes removable drive just like a USB pen drive or floppy disk, just with 1400 times the capacity. On my computer, the microSD shows up as drive (F:). You can find the drive letter in the 'My Computer' window.
I have used the 2GB microSD as the share and save folder for LimeWire. It is highly capable of being read from and written to faster than our broadband internet connection can download. And the writing and reading can happen simultaneously, as well. I still haven't figured out if it makes a faster page file than the harddrive itself, as I've noticed no performance difference.
Testing The Little Speed-Demon:
Do Most People Even Consider Card Speeds?
I'm not into the whole benchmark testing for items like this. If I can watch a movie straight off the card with no lag, then its fast enough for me. I usually import and export items to and from the card in batches, so I just set it and forget it. When I copy and paste a folder with a GB of music in it, my computer writes them to the SanDisk at about a song a second and faster. I don't know of the exact read/write specifications of the card anymore, but they don't really mean too much to most consumers anyway. People usually only want to know how much stuff they can throw on it.
Teaching A New Dog Old Tricks:
Using The MicroSD As A Full-Sized SD:
When you buy a microSD card, you get an adapter in the form of a full-size SD card. The microSD card slides into the bottom of the adapter which in turn makes it usable as a standard SD card for devices that have a big SD slot but not a micro slot. MicroSD cards do not have write-protect switches themselves, as the full-size cards do, but the adapter does have one [not that I've ever used it]. To transfer data to and from the microSD to a computer, you will need to have an SD card slot or adapter. My laptop, along with most new desktops, already has this feature built-in. For those of you of whom have no SD slot, you will need to buy an adapter [$3 delivered on eBay, $10-$20 retail].
The 2GB microSD acts no differently than a normal SD when inserted into a device that uses them, as it can't tell the difference. I have used this card with its adapter in my DXG 305v Digital SD Camcorder, with no issues whatsoever. That camera only had a 512MB stated maximum, too.
When I first got the card, I found slight difficulty in removing the microSD from the SD adapter card. Over time, it seems to have loosened up a bit [I could have picked up the technique a well, I suppose]. Maybe I was just nervous I would snap it into pieces with my oversized fingers. But they are fairly solid and highly inflexible to average handling.
Another side note...Even in its full-size adapter, not all devices will support a 2GB card. I haven't found too many devices unable to cope with the 2GB capacity yet, at least not until we hit the 4GB cards.
Why Buy It NOW?
It'll Be Half The Price Next Week:
With SD card prices on the downfall, it's the perfect time to pick a 2GB SanDisk microSD of your very own. As of today, March 10th, a 2GB microSD can be yours for about $10-$20 delivered, from sites such as eBay, NewEGG, etc. You can buy them at your local electronics department, Radio Shack, WallyWorld, BestBuy, Circuit City, or any other technology retailer. They run about $30 or so when bought at retail, rather than the internet. And you can bet that next month, the 4GB microSD cards will be in that price range. Anything under 2GB can probably be found as free toys in a box of cereal, with 1GB microSD card being sold under $5 online. MEGABYTE is officially obsolete in today's world.
MY OVERALL RECOMMENDATION:
And The Verdict Is......
In the end, you can't help but get the 2GB microSD from SanDisk. For only $20 you are getting what used to be $1000 five years ago. The capacity is perfect for your mobile devices and it can hold more songs than you could probably think to put on it.
Even though I would recommend getting the 8GB microSD for $60 instead, I know some people would rather wait a few months for that price to come down farther. I you aren't totally sure your device can handle the full 2GB capacity, try going to your local retail cell phone provider and ask an associate if they have an open on one hand for you to try, since many store refuse to refund money for incompatible high-capacity cards.
SANDISK 128MB Secure Digital Memory Card
^_^ Shippo225 © 2008 Ron Miller