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Digital Wallet Review

Minds@Work | Other reviews 1 2 3

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The Good:

While shopping for a digital camera for a vacation and for my website here at MH, we stumbled on a device that lets the ordinary shutterbug transfer images from any type of solid state memory device like SmartMedia, CompactFlash or IBM MicroDrive for transfer to your PC for later use.

Big deal you may say? Me too. But, what you may not know is this nifty little device works all by itself without any computer! No need to lug around a laptop or find a digital cafe in Paris, just take as many pics as your little camera can hold then upload your images to the device in seconds almost as fast as using a USB cable to transfer the images from your camera to the PC.

The standard memory wafer device that comes with a new digital camera is 8mb. The most popular wafers are SmartMedia, CompactFlash or Sony's Memory Stick. You can take about 16 1600x1200 high quality JPG images with any of these. Extra wafers come in 8, 16, 32 or 64 mb. New 128 and 196mb wafers are just appearing on shelves as of this writing, but we talking expensive here folks. Some people buy an extra memory wafers but at $70 - $100 bucks for a 64mb (a common purchase for most digital camera owners) this starts to get expensive quick. Anyway, When you are done taking your pictures you have three choices. You can stop taking pictures, transfer them to a computer or pop in another memory wafer and continue.

You can set your camera to a lesser quality picture mode and take more pictures but that's not a option for me or most people. We want high quality mass storage.

Enter the Digital Wallet.

The Digital Wallet comes in 3 sizes 3gb, 10gb and 20gb. You can store 6000 images on the 3gb version if your camera is set to 1600x1200 JPG High Quality on a 2.11 megapixel camera. Wow! Man Alive! That's right on the money!

This is the toy for toy nuts if you want to take as many pics as you want without lugging around a laptop or figuring out where to upload those pics.


The Bad:

All in all this is a cool device, my only reservation is that I think its a bit to flimsy. The plastic case seemed much too brittle for me and the little door that holds the PCMCIA card for uploading your images almost broke off my test unit.

Inserting the rechargeable battery pack was a challenge. And to pour salt on this comment, its looks like to me the rechargeable pack is custom made. That means when the battery pack runs low like all other type of rechargeable things, you'll need to get another pack from these guys. And how long do you think they'll offer the battery pack until its "retired" to some 3rd party parts replacement service that'll charge a arm and a leg for it. If you get this thing, I suggest getting 2 other battery packs right off the bat to secure longevity.

More salt; I also noted that the buttons on the side of the unit were getting stuck part of the time. I had to get a paper clip to pop the button up...

Since $550 bucks is a lot of money, I can only give this thing a 3.5 out of a score of 5 because of the lack of good quality design. If you need to transfer your images while on vacation or you're a photog nut then you may find this unit indispensable. But for me, they need to improve on the quality of the case and the battery compartment a tad before they'll get my money.

Don't get me wrong, this is a cool unit, though a tad pricey and a bit to fragile for me. I don't think it could hold up under normal travel use. I'll take a look at it when they refine the construction in the future.