The peak of popularity of a variety of cardboarders fell on the first half of the “zero” – when memory cards ceased to be exotic, and desktops were still the backbone of the computer equipment park. No wonder that notebook manufacturers took this moment into account, so they started actively supporting the mass formats of cards available “out of the box”.
More precisely, during the time of active distribution of CompactFlash and do nothing, since the format was initially compatible with PCMCIA cards, which for a long time were the only (practically) a way to extend the functionality of laptops.
Later, SD cards became the main ones, but they also quickly began to directly support laptop chipsets, so manufacturers only needed to physically place the corresponding slot in the case. In general, the needs of the mass user have been taken into account in advance, making “discrete” USB-cartridges a niche product.
It seemed that forever. However, the “second wind” in this direction opened after the beginning of the boom of mobile devices. In principle, many of them inherently support SD cards have. Only manufacturers use this mainly to expand the built-in storage, and installing only a slot for micro-cards. And sometimes they completely ignore these carriers – a typical example of which is usually Apple products, although other companies have had many similar developments.
It is clear that the popularity of “pure” photo equipment now leaves much to be desired, since the once-massive “digital girls” are actively cannibalized by the same smartphones, but it is not zero. At the same time, a modern phone, not to mention the tablet, is to some extent suitable for a small processing of photographs, not to mention sending them anywhere – still the communication capabilities have been and remain the main ones in this class of technology.
Actually, here is one of the options for the targeted use of card readers in the modern world, not to mention the side ones – after all, the cards in themselves continue to be quite convenient carriers of any data.
In general, USB-cards are again needed by many – but somewhat different than before. First of all, the watershed is the support of Apple technology: if it is not needed, then, in principle, any USB-device will do. However, support for Lightning imposes its limitations on nutrition. In fairness, the formal specifications of USB manufacturers are often violated, so counting on 500 mA at 5 V in each first smartphone is somewhat reckless, but for something that will not work, responsibility (as is customary in the market for “open standards”).
Nobody carries. But the “fence” of Apple allows for nothing to worry about: if the device falls into the framework of the program MFi (Made For iPhone, iPad, iPod), then it will work exactly – otherwise no one will certify it. The downside of this is an increase in the price of devices, since certified products have to pay license fees – currently $ 4 from each instance.
For a simple flash card this is a bit too much, and the card reader itself can cost less 🙂 Accordingly, if you require MFi-compatibility, it would be nice to make the device as universal as possible – at least not so offensive to spread money for it.
It is not known – so or not quite so argued in Adata, but it is exactly such a device the company got. Unlike most of the cardboard vendors on the market, Adata Al910 Lightning Card Reader Plus is a versatile device. However, primarily focused on working with Apple’s hardware – as mentioned above, it’s more complicated and expensive, so if you do not need iOS compatibility, you can save money.
Therefore, design Adata Al910 Lightning Card Reader Plus is similar to many similar developments – including, and Lightning Card Reader from Adata itself, the further development of which it is. Physically, this is a small “square” with a side of 39 mm and a thickness of 8.3 mm, to which is attached a non-separable cable, 90 mm long (together with the connector), terminating with Lightning.
On the opposite side of the connector are two slots for memory cards microSD and SD, simultaneous use of which is impossible (physically two cards can be inserted, but “visible” with only the micro – this slot has priority). However, in practice, and not necessary – after all this is a device for transferring information.
The main thing is that there are practically no restrictions on the card capacity: the company speaks about 256 GB and supports files more than 4 GB, which clearly indicates the work with SDXC and the exFAT file system – that means the more capacious cards will work without any problems.
As expected, connecting the drive to the iPad led to a proposal to download and install the program i-Memory, with which we agreed.
Its main purpose is to work with files on memory cards, including copying them in both directions. Such software support, we recall, is required because there is no open file system in iOS as such. In fact, it does not appear – the data copied into the tablet or smartphone memory will not be available to other programs.
But the functionality of most i-Memory basic needs of most users realize, regardless of whether you copied files to the device or not. When there is enough free space, it is better to copy them for more convenient work. But you can just save it if necessary.
In any case, the user will be able to view image files of mass formats, including RAW. It is especially useful if you need to send them anywhere, using the smartphone, which is always at hand, to access the Internet: all iOS switching capabilities are available from the “i-Memory Explorer”. Or you can just quickly see the footage captured by the camera on the iPad in the “field conditions”.
Photo-and video-lovers will also come in handy and built-in video player, good and it’s multi-format, and with support for files with a resolution of 4K. And, of course, more familiar mass and not very variants in a variety of containers: from the already bored AVI to the somewhat exotic in our places (but popular in China) RMVB.
Fans of reading on the road are offered built-in support for a variety of (again) documents, including DOCX and PDF, and about the audio player simply mention – at the moment is already too familiar component of this kind of software.
As well as backing up photos, videos and contacts from the device, which is logical to implement, since the support for files and removable media (in the form of maps) is. Note that the reservation of multimedia information in this case is more useful than for single-standard Lightning-cartridges or flash drives, as it can eventually be freely dragged, for example, from the iPhone to the tablet with Android without the need for any additional equipment.
Another point of the program (in the literal and figurative sense) is dedicated to the universal transfer of information – “i-Memory Camera”: allows you to take photos of your iPhone / iPad, but with pictures recorded right away on the memory card, bypassing the built-in memory (which may not be enough).
In general, the implemented capabilities are similar to the work with memory cards implemented in Android-devices, the absence of which is sometimes blamed on the technique of Apple. Restricted and external means, of course, but with support for full-sized SD cards, not just micro-.
Directly this possibility is not realized not only in devices with Android (many of which, by the way, memory cards do not support themselves in themselves), but even quite often in Windows (especially tablets and laptops). Accordingly, you need an external card reader.
If only for this, as mentioned above, you do not need to buy a device with Lightning – you can save. But if there is already Adata Al910 Lightning Card Reader Plus – it will do: thanks to the presence of the Micro-USB port on the case, and in the kit – an additional cable, 20 cm long. At one end of the latter is also a Micro-USB connector, on the other – the original folding, capable of turning In Micro-USB, and in the “full-size” type A.
On the other hand, at the moment this problem is not significant, it can be purchased separately, and indeed – the main target audience of the device is not Android users. But somehow correct the state of affairs in the future would be useful – since we are talking about a universal device, which is especially emphasized by the manufacturer. The first provides compatibility with most portable devices, the second – with computers and laptops. True, the set of connectors immediately reveals two drawbacks of the device. Firstly, to the new-fashioned USB Type-C drive can not be connected without an additional adapter, which is not included.
The second defect is no longer correctable without a significant alteration of the drive – above not for nothing was said anything about the speed of copying information, because … everything is limited by the capabilities of USB 2.0. Which, again, is not a significant problem for the main target audience (USB 3.0 from Apple products is supported only by the iPad Pro), but inconvenient for a universal device.
About the same work with files in the case of Android or Windows, there is no point in spreading it – it is completely determined by the own capabilities of the host system. Which, incidentally, is not always good – for example, if the phone with OTG does not support the exFAT file system (and this is true for many inexpensive devices), you will have to forget about the above about files larger than 4 GB.
Officially – and about cards with a capacity of more than 32 GB, but in practice when using FAT32 work with them is still possible. The user iOS on the one hand the manufacturer is limited, and on the other – about such small things life can not think. As it usually happens, dignities are a continuation of shortcomings and vice versa.
But, as mentioned above, Android and Windows are not the main target platforms for the device: just adding their support could be inexpensive. In addition, the design adds to the attractiveness of Adata Al910 Lightning Card Reader Plus in the eyes of the main target audience.
The fact is that the card reader can be used as a cable for charging iPhone / iPad! Any charger with current up to 2.1 A is acceptable, and (which is natural) charging can be done in parallel with working with files. This approach directly provokes to carry the device constantly with itself – instead of the “native” cable, which also often break.
Yes, and you can buy Adata Al910 Lightning Card Reader Plus instead of a cable, if the user previously even had thoughts (not to mention the need) to work with memory cards on the device with iOS or transfer some files between different platforms “in the field.” Actually, this is the main advantage of Adata Al910 Lightning Card Reader Plus in front of the “simple cartridges” with the Lightning interface, and the “plus” in its full name.