By April 14, 2010

I-Rocks IR-5400 USB Flash Memory Card Reader Review

I bought the i-Rocks IR-8100 USB hub and card reader about two and a half years ago. It has worked flawlessly all this time, and I appreciate having more USB ports within easy reach as opposed to the back of my computer.

It works great, but it has an external power supply and is a pain to take with me when I travel. I hated having to pack yet another power supply, and it sucked to unplug a bunch of peripherals every time I left the house.

I decided to try i-Rocks again, and bought their IR-5400 USB flash memory card reader.

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I use three digital cameras to take photos, and they all use different types of memory cards: Compact Flash, SD/SDHC, and MicroSD/MicroSDHC. The i-Rocks IR-5400 can read all of those, although you’ll still need a MicroSD-to-SD adapter. However, this is better than carrying three adapters, one for each media card format.

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The thing I like the most about the i-Rocks IR-5400 is that it’s dead simple. You plug it into your computer via the supplied USB cable, insert your flash memory card, and that’s it. No power supply, no drivers, just read your cards.

It is very portable, and uses a standard USB to micro USB cable for data transfer. If you have other devices that use a similar cable (like a Windows smartphone, Blackberry, Android phone, etc) then you can leave the cable at home, making packing even easier.

This may not seem like a big deal, but when you travel by motorcycle it sucks having to pack and track everything. One less cable is one less thing to keep in mind when you’re moving around.

The only downside to the i-Rocks IR-5400 is that it’s getting hard to find, despite being listed as “NEW” on the i-Rocks USA Web site. I bought it for $10 at NewEgg last August, and they don’t even carry it any more.

However, several sellers at Amazon have it in stock, and you can find it at other e-tailers like M-Wave and Wal-Mart.

At about $15.00 from Amazon and other retailers, the i-Rocks IR-5400 is still a good deal. Most similar card readers will run you between $12 – $20 anyway.

I’ve been very pleased with the i-Rocks USB card reader, and it is strongly recommended.

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