Easy Reader

Easy Reader – Evaluation

Holly Aguirre

New Media USB Film Reader

Requirements: USB or parallel port List Price: $99 (USB version), $89 (parallel version) Manufacturer: New Media Technology Corp., 800-CARDS-4-U, www. newmediatechcorp.com

IF YOUR HOME OFFICE WORK INCLUDES transferring images from a digital camera to your PC or uploading them to a Web site–a frequent, high volume of such images–consider forking over a few bucks for New Media’s Film Reader. This desktop device boasts the ability to transfer images 50 times faster than uploading them via a camera’s serial cable; it’s compatible with a host of digital storage formats including ATA, SmartMedia, and CompactFlash; and best of all, the USB model requires no AC adapter or batteries.

The Film Reader is a bit smaller than an external floppy drive, with CompactFlash or SmartMedia cards treated like diskettes. Once you plug it into your PC’s USB port and install the software, the unit is truly plug-and-play; just start dragging and dropping files from digital media to your hard disk, or vice versa. With no need to connect your computer and digital camera directly, you can let someone else use the latter, or just conserve its battery power.

The bundled software includes Ixla image editing and Web publishing software for Windows 95 and 98, and the packages prove as beginner-friendly as other entry-level graphics tools. Overall, the Film Reader is an easy, pleasant alternative to tedious digital-camera downloads, backed by a three-year warranty and lifetime tech support.

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