microusb microsd card reader.jpg

The MicroSD Card Reader for Android tablets/smartphones will enable memory expansion for many supported devices via the MicroUSB port. (via kickstarter)

 

Owning a tablet can be a great addition to your home and on-the-go entertainment and productivity gadgets. Unfortunately, many Nexus and Android tablets are limited in their ability to store the loads of media and other misc files one may choose to carry around on their pocket sized PCs. No, Nexus and Android smartphone and tablet users can rejoice - a pair of brothers from San Mateo, CA have created a product that will enable MicroSD card memory expansion on these devices via an external MicroUSB port card reader.

 

The project started as a means to do something about the lack of an SD card reader for storage expansion. Within a relatively short period of time (design began in July 2012), brothers Andy and Rich developed a simple, yet effective product that should please many Android users worldwide.

 

The MicroSD Card Reader supports MicroSDHC cards up to 32GB capacity and MicroSDXC cards reaching up to 64GB of storage - both are current industry maximums. The USB IC chip used in the reader allows for both reading and writing between phone and MicroSD, though full out-of-box support is not guaranteed for all devices. Lots of research was done to hand pick the optimal IC chip, resulting in a list of devices under varying class levels of support, as follows:

 

  • Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, Note, Note 2, Galaxy Express; Class 1 support.
  • Motorola RAZR M, RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD, Xyboard 8.2" Tablet; Class 1 support.
  • HTC One X+, Evo 4G LTE (Sprint), DROID DNA; Class 1 support.
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 7 & Nexus 10; Class 2 support.
  • Nook Color, Kindle Fire (non-HD); Class 3 support.
  • Tablets using RockChip & AllWinner chips; Sonicview N710; Class 1 support.

 

The class levels above indicate the level of support for each device grouping - Class 1 means out-of-box support; Class 2 means third party software is needed for the card reader to work; and Class 3 requires custom ROM to be installed before the device would work. Though not perfect, the MicroUSB card reader still supports an impressive group of Android devices and the brothers assure that it has been tested to work on all major Android SoCs.

 

The aesthetic design is not too shabby either - the quarter-sized card reader will be wrapped in a piano-black finished plastic casing with a hole for key ring support. The MicroUSB port’s cap is also designed to lock in place to avoid losing it during everyday travel.

 

The next step for Andy & Rich is to begin ramping up production of their device for the consumer market. Their Kickstarter funding has exceeded (and then some) their original goal of $5,000 by nearly $40,000 - so, we should begin to see these start rolling out soon.

 

I am sure that over time this functionality will be built into device cases. One can hope…

 


 

C

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