Sure, you probably own a few dozen media card readers and you're probably wondering why you managed to come across this page and stay interested. More than likely, your vast collection of media readers are collecting dust on your desktop and even stored away somewhere in a box where your rubber ball mouse is currently as well. But what if there was a product which came along which had everything, had a cool silver aluminum or black aluminum finish, and was also reasonably priced?
Many computer users have a difficult time in deciding which form of media reader to use. Internal or external? There are benefits of external because it is mobile and can be plugged in to virtually any computer with the proper jack (usually USB2.0 these days). Internal media readers have the advantage of being out of the way, making your desktop less cluttered, as well as always having a home nestled right inside your computer.
In this particular review, we'll take a closer look at an internal media card reader from SilverStone. The FP34 is a powerful and vastly featured device in a compact design.
SilverStone's FP34 not only accepts up to 26 different types of media cards but also has no less than five data interface ports. The ports included on the FP34 are two USB2.0, USB-mini, firewire 4-pin, firewire 6-pin, and even audio and mic jacks.
Media readers are becoming much more essential to everyday computing than they used to. Digital cameras, portable MP3 players, camcorders, and even cell phones are now sporting memory cards. Why? Well, it's because digital devices are rendered useless with fixed memory in them. Just as your closet expands every month with new stuff, electronics manufacturers have realized the correlation are beginning to add memory cards to almost any device which requires an amount of memory to function.
SilverStone's FP34 is currently selling for around $40 which is not the most inexpensive reader around, but remember there is so much more about this device than just a reader. The added USB2.0 and Firewire ports could easily replace a USB and 1394 PCI card and those cost around $15. SilverStone's mark of quality is also on the FP34 so looking at it from a longevity, features, and performance perspective, you're getting a good deal.
Silverstone FP34 Features
HD Audio Connectors?
- All aluminum housing
- Compatible with 26 (25 is written on the package I received) types of media cards
- USB2.0 for fast (480Mbits) data transfer speeds
- Compact 3.5" design
- Easily converts to a 5.25" bay with a conversion kit (also available from SilverStone)
- High Definition audio (Azalia) connectors (available on the latest motherboards) providing stereo output of HD sound
- AC'97 connector
You betcha. SilverStone was thinking ahead (like they usually do) when they created the FP34. A very convenient HD Audio output (codenamed Azalia by Intel) connector provides HD stereo output channels of sound. In case your motherboard does not support HD audio, you can also use the AC'97 connector until you have a motherboard which does have an HD output header.