SCM Microsystems is poised to begin shipping a USB 2.0 version of their popular Zio CompactFlash card reader. Called the Dazzle Zio USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, it's expected to offer card-to-computer transfers that are as quick as the company's speedy Microtech FireWire CameraMate (SCM Microsystems sells products under the Microtech and Dazzle brand names).
Dazzle Zio USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
Unlike the original, USB 1.1 Zio, the Zio USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, says SCM Microsystem's Al Conte, is "as fast as the cards are," though only with computers fitted with USB 2.0 ports and an operating system configured for USB 2.0 support. Otherwise, the new Zio will drop down from Hi-Speed to the comparatively pokey Full Speed operation of the original Zio and other USB 1.1-only card readers.
USB 2.0 support is built into Windows XP, while USB 2.0 port-equipped laptop and desktop PCs are now emerging on the market.. Older PCs will require a USB 2.0 upgrade card; some upgrade cards include Hi-Speed drivers for a variety of Windows OS versions, including Windows 98 SE, Windows ME and Windows 2000.
No Macs currently ship with USB 2.0 ports. While Mac USB 2.0 upgrade cards are available, most, if not all, are compatible only with the newest releases of OS X. Microtech expects the Zio USB 2.0 Hi-Speed to operate at Hi-Speed with a broad range of Windows and Mac setups, as long as they're configured for Hi-Speed USB operation.
Like the original Zio, the USB 2.0 Zio draws power from the USB bus, so no external power supply is required.The Dazzle Zio USB 2.0 Hi-Speed will ship with a removable 3 foot USB cable and OnDVD 2.0 slide show software. It 's scheduled to hit store shelves mid-November at a suggested list price of US$40. The original Zio will continue to be sold, though for about US$10 less than its speedier twin.