By Michael Evans
APPLE'S DECISION to standardise the SD card slot in the latest MacBook Pro upgrades will mean increasing emphasis on these handy memory cards, now available in sizes up to 64GB. Not only are they used in most mainstream cameras, they are a useful way of backing up data and transferring files. The Express card, however, seems to be dying the death and that is probably why the latest MBPs have changed over from Express card to SD slot.
Not wanting to be left out of the party, I have just converted the Express card slot of my late-2008 15in Pro to SD with Belkin's inexpensive Media Reader-Writer adaptor. It slots into the Express slot and sits flush with the aluminum case of the computer. It can thus be left in situ and will not snag on bags or cases. An SD card protrudes 9mm and, at a pinch, can also be left in unless the case is very tight.
The Belkin unit supports a wide range of media in addition to SD, either with or without adaptor. Without adaptor it takes SD, MMC, MMCplus, MS Pro and xD-Picture cards. With an adaptor it will take microSD, miniSD, MMCmobile, RS-MMC, MS Duo and MS Pro Duo. I've not had experience of most of these other formats but it is comforting to know I am now equipped for any eventuality.
This is a handy piece of kit and I would recommend it to any owner of a Mac with a built-in Express card slot. It costs £19.95 from the Apple Store in the UK and, presumably, can be picked up for less on the internet.