Compact Flash Offload Portable Drives: Products

This page outlines the available portable hard drives which know how to capture (sans computer) photos from compact flash cards. These are sometimes referred to as "digital wallets," a term popularized by Minds@Work (now defunct). [There needs to be a better term; these are for photos, not credentials or cash (directly anyway ;-). ]

Brief descriptions and links for each product are provided. [Archos Jukebox and AV320 are ignored, since they don't have an internal CF reader.] A few earlier generation products are not included here, since their successors are shipping and generally appear superior to the original.

The descriptions are grouped according to whether the device includes built-in (LCD) image preview, or writes to CDR instead of HDD. Very little info is given on the CDR-based products, since a CDR isn't large enough to capture a single 1GB CF card.

With LCD-based Image Preview

Note that previews generally only support jpeg, and maybe other non-photo formats (mpeg video, mp3). Where better still photo preview support is provided, it is noted.

CDR-based devices

An interesting concept, but not much good for us when a CDR is smaller than a 1GB CF card. Principle is that CF data is transferred directly to CDR, rather than to hard drive.

Other Comparisons

Some great data from insidecomputer.com. Speed reading from CF to portable HDD, and from HDD to computer. Feature matrix.