Well, I started this review by stating that a card reader with a USB 2.0 interface allows you to transfer data between a memory card and computer at a much higher speed than a standard USB 1.1 device. So how well does the Belkin unit actually perform in this respect? Well, the results of our file transfer tests should give you some idea of the real world performance gap between a USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 card reader, although it’s nowhere near the claimed ‘40X’ difference. For example, when copying approximately 205MB of data from a standard speed CompactFlash card to our test system, the transfer time was more than three times quicker over a USB 2.0 connection. Likewise, transferring the same files from the PC back to the reader was also significantly quicker over a USB 2.0 connection. Users of high-speed memory cards should expect even bigger differences when switching between USB 1.1 and USB 2.0.
So if you’ve got a digital camera that only has a USB 1.1 interface, you’d be wise to consider investing in a device like this to transfer your images to your PC. And if you have products that use different types of memory card, then a multi-card reader like the Belkin looks even more attractive.
The Belkin 8-in-1 Reader/Writer is certainly not the cheapest USB 2.0 card reader available, but it's not overpriced either. It performed reasonably well in our tests and you do get a decent bundle of software included for that price, so if you own more than one type of flash memory card then it’s probably worth considering. Otherwise, there are numerous other single format card readers out there to choose from for a lot less.