Memory card with Wi-Fi access for instant photo and video uploading.
Today, many devices have memory cards. This is especially true of digital cameras. However, I have always found it aggravating to have to carry multiple cards to make sure I have enough room to store all my photos and videos until I am able to transfer them to my netbook or laptop.
This problem is a thing of the past if you are using one of the new memory cards from Eye-Fi. These cards have an integrated Wi-Fi connection for wireless transfers to a smartphone, tablet device or laptop or for online sharing via your home or office wireless network or over public hotspots. For this review, I was loaned an Eye-Fi Pro X2 card with 8G of storage.
Before you begin using your Eye-Fi Pro X2, you must install the Eye-Fi Manager software, which was included on the memory card. I did this on a Windows 7 system, but the setup guide says the software is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. Once it is installed, Eye-Fi Manager recognizes the card and you are prompted to install Eye-Fi Center software, which will enable you to manage multiple Eye-Fi cards. During this installation, I was also prompted to upgrade the card’s firmware, which I accomplished without any trouble. The final step was configuring the Wi-Fi network I wished to use. The software brought up all of the wireless networks that were detected, I specified the network and entered in the required security password, and the card connected automatically. All told, the setup process took less than 10 minutes, and I was ready to start using the card in my SDHC-compatible camera.
I immediately ran into a problem finding a device that uses an SD card. Many of my devices, such as my Pantech cell phone, Motorola XOOM tablet, and Magellan eXplorist GPS receiver/digital camera, use micro-SD cards, while my Canon digital cameras use CompactFlash cards. Therefore, make sure the device you plan to use the Pro X2 with supports SD cards.
The Eye-Fi Pro X2 has 8G of storage space, which is room for thousands of photos. The X2 also has Class 6 SD performance, which means the minimum write speed is 6 MB/sec (megabytes per second). The X2’s Wi-Fi radio also supports 802.11n speeds, the fastest Wi-Fi connection currently available. Furthermore, the Pro X2 has a range of over 90 feet outdoors or 45 feet indoors, according to the company.
The main benefit of the Pro X2 is that you can offload your pictures and videos without having to plug your camera into your computer or having to remove the card. You can transfer this media to your computer in date-based folders or in Apple’s iPhoto.
If you enjoy sharing your photos and videos online, you can also configure the card to upload to a variety of sharing websites, including Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
Lastly, if you have a compatible iOS or Android device, the Direct Mode feature automatically transfers your photos or videos to your smartphone or tablet.
One last feature that I really liked with the X2 was its geotagging capabilities. The X2 will automatically tag where your photos were taken using Wi-Fi Positioning System technology, assuming you are within range of Wi-Fi coverage.
The Eye-Fi Pro X2 is an excellent choice for those who don’t want to run the risk of running out of storage space while taking pictures or videos and have access to a Wi-Fi network they can use to offload their pictures and videos. Assuming you are within range of a Wi-Fi network, you can offload pictures and videos to a laptop, smartphone or tablet device or to a number of sharing websites. Obviously, this is a device that requires a Wi-Fi connection, so if you tend to travel off the beaten path, the Wi-Fi capabilities may not be useful. Furthermore, make sure that any camera you are going to use supports SDHC. The suggested price of $99.99 is worthwhile if you have the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network. If not, SD cards of similar size can be had for a fraction of the price.
Eye-Fi Pro X2 Wireless Memory Card
$99.99 (Available for $93.95 from Amazon.com)
Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is the author of “Gadget Corner.” All reviews are based on firsthand experience of the product or service. No third-party compensation is received for opinions on products, services, websites or topics. However, sometimes the author is not required by the manufacturer or their PR firm to return the product under review. In such instances, it is our policy to convey this within the review. The views and opinions expressed in these reviews are strictly those of the author. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.