August 15, 2005 – SanDisk has released a high-speed SD card that connects directly to computers using a flip out USB connector, eliminating the need for any readers to transfer images.
The card, currently offered in 512 megabyte and 1 gigabyte versions, utilizes a unique folding design containing a flip-out USB connector that can be inserted directly into any Mac or PC USB slot. Due to the size constraints, the new Ultra II Plus card doesn’t have a full size USB connector; rather its flip-out plug has four electrical contacts instead of the traditional rectangular plug.
When inserted, the card pops up on the desktop just like a flash drive. The card can be used exclusively as a flash drive and SanDisk even includes an accompanying keychain case for the card.
While users may be concerned about such a small hinge breaking easily, SanDisk says that the card has been tested to endure 5,000 open and close cycles. Additionally, the card’s hinge is covered by SanDisk’s lifetime warranty.
The fast cards offer 9 megabyte per second write speed and 10 megabyte per second read speeds. Estimated pricing is set slightly higher than SanDisk’s traditional SD cards at $79.99 for the 512 megabyte version and $149.99 for the 1 gigabyte card.