Sony and SanDisk's Memory Stick Micro M2 is one of the smallest flash memory cards in existence, almost nearly as small as a microSD card and half that of a standard SIM card. This 8GB version is my newest gadget acquisition. \(^_^)/
Blister pack must die!
The picture below says it all. On the top right is a generic CompactFlash card, first introduced in 1994 by Sandisk. See how much flash memory card has reduced in size over the years. Sony's Memory Stick card, introduced in 1998, was the size of a chewing gum. A year later, the SD card standard was introduced, based on the now dead MMC format. It was the size of a stamp. The competing companies continued releasing new cards and "standards", eventually coming up with nail sized micro cards that are smaller than a SIM cards. Amazing really to see how far technology has come. I remember buying a 128MB Memory Stick and a 128MB Toshiba SD card seven years ago, both costing above £80, and this 8GB card is 1/4th the size and costs half.
xD memory, :( :( :(
SanDisk provides adaptors for most of their products, and is no different in this case (Sony doesn't for their M2 branded cards). Included in the package is a Memory Stick Pro Duo adaptor for use on devices which contains a Pro Duo slot (e.g. Sony PSP), but not a USB card reader that is available as part of another package. However unlike their 2GB microSD multi-SD kit that I blogged about last year, an adaptor for the largest format in its family (in this case, the standard Memory Stick slot) was not provided. Not that I care anyway, as I can easily slip it into the provided M2-Duo adaptor and then slip it into a Memory Stick-Duo adaptor. But really though, who still owns or uses products that has the full size chewing gum slot?
Using ATTO Disk Benchmark, SanDisk's claim of sustained 3MB/s write speed is proven to be true. This was while using my PSP as a card reader. The average read speed is pegged at around 7MB/s with a maximum speed of 8MB/s. No doubt it would be faster using a dedicated M2 USB card reader, but either way, the M2 isn't the fastest card out there anyway. Not that it matters as M2 cards were not designed to be used in high performance devices that requires ultra fast writing speed (e.g. Digital SLR). Personally I am happy so long as it allows me to watch high quality videos without frame rate drop-outs - and in this case it does pass with flying colours.
8GB Duos and M2s are still pretty rare and expensive, although I was lucky to have managed to procure the 8GB M2 at the price I was comfortable with. Now on to converting my 72 episode DVD Futurama collection.