Every once in a while a new technology comes along that's impossible not to love, though it has many serious drawbacks. The Eye-Fi wireless SD card that hit stores this week falls into that category. The card sends images directly from your camera to a computer or the Internet. It does it from any camera that uses SD memory— how cool is that? Unfortunately, the card only works for Wi-Fi routers that you've registered by computer, which means if you go to a new place with free, open Wi-Fi, you still need your computer for the card to work. It also uploads photos very slowly and only at close range. So it has limited uses.
But just think: Eye-Fi can turn your ancient but trusty digital camera into something that's really high tech in, well, a flash. This week, the reviewing community acknowledged Eye-Fi's flaws, but recommended it nonetheless. Check out excerpts after the jump, and let us know what you think of this flashy new SD card.
We love it! It doesn't even drain the camera's battery
"We figured it must drain more battery— but apparently in-camera SD power standards dictate that this extra consumed power needs to be minimal, to the level of not being noticeable to the end user… we strongly recommend the purchase" , Gizmodo
But I don't want to upload all my photos
"Eye-Fi takes a step forward by cutting out the middleman— but two steps back in making the assumption that you want all of the tens (or hundreds) of megs of photos on the card uploaded in full res using your camera's batteries, and yet don't need said photos in your photo app, not just some folder." , Engadget
It has major drawbacks, but I love it anyway
"The cards need to be told in advance what SSID to look for, they need an open Internet connection (so no Starbucks uploads), and they kind of suck battery life… But the card is totally worth the $100, and I only have a 512MB card. Trust me, they're cool." , CNet's Buzz out Loud
Lots of set-up time, but still so cool
It's a little annoying since you have to physically drag your computer to the desired network beforehand. You can't enter any Wi-Fi area and just start uploading pics. Oh and the card doesn't support hotspots for some reason either… it's one of the finest solutions we've ever seen." , Wired
At least the price is right
"At $99 the Eye-Fi is a reasonably priced 2GB SD card, at least by retail standards. The package… includes a 2GB SD card and a USB card reader. That alone is worth about $50." , at Crunchgear
It's great, if you put it on top of your router
"The card's range is pretty limited, too (not surprising, given that its antenna has to fit inside the card) … uploads would frequently be interrupted at distances of about 20 feet, and the card didn't connect at all at distances beyond that— distances that posed no problem for my IBM Thinkpad. , PC World
Get a USB SD card instead
"It's not particularly fast (no surprise really as it is Wi-Fi, but it's quite a bit slower than we expected)… you really wouldn't want to use it as a mass transfer alternative to a card reader. If you really want a card reader and wire free solution to getting your images onto your computer then you could just get a SanDisk Ultra II USB SD card which has a built-in USB connector, for $50. , Digital Photography Review
Are you excited about Eye-Fi? We think this thing has "stocking stuffer" written all over it.
Last Week: Leopard's secret flaws revealed!