Finally! An ExpressCard adapter that accepts a PCCard (PCMCIA)

Finally! An ExpressCard adapter that accepts a PCCard (PCMCIA)

Summary: If you're the owner (or wannabe owner like us) of a new notebook computer -- particularly one from Apple -- that has an ExpressCard slot instead of a PCCard (PCMCIA) slot but you still need to use certain PCCards (maybe because no ExpressCard equivalent exists), then it appears as though your prayers have finally been answered.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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If you're the owner (or wannabe owner like us) of a new notebook computer -- particularly one from Apple -- that has an ExpressCard slot instead of a PCCard (PCMCIA) slot but you still need to use certain PCCards (maybe because no ExpressCard equivalent exists), then it appears as though your prayers have finally been answered.

Today, via email, I received an announcement from Duel Systems that:

The new adapter allows customers who have purchased laptops with 34mm or 54mm ExpressCard ports to continue to use existing PCMCIA and CardBus cards.

The announcement goes on to say that it works with Windows XP and Mac OS X (with drivers for Vista coming soon) and that you can pre-order the normally $119-priced part for $99 now. The product is officially due for availability on March 31, 2007. 

The product page on the company's Web site says that it also works with CompactFlash, Memory Stick, and Smart Media and that, through a separately available adapter, it will work with MMC and SD cards. 

If it works as advertised (I haven't tried it), this will be a very hot item, especially for users or buyers of the newer Intel-based MacBooks that don't have PC Card slots. Lack of a PC Card slot in those MacBooks is keeping many buyers including us here at ZDNet from acquiring the newer systems since we need them to work with with existing PC Cards. For example, all of our video production is done using Panasonic's AG-HVX200P camera which stores its video on special PC Cards called P2 cards. For video editing and production, we used Apple's Final Cut Pro but we've been confined to the older G4 (PowerPC-based) PowerBooks because they're the last notebooks from Apple that can take the Panasonic P2 PC Cards that come out of the video camera. To speed up post-production (which has been very slow on the old G4s), we've been frothing at the mouth for the newer faster notebooks but buying them would have been a complete waste of money. Now, provided these cards work (and the announcement specifically mentions support for Panasonic's P2 cards), the way has been cleared to move to the newer gear.

Who else will benefit? Well, there are also a bunch of people I know that are holding off on buying new Apple notebooks because they rely on PC Card-based adapters to interface with one of the cellular data networks for Internet connectivity (eg: an EVDO card from Verizon Wireless). Once again, problem solved (if it works).  

Topic: Hardware

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2 comments
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  • What is an ExpressCard anyway?

    I wasn't paying attention and got a Dell laptop with one of those. I guess PCMCIA needed updating? I think I went to the beach the day they announced ExpCard.
    SteveTheWirePuller
  • Foolish Question

    I sort of expected you to really question the point of ExpressCard rather than fall all over yourself in your rush to thank a company for solving your "problem".

    The problem is really that other than video, there is no reasonable need for a anything more than a 32 bit cardbus interface in a typical laptop. If you consider that most high-end laptops have firewire and a ton of usb2.0 ports, the decision to make 100's of cards obsolete is unfathomable.
    croberts