updated 07:25 am EDT, Wed April 22, 2009
Sonnet preps card reader
Sonnet at NAB this week is demonstrating the Qio, a unique media card reader/writer that includes a built-in E4P SATA host controller that gives it hooks for external hard drives as well as flash cards. The device has dual P2, SxS and CompactFlash slots. An included adapter supports SD, XF and other card formats. Four eSATA ports are located on the back panel.
The device ships with one of two interfaces for either desktop or laptop users. Desktop owners will get Sonnet's Express Bus Extender PCIe card, while laptop owners can choose Sonnet's Bus Extender ExpressCard/34.
Sonnet says the device effectively quadruples the number of expansion slots on notebooks because the Qio's SxS slots double as ExpressCard/34 slots and the P2 slots are compatible with CardBus cards. The built-in eSATA HDD controller supports port multipliers allowing users to access up to 20 drives.
Pricing has yet to be released. The Qio -- which will ship with a carrying case -- is expected to be available next month.