Expand your Macbook Pro.

Design, Gadgets, Useful Things by Richard

If you’ve got a MacBook Pro and are wondering what to do with that empty ExpressCard|34 slot, this post is for you. These are a couple of products for it: one that expands your laptop’s capabilities, and one that makes using a remote with your laptop much more convenient.

The ExpressCard|34 Card Reader from Griffin is a memory card reader that gives your laptop the ability to read all sorts of card formats including Memory Stick PRO™, Memory Stick™, SD™ Memory Card, MultiMediaCard™ and xD-Picture Card™, as well as Memory Stick Duo™, Memory StickMicro™, miniSD™, microSD™, RS-MC™, MMCplus™, MMCmobile™ Stick with the adapters that come with those cards.

I was able to test one out for a few days now and it worked just the way it should have… I put it into the slot, it clicked into place, I grabbed an SD card, inserted it into the card reader, and the SD card was mounted on my desktop within a couple of seconds. Copying files to it was blazing fast, and things just worked. One little issue I had: Since both the ExpressCard slot and the slot for the memory cards are both spring loaded, it’s easy to pop the entire card reader and memory card when inserting a memory card. The trick is making sure that you’re only pressing on the memory card when you’re inserting/removing it, not the card reader as well. This card reader will run you $29.99 and is available now. Don’t forget, you can even win one of these if you enter the FreshArrival/Gizmodo SlickrFrame contest before midnight tonight!

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I’ve also been checking out the Rex, by Sik. It’s a tiny remote that performs the same functions as the Apple Remote, but fits into the ExpressCard slot for easy storage, where you’ll always have it when you need it. Why didn’t Apple do this with their remote? Their remote has rounded edges just like the ExpressCard slot, so why didn’t they make them fit together? It’s $24.95, but for some reason Amazon has it listed at right under a million dollars. Wonder what’s up with that?

Besides the MacBook Pro which it fits into, the Rex works with any device that the Apple remote will control, such as the iMac, Apple iPod Universal Dock, Apple TV, Front Row and the iPod Hi-Fi. It’s got a 30 ft range, and in my testing it was just as responsive as the Apple Remote, although the buttons were a little harder to press on the Rex (I bet the button stiffness will work itself out in short order.)

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