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Digital Wallet poised to ship  
Thursday, July 20, 2000 | by
The Digital Wallet, a "Portable Smart Storage" device for storing images in the field without a computer, is set to ship. Starting tomorrow, the online retailer MindsGear will begin shipment of the long-awaited US$499 product that should prove popular among amateur digital photographers with limited card capacity.

The Digital Wallet, from a company called Minds@Work, is a handheld, 13-ounce device that enables the offloading of files and folders from camera storage media to the Wallet's internal hard drive. Later, those files and folders can be transferred to a Mac or PC via the USB port. While not a full-fledged computer itself, the Digital Wallet contains a lot of the same components: a processor, its own operating system, 6GB hard drive, USB port and LCD screen. After several delays, the Digital Wallet is set to go.

Digital Wallet major features include:

  • Measures a slim 5.25" x 3.75" x 1.25"

  • Weighs 13 ounces with batteries

  • Run by a Motorola Coldfire processor and custom operating system

  • For internal storage, it features a Toshiba 6GB, 2.5" hard drive, rotating at 4200 rpm

  • 4-pin USB port for transferring images to Mac or PC

  • Upload speed from card to Digital Wallet rated at 1.8MB/second; download to computer via USB is said to max out at about 1MB/second

  • Supports a variety of cards, including CompactFlash Type I and II (the microdrive too), SmartMedia, Strataflash, Multimedia Card and Sony Memory Stick, through its PC Card slot. PC Card support is not mentioned.

  • Powered off AC, or the included rechargeable 6 AAA NiMH pack. Operating time is up to 140 minutes when powering the unit off its battery.

  • It's compatible with Mac OS 8.6 or later, and Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 and even the upcoming Windows ME. The computer must have an available USB port.

  • In the box with the Digital Wallet is a Carry Dock (for connecting the unit to AC power and USB), CompactFlash to PC Card adapter, battery pack, AC adapter/charger, USB cable, manuals and CD-ROM of drivers and applications.

The Digital Wallet in grey is available starting tomorrow from MindsGear; a unit in translucent blue is slated to be available August 15th. Steve's Digicams, Imaging Resource and Digital Photography Review have each posted extensive articles on the device. Mac users would be well-advised to check out the Imaging Resource review in particular, as it describes some oddball Digital Wallet behaviour with an iMac.

Also, be sure to have a look at the Minds@Work web site, which opens with a clever animation.

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