Though SanDisk’s Wi-Fi SDIO card has proved to be popular, many users of single-slot devices have hoped for a version that combines wireless access and some storage. SanDisk has good news for these people.
When using the Wi-Fi SDIO card in an iPAQ h1945, for example, it isn’t possible to also use a memory card, as both use the Pocket PC’s single SD slot. That’s why SanDisk has developed a Wi-Fi SDIO card that also offers 256 MB of memory.
This will be available for Pocket PCs soon. However, the current version of Windows Mobile 2003 doesn’t support SDIO cards that offer two functions simultaneously. Therefore, SanDisk won’t release its combination card until Microsoft makes available an update for Windows Mobile 2003, expected to happen in the near future.
Though current models that haven’t been upgraded won’t be able to use the combo card, SanDisk is demonstrating it now with a specially modified Axim X3 at the CeBIT tradeshow. During a demonstration, the X3 was able to download a song using the Wi-Fi SDIO card and save it directly to the card’s memory (see picture at right). Of course, the song could also have been saved to RAM or the X3i’s file store.
SanDisk is also going to offer this card for devices running Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone. A company spokesperson described the process of converting the driver between the two Windows Mobile versions as fairly trivial. This will bring Wi-Fi access to the range of Windows Powered smart phones.
Unfortunately, SanDisk doesn’t expect the necessary driver to allow Palm OS models to use this card to be available for many months.
SanDisk’s Wi-Fi SDIO card with 256 MB of memory will have a suggested retail price of about $150.