July 24th, 2006, 14:10 Posted By: bandit
Datel Max Media Dock PSP (Base Unit)
Site: Buy from Divineo FR
Price: $39.99 (Base Unit); $79.99 (with 1GB Compact Flash card); $119.99 (with 2GB Compact Flash card)
Overview : MAX Media Dock is an amazing new storage device for your SONY PSP handheld.
MAX Media Dock allows you to store and access content saved on any Compact Flash card from your PSP’s browser.
MAX Media Dock is compatible with readily available Compact Flash cards which offer some of the best value flash memory around. Cards up to 8GB can simply be snapped into the MAX Media Dock providing access to huge storage potential on your PSP.
To get all that content onto your MAX Media Dock, use the built in High Speed USB 2.0 port to connect the Media Dock to your PC. Windows will automatically recognize your card allowing you to quickly and easily Drag and Drop content onto it.
MAX Media Dock also includes the renowned MAX Media Manager software which allows you to automatically encode video, audio and images into PSP friendly formats, and even download game saves from the Internet!
MAX Media Dock is also available with 1GB and 2GB Compact Flash cards included, see alternative items.
MAX Media Dock is perfect for Movies, Music, Games, Home Brew and more!
Quality/Usability : The Max Media Dock idea is based off the 4GB hard drive (4GB card enclosed in a case). The difference between the 4GB hard drive and the Max Media Dock is that Datel cut a slot in the Max Media Dock, thus allowing you to insert your own large capacity card of your choice (Compact Flash or Microdrive). Datel states that you can use a card up to 8GB but I was only able to test this with my 4GB Hitachi Microdrive. Datel also offers different packages for the Max Media Dock. Not only do they sell just the unit alone, they also sell the unit with either a 1GB or 2GB Compact Flash card.
The Media Dock acts as a memory stick to compact flash converter. What this means is that it will make the PSP think that you have a high capacity memory stick inserted but what you really have is a compact flash/microdrive. With the use of the dock, you’ll be able to store more homebrew, music, pictures and videos for a cheaper price than purchasing a memory stick.
The dock is well made and sturdy. The setup is similar (not looks) to that of the Neo-PSP. The cable that connects into the memory stick is sturdy as well unlike the thin ribbon on the Neo-PSP. The dock is connected to the back of the PSP by using two little pegs that go into two holes. The dock does add bulk to the back of the PSP and if you don’t already own the X2 battery, the PSP will be lop-sided. Speaking of bulk, if you are using a case such as the PlayGear Pocket, leather case or any case similar, you will have to decide which to keep. With the Compact Flash/Microdrive inserted into the dock, the storage card sticks out of the dock a little. It’s not really noticeable and I personally prefer it to stick out a little. This allows you to easily remove the card if I needed to unlike the Neo-PSP.
So how does it fair for transferring files? I tested the dock with my 4GB Hitachi Microdrive by transferring Devhook 0.44 (by Booster) which emulates 2.71 firmware. The file size was around 38MB. With the dock and Microdrive, it took approximately less than a minute to transferring all the files. I also tested this with a SanDisk 1GB and a Sony 1GB memory stick. It took the SanDisk approximately 3~4 minutes, while it took the Sony a little longer (4~6 minutes).
It takes a while for the PSP to recognize the Microdrive. But once it does, its all dandy. Emulating the 2.71 firmware with Devhook took a while to load. This could be because of the Microdrive. It took about 30 seconds longer to load then it would if it was from the memory stick. But after the firmware was emulated, there was no slow down in loading homebrew, music, videos, browsing the web or any of the features in the 2.71 firmware. I noticed that it takes a little longer to save games though as compared to regular memory sticks. The PSP requires more power to read the Max Media Dock thus drains the battery quicker.
Conclusion : Overall, the Max Media Dock is a nice product. Unfortunately, it might be a little too late for the Max Media Dock thanks to dropping prices of memory sticks. The Max Media Dock bundled with 2GB Compact Flash costs $120. You can purchase a 2GB memory stick for around $80 (if you shop around). You can purchase a 4GB SanDisk memory card for $30-$50 more than then 2GB dock combo. But if you’re like me and have a 2GB+ Compact Flash/Microdrive laying around, this would be useful. A 4GB Microdrive can be purchased for as low as $60. Compact Flash costs a little more.
The added bulk to the PSP can be a hassle not only for holding but also for protection to the PSP. You will either have to take out the dock each time you are not using the PSP or have to purchase pouch such as the Waterfield (Gear / Mini Gear) Pouch to store the PSP and dock attached. It all depends on your preference.
Oh by the way, its always good to charge your PSP often or carry a charger with you if you're using the dock when you're outside.
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