The removal tool, is a reference to how Apple includes the "SIM removal" tool with iPhones, which is just a paperclip. To me, it's obvious that you can just use a normal paperclip to remove this as well. This is also demonstrated in the video on kickstarter, which admittedly you need to search for. It's made as a semi-permanent piece, so the fact it's hard to remove doesn't matter here.
It's not "just an SD card adapter". It's something that fits flush with the design, so you can leave it in and it doesn't impact the visual appearance. If you don't care about this, that's fine, it's not for you. I could easily see myself buying this, however.
I will probably get one to expand my SSD storage.
As an owner of a 128 GB Macbook Air, space is at a serious premium. An extra 32 GB or 64 GB would go a long way. I'm also on the go a lot, taking my laptop to and from work, using it on my commute, etc. Now, existing USB memory sticks, however little they protrude from the port, are always going to be a concern: they may fall out, or get snapped off in my bag, not to mention they use up a valuable USB port (I only have 2 after all). A miniSD-to-SD adaptor also isn't suitable: like an SD card, the adaptor would also stick out, making it likely to snap off or come out in my bag if I leave it in all the time, or for me to just lose something that small if I take it out all the time. This is especially an issue when, for example, I reach my stop while I'm in the middle of work and just have to close my laptop and put it in my bag without having to wait to eject a disk.
This product is clearly not for people with integrated miniSD card readers in their laptops (which is great for those who have them), and it's also not for people who leave their laptops at their desk all the time and can just use an external drive, but for someone like me this is perfect. I get the extra space, it doesn't use up any valuable ports (I rarely use the SD card slot), and it's not going to get lost or broken.
Possible uses for this extra space: (for me personally) I'm going to redirect my Downloads folder to the drive, and also use it to as a temporary backup when I'm on the go.
Just my two cents. £20 is a steal. Some people may think this is too expensive, but the laptop cost me £1000 when I bought it, and this £20 allows me to permanently add an extra 50% hard drive space without having to do something like void my warranty and swap out the flash memory. What's my alternative? Buy a new laptop? No thanks.
Best part, is as the price of SDXC cards continue to drop, I can simply purchase a naked 128/256/etc... SDXC card, and use it with this adapter.
All in all - may allow me to delay a full year on my Laptop Upgrade. Definitely worth $35 to me.
I find it weird that so many people on HN don't seem able to understand that. We all know it's just a small kludgier SD-microSD adapater that fits flush with Mac cases, and is meant as a semi-permanent addition to storage. We all know that the materials and assembly cost is at most a few dollars.
This kickstarter should be praised and studied as an example of added value or finding a niche or whatever the hell it's called.
Because the majority of the general public care about how how something looks and works. Whether it's the car the drive, the clothes they wear, how their house looks etc. Most people care about form.
Ridiculous apple fanboys and total ignorance
Edit to comment about the depth limit: I can't comment any deeper. (Karma related?)
"neither are macs" isn't, I think, arrogant nor judgemental. A person can buy a Mac if they like that kind of thing, but if they prefer other stuff they can buy other machines. Each person decides what's important to them.
About the device: I don't like the way that micro-SD card adapters stick out the side of the case. I'm not sure I dislike that enough to pay $35, but if people have that kind of spare cash I'm not going to piss and moan at them about it.
Notice how careful I am to avoid mentioning any actual thing that may influence a purchasing decision? That's how frustrating and pointless these conversations can be. :-(
edit: so is there a reply depth limit?
I wasn't trying to be snooty or anything with my remarks. I just meant that there is a market for a wide range of seemingly ridiculous stuff in this world.
In a land where people pay big bucks to have double eyelid surgery, inject toxins into their lips, and buy intentionally "distressed" furniture, a slightly better-fitting SD Card adapter doesn't seem so absurd.
There are also usb drives that fit inside the usb port and does not need a special tool to remove, though I cant find it on amazon anymore.
So it's ugly I'm going to lose the thingy. Oh and it's $35.
A tilting removal handle could break off, making it IMPOSSIBLE to remove.
In any event, I could.
Also I disagree that it is a design fail. What (i think) you are describing is poor industrial design; it would be more prone to break, as well as costing more to produce (bearing in mind this is being done by a startup).
The real design failure is Apple's. My laptop (like nearly every digital camera ever?) has a spring loaded sd-slot, that allows the SD card to sit flush with the edge.
The more I think about it the more I agree the real design flaw is from Apple.
* So nothing can get stuck inside.
* So valuable space isn't used up inside the computer. The motherboard in a macbook air is tiny. The extra half-height of the SD card that would be necessary for it to go all the way in is significant.
Either way, as it stands Apple hasn't provided a spring-loaded mechanism, so they have to do something like this. They only made the removal tool by popular demand: in the Kickstarter they were just advising use of a paperclip, which seemed reasonable. Over-engineering is always a danger, especially when you're fighting to just get a product shipped.
Also, prongs break.
That said, I don't have a macbook with an SD card. Nor am I running low on internal storage, so this thing isn't for me anyway.
Requiring a tool for removing removable storage media is a different order of inconvenience.
From a design standpoint, I would have been far more impressed had they taken the time to engineer a removal approach that does not require a special tool. The first thing it's going to happen is that you'll be on a trip or out of the office without the "key". There are tons of ways to make tool-less removal possible. This device is very simple as it has no real circuitry inside. It's an exercise in mechanical design, and they chose to not go the extra step and give it tool-less removal.
The same is the case for a number of other options.
I have a MicroSDCard inside a SDCard adpater sitting flush in my smaller-than-iPad netbook. I got it for "free" with purchase of a cell phone, before the iPhone existed. I guess I need to get a MacBook to reproduce this unsightly protruding SDCard problem so I can then get a "niftyminidrive" to solve it? According to the title, it's a"hack". Would that make me a "hacker"?
This is almost as good as Microsoft's "ReadyBoost". Otherwise known as a USB slot.
It's a $5 USB stick used as a swap file. No, it's a "Windows Memory Expander". And the price is $49.95. Oh.
unless you buy the very high-end cards
BTW, the idea was discussed in this thread a while ago: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1206894
Edit: Ok found out that RS-MMC are limited to 2Gb
Even at that size, it could be worth trying to set one up with TimeMachine to give a second copy of critical files in case of hard drive failure in your laptop. Not quite off-site back-up though.
I guess you could use it with two MicroSD cards to alternate back-ups, storing one at home, one at the office. But then the sole advantage would be that during the day, you're not bumping into it sticking out of your computer. I don't move my laptop around during the day often enough for that to be an issue.
Blow in it like an old Atari or Sega.
There's a $12 version on Kickstarter now:
Adafruit will also offer a similar one soon: http://www.adafruit.com/products/966
"An easy to use device that allows anyone to quickly and simply increase the available memory in their MacBook computer."
"NOTE: A couple of people have pointed out to us that we have mixed our terms a little. To clarify; when we refer to the MiniDrive increasing the "memory" of your computer, we mean the storage space, not RAM. Sorry for any confusion that this might have caused!"
edit: link and quote