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Delkin Cardbus 32 CompactFlash PCMCIA Adapter Test Review
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Delkin CardBus 32 CompactFlash PCMCIA Adapter

get it here or here for about $40


This is a device that allows you to read CF cards in your laptop computer by just sliding them in the side. No other external devices, cables or power is needed.

The ability to use a device like this is one of the reasons I need a laptop with PCMCIA slots. Otherwise you have to use an external device, which is one more thing to have to carry on travel. No one connects their camera to their computer for downloading since it's slow and runs down the camera batteries.

This one claims to be faster than others. Actually, it claims to be faster than 16 bit adaptors. It is a 32 bit adapter.


You stick this in a PCMCIA slot in your laptop computer and then you put your CF cards into it to download the data.

It takes CF cards and should take microdrives.

It worked on my Windows 2000 laptop but required messing around with drivers. Delkin does not claim to support Apple computers as of October 2003, severely limiting its professional use. I have not tried it in an Apple laptop to see. Delkin claims support for Windows 98, 98SE, Me, 2000 and XP, which is too bad because Apple is used by over 50% of the pro market including myself.  (I get the fact that Apple is used by most pros not only from what I see, but also reading in a pro mag an article by an author who was trying to make a case for Windows, and even he had to admit Apple has over half of the pro market.)


The whole point of this device is to get faster downloads than other CF adapters. When I tested it I didn't get much of a speed improvement over the Iomega device I got for free a year or two ago when I bought my microdrive.

Measured Speeds (full ordinary 512MB Delkin card, 700MHz Windows 2000 laptop):

Iomega PCMCIA adapter: 6 minutes, 20 seconds.
Delkin CardBus32 PCMCIA adapter: 4 minutes, 40 seconds, or a 36% improvement.

Oddly, friends of mine with newer laptops and different PCMCIA adaptors have seen much more improvement between their old adaptor and this Delkin. I'm unsure if the Iomega adaptor is already very fast or what. For instance, one friend saw 8 minutes for his old, unknown adapter and just 2 minutes for this new one. Thus, my older computer with the Iomega adapter is faster than his old adapter was on his newer computer, but this Delkin adapter on his newer laptop smokes this adapter in my older laptop. Your results will vary!


If you already own another PCMCIA adaptor and are happy with it I wouldn't get too excited.

If you use a Windows laptop and want more speed it's definitely worth a try.

If you are buying your first one outright, as you should do if you use a Windows laptop and CF cards, this would be my first choice.

I don't see enough of a speed improvement to make it worth my while since I already have one, and since I hope to be getting an Apple laptop I certainly have no interest until Apple is supported. Apple supports the CardBus 32 standard, so I have no idea why there is an issue with this adapter.

On the other hand, the reason I tried it is because a friend saw a huge improvement and was very excited. If you shoot a lot and use Windows by all means give it a whirl. heck, it's only $47 here.

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