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View Full Version : Computer & Related Equipment Vosonic X-Drive VP-6230



OzRay
03-08-2006, 01:23 AM
While memory card prices continue to fall and capacities continue to rise, overall the price of cards can become quite high. That’s where Personal Storage Devices (PSD) come into their own.

http://new.vosonic.com.tw/upload/product_image/10_122_large.jpg

Details at:

http://new.vosonic.com.tw/index.php?PA=product&id=10

Early versions of PSDs were fairly basic, slow and of limited capacity but nowadays, you have a plethora of options to choose from. Storage capacity is mostly irrelevant, as hard drives simply get bigger and bigger (in storage capacity that is), but it’s in the capacity to handle large downloads and added features that make the modern PSD such a versatile tool.

Wishing to have the best of both worlds, I went on a research quest to find what was out there and what value for money was to be had with the different devices. In the main, what one had to choose from were fairly basic download devices, that were very fast, or more sophisticated devices that offered numerous features, but weren’t necessarily quite as fast. Price was also a significant consideration.

Options

The options are quite enormous, but there were a few features that I felt were important in a PSD.

These were:

 Able to accept any size 2.5” hard drive.
 Rechargeable from both regular power and car.
 Reasonable battery so that at least 5GB of data could be downloaded on one charge.
 Easily available batteries should replacement be necessary.
 USB2 connectivity.
 Reasonably fast download times.

Less important features were:

 A screen to view RAW shots taken.
 Ability to store other data such as music, video etc.
 Ability to connect to a TV to view shots.
 Upgradeable firmware.

The options were many and varied to say the least, as were the prices. Some were exceedingly fast with downloads, some could download enormous amounts of data on one charge and others had exceptionally large screens.

But as I went through the options, things slowly whittled their way down to two possibilities, one that had an exceptionally fast download speed and great battery capacity, but no view screen whatsoever, and the other that was not so fast or with quite such a high capacity, but was able to do so much more.

In the end I opted for the latter and that is the VP6230.

In total concept, the VP6230 is an amazing tool/plaything/must have gadget. It does just about everything but allow you to surf the Internet and I wouldn’t be surprised if that were a possibility as well.

Review

But at the end of the day, performance as a PSD is what is most important, so how does it stack up?

Firstly, it’s not the fastest PSD off the block and in fact it doesn’t really appear to be any faster than my previous X-Drive II. The Nexto CF and the PD70X beat it by a country mile. But that’s not really a major concern for me, as it’s fast enough to download a 1GB card before I’ve used up one in the camera (around 2 min per GB).

Secondly, while it doesn’t have a proprietary battery as such, using a Fujifilm NP-120 battery and so is not quite as versatile as the PD70X which uses AAs, at least it doesn’t use some obscure battery only available from the distributor.

However, it fulfils all of the main criteria that were considered essential and, as a bonus, it fulfils all of the desirable criteria and then some. I won’t go into all the other things that this device can do and which I don’t use (except for the music), but the most impressive thing is that it can read all ORF files. Some have said that it’s reading an associated JPG, but I don’t believe that the camera produces such a file. Read the specs in the link I provided and you might be impressed.

The VP6230 is easy to use via a toggle control and a couple of buttons that access the menu and general controls and, overall, it's quite intuitive to use. If you're used to computers in general, the interface is quite well designed.

It's all set up from the get go, so you don't have to do anything as far as the hardware and software is concerned, and WinXP picks up the drive immediately.

The unit comes with every cable needed, including a pair of earphones, so there's nothing that you need to buy to make this device work for you.

Physically, it's really no bigger than a PDA, though slightly thicker, so you can easily carry it with you just about anywhere.

Issues

None at all.

I’ll state at this point in time that I dropped the VP6230, whilst it was in my Lowepro bag, and something hard must have hit the screen because it got cracked. This revealed one issue about such a device, as there was no way to use the device independently, as the controls were completely invisible now that the screen was broken. Whether the same situation would have occurred with a simpler device, I’m not sure. Wherever a screen is involved, one assumes that it’s required for some purpose.

The good news is that I was expecting to have to buy a complete new case; however, my distributor did a replacement, at a quarter of the new cost. There was no obligation to do so, but apparently Vosonic have a policy that provides such an after sales service; nice to know.

Conclusion

Whilst the VP6230 is not the fastest PSD on the market, it’s one of the most versatile and reasonably priced units you could possibly find. Based on my previous experiences with Vosonic, they appear to make reliable equipment, so I would hazard a guess that the VP6230 should be just as good as the earlier devices.

jebir
04-06-2006, 07:51 AM
Hi Ray,

I'm considering buying this device. I have a question regarding reviewing the images though:
How much can you zoom in to judge if a picture is sharp or not? Is it any better than the E-1 itself with its small screen and 4x zoom-in? Does the zoom work also for RAW?

Cheers, Jens.

OzRay
04-07-2006, 04:01 PM
The screen size is a fair bit larger than that on the E1 (60mm diag vs 45mm diag) and the image is a lot clearer. You can zoom in 4x, which will give you a pretty reasonable idea of image sharpness (but I've never really used it for this). It will read ORF files and it does so fairly fast.

Cheers

Ray

eelect
07-12-2007, 05:15 PM
They have brand new Firmware and OS updates for this unit.

http://www.vosonic.com/index.php?PA=support&str=firmware&id=10

I have had one for a few years now and I like it. Has good RAW support too.

Blu-by-u
07-20-2007, 01:14 AM
I was using the 6300 and the 2160 for sometime. When I switch over to the dSLR from the 8080, I ran out of space in the 6300 (20GB) so I got the newer 8390. I am still using the 2160 but at times it won't read some of the xD chips.

Only thing I am not happy with is the USB 2.0 is the slower not the higher speed implementation.