Eye-Fi’s New X2: Bigger And Faster

Eye-Fi has updated its top-of-the-range Pro X2 SD card from 8GB to 16GB, upped the speed to Class and kept the price at the same ridiculous $99. The X2 is the card to buy if you need everything Eye-Fi has to offer: geotagging, direct transfer to your iDevice and RAW file support. But it might not necessarily be the one you want.

I have has a love/hate relationship with Eye-Fi’s Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards over the years. I love it when I snap photos with my Lumix GF1 and they show up seconds later on my iPad, ready to edit and share.

I hate it when it decides to stop sharing, and I have to dig out my camera connection kit just to Instagram a picture of my lunch. Or when I plug the card directly into my iMac’s SD slot and trigger a kernel panic. Or when the card throws an error in camera forcing a hard reset (battery removal) and losing the photo I just took.

Or when the safety tab falls out of a card I paid around €130 (almost $170) and I can’t use it any more.

Or that the photos that are beamed to my iPad aren’t geotagged, despite the card supporting it, and the iPad having GPS and an internet connection.

Or that the Eye-Fi Mac app runs on Adobe Air, and installs it without asking you.

OK. It would be fairer to say that I have a love/hate/hate/hate/hate/hate/hate relationship with the card. But like any abusive lover, I can’t help but come back to it.

Until recently, when I started an affair with my Eye-Fi’s younger sister.

Over in Europe, Eye-Fi has partnered with SanDisk to make Eye-Fi branded cards. They have all the functionality of the Eye-Fi cards, only they run at around half the price. The only difference seems to be that they are rated at a slower transfer class, but as the regular Eye-Fi’s aren’t fast to begin with, it really makes no difference.

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, you may not need the X2. If you’re shooting RAW, buy it. If you want geotagging, or access to Eye-Fi’s own cloud storage service, or HotSpot support, you can add those later via subscription — the hardware in all cards supports it. This goes for the SanDisk cards too.

Would I still recommend an Eye-Fi card, despite all this stupid crap, and the company’s continued ignoring of the iOS and Mac platforms? Sadly, yes, because there still really isn’t any competition. Not until all cameras have built-in Wi-Fi anyway, and Eye-Fi can go suck it.

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  • Lane Jasper

    oops! left out “10″

    “upped the speed to Class and”

    Anyhoo!! I’ve never had one of these and ALWAYS wanted one. Are they easy to configure? Anyone have a real-world useage review? Can they be used in say a MacBook Pro SD card slot and upload automatically to say, Dropbox? TIA. (I see they can be used on Mac/PC etc.) but do they play nice and could they up to an online directory?

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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