iMONO microSD/T-Flash, SIM Card Reader/Writer


Recently, Judie reviewed the iMONO SD / MiniSD card reader from USBGeek. Today I’m going to tell you about another card reader from USBGeek and iMONO. This one has a MicroSD / T-Flash (Transflash) slot and also a slot for the SIM card from your GSM phone. With the included software (WinXP only) you can add, delete and modify the phonebook on your SIM.

This USB device is small and compact. A swivel cover protects the USB connector when it is not in use. A small status LED is located on the face of the reader. This LED blinks during data activity.

The end opposite the USB connector has a snap open lid that reveals a spring loaded MicroSD / T-Flash slot. By the way, can anyone tell me what the difference is between MicroSD and T-Flash cards?

The SIM card slot is located on the right side of the module. Regarding the slots, I had some trouble with both card slots. I felt like I had to wrestle with each one to get the cards to insert correctly.

I should mention that unlike the other iMONO USB reader that Judie reviewed, this one does NOT have any memory built-in.

Here you see the iMONO plugged into a Dell laptop, with my Cingular SIM card inserted. A 1gb MicroSD card is also installed, but you can’t see it in the picture.

I doubt if I have to mention this, but I will anyway… When you plug this reader into a USB port, it will show up as removable drive (if you have a MicroSD or T-Flash card installed). If you only have a SIM card installed, nothing will happen. You must first install the SIM editor software which is included on a mini CD.

This is an error that I received right off the bat… Hmmmmm… I clicked YES and the installation quickly finished.

Click thumbnail to see full size image

Once the software is installed and launched, you can plug the iMONO into a free USB slot. The software will see the SIM and will load in any information (phone numbers) that you have saved to it. These numbers will show up on the right side of the screen. The first time I used the software, my card showed as empty. I then added 2 test numbers as a test. You can see the numbers in the image above.

Click thumbnail to see full size image

The software is VERY simple. Pretty much all you can do is is Add numbers, Edit numbers, and Delete numbers. The records just have a name and a phone number. If you try to add the ‘-‘ character to the phone number, the software complains.

One nice feature is the ability to back all your numbers up on your PC for archival purposes.

Click thumbnail to see full size image

You can also add messages to the SIM card. I have no real clue what these are for though. You can’t specify who the messages are for. But they save just fine and when I put the SIM back into my Treo 650 and powered it on, I got the notice you see below.

Choosing YES seemed like the logical answer to the question above, but I was unable to find the saved message anywhere on my PDA. Go figure. Maybe this feature isn’t compatible with the Treo…

That wasn’t my only issue though… The phone numbers that I created on the PC using the SIM Editor, come into the Treo with the name field set to “Invalid Character Set”.

I think this has something to do with the error I received when first installing the software. I was able to edit the names on the Treo though.

In my opinion the only good thing about this $17 USB reader / software combo, is the ability to back up your SIM to your PC. Creating and editing names using the software is pointless if it doesn’t show up correctly on the phone once you insert the SIM.


Product Information

Manufacturer:USB Geek
Retailer:USB Geek
  • Windows XP/2000/ME/98SE/98
  • Easy way to back up the phone numbers saved to your SIM card
  • Software has bugs
  • Phone numbers show up with the name set to "Invalid Character Set"
Posted in: Computer Gear, Laptops and Gear, Wireless
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Julie August 17, 2006, 2:27 am

    Post your comments on the iMONO microSD/T-Flash, SIM Card Reader/Writer review.

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • xer04 August 17, 2006, 4:17 am

    By the way, can anyone tell me what the difference is between MicroSD and T-Flash cards?

    From what I can remember from when it was introduced, there should be no differences aside from the names. T-Flash was the original name and format that SanDisk created (early 2004, I believe). The SD Card Association later adopted the specifications in early 2005. Since it already complied to the SD card standard, there was very little, if any, to change.

  • Julie August 17, 2006, 11:43 am


    Thanks for the clarification! 🙂

  • markporter August 17, 2006, 1:35 pm

    I need to post a note of caution on these iMono USB drives/card readers. I purchased a 512MB/SD card reader from USBGeek based on the Gadgeteer review a month ago or so. I received the reader and it worked fine…but…inserting my 1 GB SD card was difficult…and ended up destroying the card. In fact, I just took the drive/card reader apart yesterday and the remains of the plastic edge from my SD card was still inside.

    I’m writing this because Julie mentioned she had difficulty inserting one of her cards in the reader she just reviewed…and while she didn’t appear to damage her card…I would be very wary of these.

    USBGeek to their credit immediately refunded my money for the drive, but I’m still out the $40 1GB SD card. But I mainly want to warn others: if you buy one of these and your card doesn’t slide in easily…I would return it immediately.

  • aoz August 21, 2006, 2:50 am

    the ability to save the message to the sim card may be a very neat feature. This MIGHT allow you to type in the codes that correspond to ring tones; some are entered in text strings, and need to be sent to the phone in paid text messages.

    This sim card feature may be a way around that.
    Not sure… but possible…

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