The Lonely Port: ExpressCard/34

So, if you happen to own a “cutting edge” laptop you may have noticed a trap door on the left-hand side of the laptop, but have you ever actually seen it used regularly.  To date, I’ve only seen a cludgy, obtrusive, tumor-like EVDO adapter lurking in one.  Like all such devices it begs to get broke off in a moment of misfortune.

My question to you is do you use ANY sort of ExpressCard device regularly? Have you found any vital use for it?

The EVDO card is the most obvious to me if you are a heavy mobile users and have an EVDO data provider, but I suspect its only one or two iterations of laptops before mobile broadband of some sort comes built in on mid to upper range laptops.  That leaves these contenders:

Digital TV Tuners: Analog/Digital TV change over is right around the corner, but I suspect these will have mediocre performance without a substantial external antenna.

Memory Storage: More memory never hurts, but ExpressCard based memory seems too expensive when compared to the far more common and compatible USB based memory solutions.

External Graphics Card: Asus apparently has something like this in the works, but frankly I’m not sure of its performance and whether it really works like I dream it might (upgrading Graphics Card via an external slot would be far preferable to the surgery required to change the internal one in a laptop).

Docking Station: Now we are getting warmer.  With the absence of any other industry standard docking port, the ExpressCard might just fill the role.  To my knowledge, only Belkin has taken the challenge though and  think the price needs some work.

Memory Card Adapters: With many laptops still lacking memory card adaptors built in, this would seem to be a great use of the Lonely Port.  I’ve actually seen several, but none of them seems to be able match the price, convenience and broad support (CF through MicroSD) of the tried and true external USB memory card adaptors.

At the moment, I’m thinking manufactures should just give me more full-power USB ports in its place.  Oh wait, you can ALMOST get that with this ExpressCard device. 🙂

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