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Laptop computers are smaller and memory cards have increased storage capabilities, but having a small back-up device for image files can be extremely helpful. Most compact devices have viewers that duplicate what can already be seen and analyzed on the camera display, with a respective cost (i.e., 80 GB with view is $200). But if you’re just looking for someplace to unload files, verify that files have been copied, and back up cards or clean cards for further use, the Nexto Extreme is worth a look.

The Nexto Extreme is a small portable device (5″x3″x7/8″) that runs off a Lithium Polymer battery or an AC charging cord and works like the Swiss Army knife of on-the-go storage. It has input for CF cards (both 1 and 2), SDHC/ MMC and MMC Plus that will take just about any available micro card with an adapter. Put the card in, and it automatically detects the card and asks whether you want to move or copy. Select Move and the card is cleared after the file transfer has been verified. Nexto states that a 1GB card will download in about 40 seconds.

While there is a listing of files and an indicator showing files are being transferred, there is no image preview window. Verification notice is both accurate and mind settling. It also checks the integrity of each file. The Nexto won’t copy a duplicate of a previously transferred file.

A Lexar 4 GB 300X UDMA card with 189 RAW files downloaded in 145 seconds. Later, download the Nexto Extreme to your computer using the USB port with included cable, or hook up using an eSata cable, providing your computer has that input.

The Nexto Extreme will back up 60 GB of data in a single charge, increased by an additional 80 GB with an optional external battery. With the USB cable, you can download directly from your camera, camcorder, smart phone or another USB card reader.

It has an eSata hard drive in 160, 250, 320, and 500 GB configurations, and choice of an optional 64 or 128 GB solid state drive configuration. Use a larger capacity setup and the Nexto Extreme backs up an entire computer hard drive. Cost: $210 for the 160 GB unit. For more information, go to