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Honda picks odd media storage

Honda picks odd media storage

We had a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in for review this week, and I was very surprised to find that it uses PC Cards as a removable media solution for its stereo. That's right--the PCMCIA standard slot still found on many laptops.

Because the Civic's manual said that I shouldn't use a hard drive PC Card, I went looking online for flash-memory PC Cards. And I didn't find much, as most flash memory uses either an SD card or a USB drive. Audi went the SD card route, so maybe Honda didn't want to copy it. USB drives are cheaper and more common than even SD cards, but carmakers haven't adopted them yet, due to the fact that they stick out. The advantage of SD cards, and even PC Cards, is that they slide all the way into their slots without leaving an obstructive portion sticking out. For USB drives to work, a carmaker would probably want to build a special compartment for its ports that can hide away in the console or the stack. Of course, seeing as our Editor at Large Brian Cooley, the guy you see in all of our car review videos, has dropped a number of SD cards into the center stacks of multiple Audis while trying to demonstrate the slot, maybe they aren't the best solution either. PC Cards are big enough that they aren't easily dropped or lost, and they slide in flush. Now if only flash-memory PC Cards were readily available.