SmartDisk's latest range of digital media readers are wedge-shaped, allowing them to sit neatly on the desktop, slot-side-up, for easier access.

Traditional flat-style readers are less user-friendly, says SmartDisk Europe MD, Grant Morgan. "These new card readers are part of our overall strategy to simplify the digital lifestyle."

So-called 'smart' disks are used in portable consumer devices, such as digital cameras and camcorders, providing compact, high-capacity storage for images, audio and other multimedia files before they're transferred to a PC.

While the battle for supremacy between portable media standards continues apace, with Sony fighting to make its Memory Stick the de facto solution, the wedge-shaped SmartDisk does not discriminate. Available in SmartMedia, CompactFlash, Secure Digital and Memory Stick versions, the card reader range includes dual- and tri-slot models for those who use more than one format.

The SmartDisk is classed as a 'mass storage compliant' USB (universal serial bus) device, which means it should, in theory, plug straight in to a PC with no driver software installation process required.

Prices for the SmartDisk start at £24.99, which includes a copy of ACDSee 3.1 photo-editing and management software.