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transfer cable

Review: Targus File Share Cable for Mac

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Guest review: John Ha

I recently bought a Macbook to replace my aging Windows XP laptop. I figured that, like any new computer migration, I would load the applications I needed and then copy the data from my old laptop to the new one. I have a large USB thumb drive and a couple external hard drives, so no sweat – just use them to migrate everything.

So when my brother told me he would lend me his Targus File Transfer Cable for Mac, I scoffed. Who needs this unnecessary cable when I can just as easily use my external drive to copy data from one laptop to another. Plus, I was skeptical of the software. It would probably be crappy and limiting, when I just want file-level access to my data.

So when my Macbook arrived, I used my 8GB thumb drive to start transferring some files over to it. I soon learned that that would take forever, the thumb drive was just too slow at writing and reading. So, I grabbed the Targus cable and plugged the fat business end of it into my Windows machine. I heard the familiar add-device sound that Windows makes and as it recognized and installed the drivers. Hmm, I thought – I don’t have to go find special drivers? That’s a good sign. But I was still skeptical. It created a new drive in My Computer, so I clicked on it.

Then I plugged the other end into the Macbook, and a little EasySuite CD icon showed up on the desktop. I double-clicked the CD to see a folder with three icons, including one appropriately named EasyMacCopy. So I clicked on that to reveal a very nice application with an intuitive split screen layout.

The top half, it was obvious, contained all of the files on my Windows machine, and the bottom half contained all of the local files (Macbook). Nice.

I happily spent the next few minutes selecting and copying files from my Windows machine over to the Macbook. The interface was extremely user-friendly and the transfer speeds were very fast. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised that the little cable was able to copy multiple gigabytes of data without a single hiccup or complaint. The little blue light on the fat end would pulse nicely when idle, and blink when actively copying or reading data.

Satisfied that it worked, I then tried reversing the connection, by plugging the fat end into the Macbook and the skinny end into the Windows machine. Same result. Remote host is in the upper half of the screen, and the local host is below. A couple nice icons at the top indicating the USB version of the local and/or remote machines, USB 2.0 in my case. I didn’t try with an older machine, but I would assume it would say 1.1 with a connection to a USB 1.1 port.

The software in Windows is analogous to the Mac software, with the exception of one menu item called Synchronize. Under this menu, there are three options for Mail, Folder Synchronize, and EasyMover. I wasn’t able to try these features though because their submenus were greyed out. I suppose there may be some functionality (or a plan for future functionality) for two machines to synchronize certain folders or email, but I wasn’t able to test this.

Physically, the unit is compact and comes with a handy hook-and-loop enclosure to keep the long cable tidy. The grey wire itself is nice with a grippy finish.

These days, gadgets rarely meet my expectations, and I am happy to report that this little gizmo easily exceeded them both in terms of easy of use and performance. With a MSRP of $49.99 and street pricing around $39, I would highly recommend this device for people wanting to quickly and easily transfer files between two computers.

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