Dell’s built-in Smartcard Reader – I didn’t know it was there

I'm a muppet! I've been using a Dell 820 laptop (other machines are available) as my main machine for six months and yet hadn't realised that it had a built-in smartcard reader. I've been using a PCMCIA smartcard reader instead. While I helped James debug his machine sleep problem he asked me "what's that in your PCMCIA slot?".

In my defence the built-in reader isn't labelled and it is located right underneath PCMCIA slot. It's worth taking a quick look at your machine if you are using an alternative smartcard reader as your system may have one too. You probably have more sense that I and found it soon after powering your machine up for the first time...

The image below shows the PCMCIA reader that I no longer need and just above it you can see my smartcard in the built-in reader.

Comments (5)

  1. Steve Lamb says:

    Tademos> Err no. Does that boost the screen brightness according to the background conditions?

  2. Andrew.Fryer says:

    Luxury.  All I ‘ve got is machine that generates more noise than mips!

  3. Steve Lamb says:

    Steven> Thanks for the comment. I have a solution to the problem you pose – there’s an ExpressCard slot on the 820 – head over to ebay (or elsewhere) and one can be yours for a very small outlay indeed:

  4. Tademos says:

    Did you see the ambient light sensor, also?

    I’ve got the D420 and this one has got the smartcard reader, too. Recognized him weeks after I got this fabulous machine 🙂

  5. Steven Hope says:

    You can always take a look in device manager to see if you have a SmartCard reader installed (apart from any extra one that may have been added).

    I’m running a D820 too and its fab machine but my PCMCIA slot is filled up with a memory card reader as Dell don’t build one of those in like most other manufacturers do – unless I’ve missed it somewhere 🙂

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