M3 Lite (Slim) Hardware Review

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by shaunj66, Apr 1, 2006.

Apr 1, 2006

M3 Lite (Slim) Hardware Review by shaunj66 at 4:47 PM (75,699 Views / 1 Likes) 17 replies

  1. shaunj66
    OP

    Administrator shaunj66 Administrator

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    GBAtemp.net review of the...
    M3 Perfect SD - Lite Model [​IMG]
    Aka: M3 Lite, M3 Slim, M3 Adapter SD rev. 2, R2, Model 2
    Supplied by Kick Trading
    Manufactured by: www.m3adapter.com

    You can buy an M3 Slim on GameYeeeah!
    [​IMG]


    By shaunj66 - 25th March 2006

    Introduction

    Welcome all to yet another GBAtemp.net hardware review!

    Today I'll be taking a brief look at the new re-design and more compact model of the new M3 "Lite". But first of all, I'd just like to thank Kick Trading for supplying us with another flash kit to review here at GBAtemp.

    The new M3 "Lite" is simply just a hardware re-design of the first generation SD M3 adapter. The re-design is only available in an SD memory card version, and there is no compact flash version, simply because of the much smaller size of SD memory cards as opposed to CF cards.

    The M3 "Lite" Itself

    Let's take a look at the new design next to the old model...

    [​IMG]

    As you can clearly see, with the new re-design they've managed to trim down just over 1cm (approx.) off the entire cartridge. They've also added a little "handle" to the end of the cart to make it easier to grip when removing from your console (similar to real game paks).

    To make this re-design possible, they've actually had to relocate the SD card slot from the original design, which was on the bottom-side of the M3 adapter, to its side on the new M3 "Lite". Now the memory card fits in horizontally rather than vertically.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is obviously the only real major difference between the new and the old design. Now, you're going to have to remove the M3 adapter from the console before you can remove the memory card, whereas in the old design; you could simply remove the card without removing the adapter itself.
    Some people may find this annoying, but with the new re-design, obviously you're going to have to make a sacrifice for the new smaller form. Luckily, with the M3 adapter having a good reputation for their build quality, removing and inserting the adapter from your console is a piece of cake.

    Let's take a look at how the new M3 "Lite" shapes up next to some other carts.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see above (and clearer below) the M3 "Lite" is even slightly smaller (approx. 3mm) than the SuperCard SD, which also has a side loading SD card slot.

    And compared to a regular GBA game pak, it's approx. 7-8mm taller.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Packaging

    The M3 "Lite" was packaged in a box almost identical to that of the original M3 adapter. The only things that have changed are the photos of the M3 adapter, and a few new lines of text and listed features to emphasise the high compatibility with Nintendo DS and GBA ROMs. They even went as far as to note that the M3 "supports" the use of Nintendo Wi-Fi connection.

    They've included a mini-CD which contains the latest version (on packing) of the M3 Game Manager software. They've also included a detailed manual document describing how to use the Pass Key 2 (which may or may not be included depending on what package you buy) in both English and Chinese.
    Also on the CD are some other useful utilities and software that will come in handy (especially for 56k users) such as the latest DirectX version, Windows Media Player, Quicktime alternative etc...

    Even though you will want to download the latest version of the software from their website. Besides that, it's a useful and thoughtful CD.

    Hardware and Design


    I've already briefly gone over the design change in the 'The M3 "Lite" Itself' section above. But let's look into the new design a bit further!

    Again, with the new M3 "Lite" the SD card slot is on the side of the unit. The slot is spring loaded. The SD card clicks into place when inserted, and to eject, you just have to push in on the card, and it will pop out. There's a nice curved groove on the side of the adapter to make this easier.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So... Was the new re-design really necessary?

    If you've ever used a M3 adapter before, or have really seen one in use. You'll probably agree with me that the new re-design is definetely welcome. Granted the old design didn't really get in the way or annoy me at all, I certainly welcome a shorter design. Even if it is simply for looks.
    If you own a compact flash version M3 adapter, you'll no doubt be eyeing this new M3 up!

    The folks over at the M3 factory have once again provided us with a nice bulid quality. The adapters casing is solid and doesn't creak when you touch it or try to remove it from the console.
    It fits into your console easily, and you don't have to apply any force at all. It fits just like a real game pak.

    Inserted into a DS and a GBA, the M3 "Lite" certainly does look better than the old model. See for yourself below...

    M3 "Lite" SD in Nintendo DS:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    M3 "Lite" SD in Game Boy Advance SP:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    M3 Adapter SD (old model) in Nintendo DS:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    SuperCard SD in Nintendo DS:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Curious to see how they fit all the components in the small plastic casing? Here are some photos of the PCB...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    As you can see it looks to be quite a tight fit in there!

    Using the M3 "Lite"


    Actually, I'm not going to cover the use of the M3 "Lite" in this review. As software wise, it's identical to the old M3 adapter (SD).
    If you want to learn more about the software side of things, please check our other reviews of the M3 adapter family.

    [​IMG] Click here to go to our Review Section.

    Or check out the 'Links' section of this review.

    Conclusion


    This new re-design of the M3 adapter is a great update to an already fantastic piece of kit.

    No doubt if you're currently looking into getting a DS backup/media kit you should consider this one.
    Unless you're really picky and must have a bottom loading SD card slot, then there's no reason to pick the old design over this new smaller re-design.

    The M3 adapter may not be the cheapest kit out there, but it is worth considering if you read through other full reviews.

    Pros
    + Very compact design
    + Great build quality

    Cons
    - Having to remove the adapter to remove SD card?

    I'm not going to give this new kit an overall score out of 10, simply because it's just a new hardware design. So read through my review if you want to find out more.

    This new design definetely gets my thumbs up. [​IMG]

    Just don't expect it to look as pretty when you get a DS Lite! [​IMG]

    Links
    Affiliated sites
    Purchase this cart from our affiliated shops:

    ÂÂÂÂ
     
    migles likes this.
  2. mary122

    Newcomer mary122 Newbie

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    M3 Lite Perfect VS M3 Lite Pro

    What are the main differences? Thus far, I know the the PRO is incompatible with GBA games. Is that the only letdown? Thanks!
     
  3. Another World

    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=39966

    -another world
     
  4. albertar

    Member albertar GBAtemp Regular

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    does this m3 lite sd work with a 2gb sd card? I have an m3 perfect sd that (The translucent one) and it doesn't work with 2gb sd cards. it only works 1gb sd cards. I don't know why it doesn't work with 2gb sd cards. Can somebody help me?

    Here's what it looks like

    IMG_5206.JPG IMG_4571.JPG IMG_4572.JPG
     
  5. migles

    Member migles Official fishy stick giver

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  6. albertar

    Member albertar GBAtemp Regular

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  7. migles

    Member migles Official fishy stick giver

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    choose format full, and adjustement size ON

    there is no problem with fat16. any device that supports fat32 supports fat16.
    what do you have against fat16?
     
  8. albertar

    Member albertar GBAtemp Regular

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    I thought that the the m3 would only work with fat32? I would remember loading my card in as regular fat and the screen would show up but none of the games or applications would load. it would instead stay at 000000bytes
     
  9. migles

    Member migles Official fishy stick giver

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    press start instead of A. i don't think this happens because the fat16.. but i will check it..
    because i have 2 cards both formatted with fat16, that problem happens to 1 card, but not the other.. i thought it was because the card is not that fast..
    i will give it a test... but it shoudl't have problems with fat16..

    anyway, if you press start, it will work
    i will give it a test, if it comes out fat16 causes that problem, then you can just format the card on windows or use a better formater like fat32gui
     
    Last edited by migles, Jun 12, 2015
  10. albertar

    Member albertar GBAtemp Regular

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    I have two 2gb sd cards, one is a transcend SD and the other is an Original Sandisk SD and both exhibit the same issue. When formatted to FAT, the card loads but none of the games or applications will load. The loading bar stays at 0. When formatted to FAT32, the cart won't load at all. I'm skeptical that it is problems with the SD cards, but rather it is problems with the flashcart itself. Also, according to Satoshi Matrix on youtube: If you look at the top comment below, he says that only 1gb sd cards will work with this cart.
     
  11. migles

    Member migles Official fishy stick giver

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    thats a lie. 1gb or 2gb there is no diference, there would be a difference if the card was SDHC, or not. (a 4gb card will be HC)
    i have 3 sd cards that i had tested with my m3
    2 cards of 2gb (transcend and sandisk)
    and one 1gb card of kingston
    all of them work on my m3. but the sd one from sandisk is giving me trouble, i can't press A to launch a game, i must use START
    i will test in a moment about format them to fat32 and post results.
    i also seen people saying SDHC card does work, so later i will even test a 8gb micro sd card, and a 4gb sd card.

    anyway, see my post above, in case you want to get back to fat32... but windows formatter is shitty...
    but i guarantee, i had used 2 cards of 2gb and them work.

    make sure you have the last firmware.
     
  12. Schizoanalysis

    Member Schizoanalysis From somewhere inside the rabbit hole...

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    It is not a lie. The Nintendo Play Yan only works with 1GB and not 2GB SD cards. There is a difference
     
  13. migles

    Member migles Official fishy stick giver

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    ok, i guess devices can have limitations (and i was wrong) but its not with the case of the m3...

    i just formatted my 2gb sd card with fat32. it is not booting anymore (checked contacts, no matter what i do, black screen).. i guess is interelly depended on the type of card
    but it does work with 2gb cards. (it works with both my 2 cards..)
    i will test with a 4gb one and edit this later to report it
    meanwhile will format this card with the sda formatter again and leave it

    edit @albertar if that error happens (the 0000kb, press start to launch a game instead of A, it will fix that...

    edit 2. it doesn't work with a 4gb SDHC one (can't find the card)
     
    Last edited by migles, Jun 12, 2015
  14. albertar

    Member albertar GBAtemp Regular

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    It works!!! Thank you so much!

    It only works though if I also select the game with "start".

    When I try selecting with "a" and then pressing "start" to load the game, the load remains at 0000kb.

    However, though the card works now, i can only load games by selecting them with start and loading with start. Is this just a case with my SD card? or rather the m3 itself?

    Thank you so much btw!

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    actually it seems that the games will only work now if i press start when selecting it. It does not matter whether I press "a' or "start" when loading the game, but when I select it, it matters whether i press "start" or "a" as it will only load when I use "start" to select the game. Is this normal for all m3s?
     
  15. migles

    Member migles Official fishy stick giver

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    i think it depends on the sd card... you said your sd card was fat32 right? and it worked?
    i can't make a 2gb card to work with fat32...
    and in fat16 it only works in that way (press start to launch a game)
    its a kingston 2gb old card...

    i will continue testing several cards on different formatting options and put it on a thread.
     
  16. albertar

    Member albertar GBAtemp Regular

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    No, it's regular FAT. The screen won't even turn on with FAT32 on both my 2gb sd cards. However, I have no issues with FAT32 on my 1gb sd card. I can also select and load a game with "a" with my 1gb sd formatted to FAT32. I think the issues with whether you can use "a" to select and load a game or "start" have to deal with the formatting
     
  17. migles

    Member migles Official fishy stick giver

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    the second time you press the key is to "accept" the save you choose, that second key doesn't matter. this also confused me, but the seccond time you press it will no change anything

    your card is not special xD you keep asking about problems that you think it is happening only with your m3, like if you wish you want the card got problems.
    if you want to get rid of it, PM me and i may buy it :P

    if your card boots, can play a game with no crashes, its fine...
    there are a number of problems that are related to SOFTWARE...

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    so according to our findings, it has limited support for 2gb cards :D
    it doesn't boot with fat32 for me too (on both a 2gb or 4gb card)
    but it does work with fat16, with that problem of fastboot (whatever that means) not working
     
  18. albertar

    Member albertar GBAtemp Regular

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    Lol well I HAD BEEN under the impression for the past 6 months that specifically my m3 had problems. I was forming all these conspiracies as to why other people's m3s could work with 2gb sds and mine couldn't. Either way, whether i have to press start to select a game or not isn't that big of a deal to me. I am really happy that I can now use 2gb sds on my m3 now! Thank you!!
     

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