Review: SecuGen Hamster III

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Review: SecuGen Hamster III

This device is an exquisite little fingerprint reader with immediate visual and tactile appeal. Manufactured in Korea, it has been cleverly designed to offer flexibility of placement.

This device is an exquisite little fingerprint reader with immediate visual and tactile appeal. Manufactured in Korea, it has been cleverly designed to offer flexibility of placement.

You can hold it in your hand and use your thumbprint, in which case it is intuitive and comfortable. If you wish to attach it to your workstation, SecuGen even supplies a base with rubberized feet which is heavy enough to hold the Hamster firmly in place. It features an optical sensor which works extremely well in practice, with reliable and fast fingerprint verification.

As with the SecuGen Mouse, it works seamlessly with the SNAP software to provide Windows logon facilities. The SNAP software is actually quite versatile and allows for workstation standalone use, workstation connected to a network or fully fledged network use with centrally stored templates.

It also features error logging and other useful facilities, although users will need to familiarize themselves with it, as there is no manual supplied. However, this is apparently a pre-release version of SNAP and, in any case, this will not deter the experienced systems administrator (the vendor tells us there is a PDF manual in the official release version of the software that accompanies this product).

In practice, the Hamster worked very well, sitting quietly in its base beside the test workstation's keyboard and falling readily under the user's hand for fast and consistent fingerprint verification. This is aided by a sculptured surface that guides the finger (or thumb) precisely over the surface of the sensor.

Indeed, it would be quite hard to seriously misalign your finger when using the Hamster. Multiple fingers may be enrolled for the same user profile if required, although this is not quite as intuitive a process as it might be using the SNAP software.

Overall, this is a good-quality fingerprint device that, once it is properly installed and set-up, will provide reliable fingerprint verification for Windows logon purposes via a dialog that allows for either fingerprint or password operation.

For:

Form factor, overall design.


Against:

Needs better documentation.


Verdict:

A stylish and good-quality fingerprint reader.

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