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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [07.08.05]
Manufactured by: Silex

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Bundle Up Nice and Tight!

Included in the box along with the Combo Mini is a quick installation setup guide, a small USB extension cable and a software installation CD.

Although extremely short, the USB extension cable is a necessity as I've found that extended usage with the scanner plugged directly into a USB port can result in bending the connection on the unit itself (due to the pressure applied downward while performing a fingerprint scan). This means that if you plan to use the Combo-Mini on a desktop system you are more than likely going to need to purchase a longer USB extension cable.

Who Took the Combo out of the Mini?

If you're like me, when you saw the "Combo" part of the Combo-Mini's name you assumed that the device might include a USB flash drive as well as a fingerprint scanner. It does not. The "Combo" comes from the combination of software-based functions you are able to perform with the device which are to be detailed in a bit. Just needed to get that out of the way up front.


Basic installation was a breeze with the included SX Biometric Suite Software. Basically the bundled software replaces your Windows XP/2000 logon screen with it's own (Software is not compatible with Linux or Windows 9X). Upon boot up you are first prompted for a PIN number that you input during setup, and then a simple fingerprint scan will automatically log you on to the system and optionally your Domain server using the username and password you inputted during setup.

After driver installation and a quick reboot you are first prompted for windows logon information.

If hooked up to a network, next you can optionally enter in domain username and password information for your logon server.

This to me is one of the prime uses for the Combo-Mini.  One of the hardest parts of administrating a network can be convincing your users to create reasonably secure password. With the Combo-Mini you as an administrator could create a single super secure password for each user and require them only to enter it once into their systems and let their fingerprint be their only authentication from then on.

Next you setup and administrator username and password.  This information is used if you ever lose your Combo-Mini drive in order to allow you to bypass the fingerprint authentication. 

Finally the software prompts you to enter prints from up to five different fingers, each which can be used to successfully log onto the secured computer.

Typically you'll want to use at least one finger from each hand in case you somehow injure a finger or an entire hand.

Next Page: (SX-Logon/SX-Lock)