I have multiple 800xl's hooked up to different TVs. I really love my SIO2PC as it seems to run pretty much anything except physical media, of course, but it would be nice to not have to have it tied to my laptop and I am thinking about getting another drive emulator for the other 800xls, but would like to keep the SIO2PCs functionality. The SDrive-MAX sounds like it could be the closest stand-alone drive emulator to the SIO2PC so far. I haven't seen any reviews or comparisons for the Sdrive-MAX posted or in videos yet. Has anyone noticed any limitations or advantages in software capability of the SDrive-MAX compared to the SIO2PC? For instance, files that load with SIO2PC that don't load with SDrive-MAX? Thanks!
Generally it's the other way 'round. The biggest selling point to me for the SDrive-MAX is that I can use it to load unmodified, protected .ATX files made from "virgin" Kryoflux or SCP images of original floppies. While almost every major title has been cracked over the years, some were cracked years or decades ago and modified - brag/crack screens added, the code tweaked or changed unintentionally or on purpose by the cracker for reasons lost to history. Being able to load original, unmodified titles on real hardware is great. Plus of course, it's self-contained and pretty easy to use. The downside is that the file system of the SDrive-MAX truncates filenames and so if you have multiple files with similar names, it can take a few clicks to pick one from the list, see the long, "correct" filename in the status line, or else back out and try another almost-identical truncated name and hope for the best. Again, it's not a major deal but it's a downsize.
SIO2PC devices let you use mouse-based GUI and keyboard to select files, create new disk images, rename them, and you don't have the issue of truncated filenames to fit a small screen as you do with the SDrive-MAX. The downsides to SIO2PC devices are that you need a separate computer or fairly powerful little box like an RPi + keyboard/mouse/display to use efficiently. Also, unless you're using the paid version of APE on a Windows PC, you can't load ATX files through one. There is a development effort going on now to add ATX support to RespeQt, and a test build available, but for now it's Win-only still.
Hope this help.