Review: ACS ACR1251T-E2 USB Token NFC Reader II


Recap - I want to build an NFC reader expansion card for the FrameWork laptop. So I've bought a couple of components.

This is the ACR1251T-E2 - it's a USB pen-drive sized NFC reader with a side-out USB-A plug. Costs about £40.

USB thumb drive plugged into a computer.

There's a recessed green LED which flashes to let you know that it is working. It doesn't beep or vibrate when it detects an NFC token. It is a little bit tricky finding the antenna as the internal circuitry slides down the plastic housing - as can be seen in these internal photos

There's a lanyard hole at the end, and a plastic clip so you can attach it to things.

Linux support is flawless. Running lsusb shows 072f:224f Advanced Card Systems, Ltd ACR1251 CL Reader PICC

And running pcsc_scan gives the same information: 0: ACS ACR1251 CL Reader [ACR1251 CL Reader PICC] 00 00

Sadly, it wasn't detected by libnfc 1.8.0 ☹

Using the FIDO2 HID Bridge I was able to use my NFC Ring to log in to various websites.

It's a solid enough unit. The plastic housing is sturdy and not easily damaged. You can't get in to the shell without a spludger.

The only downsides are that it uses USB-A - we're in the C era now! - and that the sliding mechanism obscures the antenna position. But, if you want to carry a discreet USB stick with you for NFC purposes, there's nothing better.

Verdict

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