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Involvement Level: Expert (understands the inner workings)
Pros: This unit is cheap and it reads the cards I have, working on 125kHz. It has a simple construction and is easy to open up if you would like to modify it somehow.
Cons: Not so robust, comes with very little/no information regarding usage. Mine did not come with any kind of software.
Powered by USB while the data is sent over a serial link via RS232. Few computers have RS232-ports nowadays. The pinout was not known, so you would have to ponder and tinker a bit.
Makes an irritating beeping noise when used, but this could be fixed by soldering away the speaker.
The format which it reads the cards is a bit unknown/diffuse. I have just translated the values 0x00 and 0x80 to bits 0 and 1, and identified the card based on the whole array of bits, 28 bits is the default size for the DealExtreme-card that was included.
Haven't figured out how to write with this unit yet, so it works as a read-only rfid reader for me.
Other: Works, sort of. Does its job.
Can be used for many interesting things.
Flimsy but cheap.
Little documentation, be prepared to use some time on making it work like desired.
I have yet to be able to write to a card with this.