If you use SD Cards for your cameras and other devices, chances are that at some point, you would want to download your files to another storage device like a hard drive or to your PC. The fastest and easiest way to transfer files from your memory card is by using card reader. Some laptops and computers already come with a built-in SD card adapter. However, this is not always the case and sometimes these built-in SD Card readers are slow.
In this case, you might want to consider buying external memory card readers. There are a lot of good options on the market and buying one could be really confusing. To help you decide on which kind of SD Card reader to buy here are the first two things that you should consider.
- USB Version – you might think that USBs are the same at some point it is true. However, they are also classified based on their class. If you are going to buy an external card reader for your computer you should at least get one that is USB 3.0 or higher. USB 3.0 can handle data of up to 5 Gbit/s which is good if you want to maximize your memory card’s transfer speed. You wouldn’t get the card’s full performance if you are going to use older USB versions.
- SD Card slots – when buying card readers, you should also consider its card slots. It is better to get SD card adapters that have two or more ports. Having more ports allows you to transfer files faster from different memory cards at the same time. You should also consider buying a memory card reader with an SD card slot and micro SD card slot.
7 Best SD Card Adapters (microSD/SD/USB)
Here are some of the best SD Card on the market in terms of their price and the performance they offer.
#1: SanDisk ImageMate Pro Multi-Card Reader
As usual, SanDisk also offers card readers for a cheap price but offers a lot of performance. The Image Mate pro is a budget-oriented SD card adapter for your computer. It features USB 3.0 Gen 1 which is capable of 5 Gigabits per second. The card reader supports UHS-1 and UHS-2 interface which is good overall compatibility. Given its cheap price, the device still fills premium thanks to its high-quality build and matte black finish. It measures 122 mm x 58 mm x 17 mm which is quite large making it difficult to carry if you are on the go. You can get the SanDisk ImageMate Pro on Amazon for $33.
#2: ProGrade Digital Card Reader USB 3.1 Gen 2
ProGrade card readers are from former Lexar employees with support for Cfast 2.0 memory cards. It is not the cheapest but we can assure you that it is one of the best performing SD Card readers right now on the market. On real-world performance, no memory card can max out the USB 3.1 Gen 2 bandwidth limit of 1.2 GB per second. However, this SD Card adapter can take advantage of your memory card’s transfer speed until the very last drop. The card has a magnetic plate which comes with a metal plate that you can attach on your laptop so that you can carry it conveniently on the go. The ProGrade Digital Card Reader is about $60 on Amazon which comes with 2 years of warranty.
#3: Delkin USB 3.0 Dual Slot SD UHS-II and CF Memory Card Reader
This card reader from Delkin is also worth buying if you are on a budget. For around $20 you get support for USB 3.0 and UHS-II cards. It has a 90 cm USB Type-A connector which is soldered on the device making it a little difficult to use especially if you are using new MacBooks that don’t have a USB Type-A port. In terms of performance, it is not the best but considering the price, it is still decent. It can transfer videos at a rate of 223 MB per second on UHS-II cards. The Delkin USB 3.0 SD card adapter offers two slots that can be used at the same time.
#4: Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader
The Anker 2-in1 memory card reader has support for both micro SD Card and Standard sized SD Cards. Both slots can be used at the same time which can transfer at a rate of 210 MB per second. This SD Card adapter is great for on the go users who are looking for a compact-sized reader that fits your pocket. The card is built from plastic with a glossy finish which feels cheap. However, you could not ask for more with a $13 memory card reader that has support for USB 3.0 and performs decently.
#5: Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader
This compact memory card reader from Lexar features a pop-up design for portability. It has a detachable USB connector and measures 4.65 x 1.30 x 5.50 inches making it great for users who are always on the move. In terms of performance, the card has support for UHS-II cards and a USB interface speed of 500 MB per second. In real-world scenarios, the card delivers about 150 MB per second transfer speed on UHS-II cards. The Lexar Professional memory card reader may not be the best in terms of performance, however, it still has a good reputation in terms of durability and reliability. You can get the card reader for about $30 on Amazon.
#6: Kingston Digital USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Multi-Card Reader
What we found most appealing with this card is its design. It has a brushed nickel material and the colors match that red Kingston logo. It has four memory card slots with support for SD Card, micro SD Card, MS/Duo cards, and CF cards for up to UDMA 7. Transfer speeds can reach up to 255 MB per second when equipped with a UHS-II memory card. The Kingston Digital SuperSpeed Card Reader is available on Amazon for $31.
#7: SONY MRW-E90/BC2
The Sony MRW has a lot to offer but that comes with a price. The card is priced at around $50 which gives you features like support for SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. It is fully compliant with USB 3.1 Gen 1 and UHS-II technology. On real-world tests the card recorded an average of 350 MB per second transfer speed which is really fast and great for large file transfers. However, the card is not the best when it comes to built quality and durability.
Best SD Card Adapter – Our Opinion
SanDisk ImageMate Pro Multi-Card Reader
For our review, we still think that the SanDisk ImageMate Pro card reader is the best that you can get today on the market. It may not be the fastest performing but for the price you are getting, it still makes a great case. The built quality is excellent and knowing SanDisk you can be sure that the SD Card adapter would be reliable night in and night out. It also has support for UHS-I, UHS-II, and non-UHS compliant cards.
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