If you enjoy creating or consuming content, you probably know the value of a good memory card reader. Your holiday memories in the form of photos and videos will quickly fill up your memory card, and you’ll need to transfer them to your PC or laptop.
Even if your card is not full, editing your photos or videos before saving or sending them to friends and families will require you to transfer your content to a computer.
That is where SD card readers come in handy.
SD card readers are very useful devices that you connect to your computer’s USB port and allows to upload video files, music or images without the need for you to connect your camera to the computer.
Although some laptops do have built-in SD card readers, they are usually limited in the type of cards they are compatible with and their transfer speeds. SD card readers have many advantages that include faster transfer rates, portability, and the ability to support many types of memory cards. The latest SD card readers even have the added advantage of supporting USB 3.0.
With many SD card readers featuring multiple card slots, you no longer need to get multiple readers to read the different types of SD cards you have in your devices.
Advantage of SD Card Readers
As with many things, SD card readers are not all cut from the same cloth. Some are easier to use, faster than others, and outright better in many ways than their counterparts.
So how do you tell which SD card reader you should get for yourself?
After all, there are so many brands and models that promise you the best. While some do fulfill their promises, some just don’t cut it if you want reliability, speed, and performance.
If you are on the hunt for an SD card reader that won’t disappoint you, you have chanced upon the right place as we will be looking at 5 of the best SD card readers you will find on the market today.
Ready to go SD card reader shopping?
5 of the Best SD Card Readers You Should Consider in 2018
With the advancements in computer technology, SD card readers are also becoming more advanced and are capable of giving you the exceptional performance previous-generation SD card readers couldn’t manage.
Let’s take a look at some of the best SD card readers you can trust with your file transfer needs.
- SuperSpeed USB 3.1 interface; backwards compatible with USB 2.0
- Memory Card Supported- SDHC (UHS-I), SDXC (UHS-I), microSD, microSDHC (UHS-I), and microSDXC (UHS-I)
- LED card insertion and data transfer activity indicator. This card reader will work with UHS-II cards, but only operates at UHS-I speeds
When it comes to the best SD cards and USB drives, Transcend is a name that has been trusted for many years. It’s no small wonder then that they also make some of the best SD card readers too – the Transcend RDF5 SD Card Reader in particular.
Let’s take a look at some of the features you can expect from this amazing SD card reader.
Transcend RDF5 SD Card Reader Specifications
The Transcend RDF5 is a reliable USB 3.0 reader designed for fast data transfer and superb performance. This is particularly because it can handle high-speed SD formats like SDHC and SDXC. And if you want to upload files from your smartphone or tablet, the Transcend RDF5 card reader is capable of handling microSDHC and microSDXC too.
This is one SD card reader that you won’t have any trouble taking it around as it is very light, weighing only 1-ounce, and measuring 2.2-inches long. Whether you want to hold it in your hand or slip it in your pocket, it will still feel comfortable.
Another handy feature in the design is the LED indicator that shows you when the SD card reader is connected to your computer and functioning properly.
Going back to performance, if you have an older SD card format like USB 2.0, you can still upload your files to your computer via the Transcend RDF5 as it also supports older formats.
One thing that makes the Transcend RDF5 one of the best card readers is that it comes with Transcend’s exclusive data recovery software – RecoveRx. This enables you to recover any data you may have lost due to accidental erasure.
With the Transcend RDF5, you are guaranteed superior performance and unparalleled durability.
All you have to do is plug it into your USB 3.0 port, and it’s ready to use.
- Ultra-portable - small size makes it an easy and convenient travel accessory
- Versatile - supports memory cards and the latest speed standards including SD/SDHC UHS I-II, SDXC UHS I-II, microSDHC/microSDXC UHS-I, UDMA 0-7 Compact Flash CF Type I & II and MSXC cards
- Fast – Certified SuperSpeed USB 3.0 performance for efficient and effortless high-resolution image, video recording, and other file data transfer, USB 3.0 cable included
Kingston is one of the largest and most reputable memory card manufacturers in the world, with a great reputation as one of the best SD card reader manufacturers as well.
And that reputation has been well-earned, too.
The Kingston FCR-HS4 is a well-built SD card reader that offers exceptional performance and great file transfer speeds.
If you are tired of waiting for your multimedia files to be transferred to your computer, then you should look into the Kingston FCR-HS4 as it supports some of the latest and fastest card formats. If you are a photographer, then this is one of the best SD card readers for you.
Let’s take a look at some of its features, and perhaps you’ll agree with me.
Kingston FCR-HS4 Specifications
The Kingston FCR-HS4 features a brushed nickel case with a honeycomb pattern that not only makes it look good but enhances its grip as well.
Looks aside, this is one SD card reader that definitely outperforms many other SD card readers with its superior 5GB/s transfer speeds. The USB 2.0 backward compatibility also makes it a very useful SD card reader if you have a wide collection of memory cards that include some SD cards from previous generations.
With its multiple card slots, the Kingston FCR-HS4 is capable of handling multiple card types, affording your computer the ability to read multiple cards simultaneously. Another reason that makes the Kingston a great SD card reader for photographers is that, unlike other SD card readers, it supports CompactFlash cards.
If you are looking for a top-performing SD card reader that looks as good as it performs, then this SD card reader from Kingston definitely fits the bill.
- USB 3.0 SD Card Adapter: Fast Data/Files Access and Transfer Rate Super-Speed (5Gps) / High-Speed (480Mbps) / Full-Speed (12 Mbps). Backward compatible with USB 2.0 / 1.1 / 1.0
- 3-Port Memory Card Reader Slot: Support SDHC, SDXC, Micro SD, Micro SDHC (UHS-I), Micro SDXC (UHS-I) and CF Type I/MD/MMC; Ideal for transferring high-resolution images and video recordings. Not support CF Type II card. Type II card is too thick for this UNITEK Compact Flash Card Reader.
- Multiple Card Support: sandisk extreme compactflash memory card, sandisk ultra compactflash memory card, lexar professional micro sd card. Support SD/Micro SD card up to 512G, Support SDXC up to 2TB
The UNITEK Aluminum USB 3.0 Card Reader is a godsend for Mac users.
While most SD card readers feature fancy colorful designs, the Unitek is designed to look at home right alongside your MacBook with its elegant aluminum design that is reminiscent of Apple devices.
But unlike Apple devices, the Unitek doesn’t command a premium many fail to pay.
Unitek Aluminum USB 3.0 Specifications
Looks aside, the Unitek Aluminum is a great performer; after all, it has to match the exceptional performance of the devices it emulates.
The Unitek is a multi-card reader that is well capable of handling micro SD, MMC, SDHC, SDXC, CF cards (including CF Elite Pro), Turbo, Ultima, and many others.
Unlike many SD card readers, the Unitek Aluminum doesn’t come with drivers, making it very easy for your computer to recognize and read your cards. This is plug-and-play at its best.
All is not roses though with the Unitek as it has a significant flaw – it can’t read multiple cards simultaneously. If, however, you don’t intend on using your SD card reader intensively, this is not a big issue and you’ll definitely enjoy its other fabulous qualities.
- One Reader for Multi Cards: Ugreen USB Card Reader is designed with 4 card slots: SD, Micro SD, CF, MS slots and USB 3.0 connector, which allow you to read and transfer data the most popular flash media on the computer, laptop, tablet through USB 3.0 interface, including SDXC/SDHC/SD/Extreme I III SD/Ultra II SD/MMC/RS-MMC or Micro SD/TF/Micro SDXC/Micro SDHC/UHS-I or CF I 3.0/4.0 /Extreme I III CF/Ultra II CF/HS CF/XS-XS CF/CF Elite Pro/ CF Pro/CF Pro II or MS/MS PRO/MS PRO-HG/MS XC DUO.
- Super Speed&High Capacity: Ugreen USB Memory Card Reader support SD/Micro SD card up to 512G and allows super fast data transfer up to 5Gbps - 10X faster than USB 2.0 (480 Mbps), which allows you to transfer HD movies or files in just seconds, when your host is equipped with USB 3.0 port. Also backward compatible with USB 2.0, 1.1 and 1.0 (speed limited by USB bus).
- Compact Design&Premium Quality: So useful but so compact. Easy to grab and go. Reinforced cable, Tin-plated pure copper core and multi-shielded inside, sturdy exterior and heat-resistant connectors ensure high data transmission efficiency and ultimate durability. 1.5ft short cable tail would reduce stress on the USB port on your computer and won't affect the use of adjacent ports. LED indicator will be ON when the card reader is connected to computer.
If you are looking for a well-built SD card reader that offers exceptional versatility and performance, then you best be prepared to pay a premium for the UGreen SD card reader.
Although it may not be as compact and portable as the other SD card readers on our “best of” list, it definitely is worth investing in as it comes with many features that will make you overlook its size.
Let’s take a brief look at some of its features before we put it under the microscope for a closer look.
UGreen SD Card Reader Specifications
The UGreen SD Card Reader is a brilliant card reader that allows you to read multiple cards simultaneously, giving you exceptional convenience and saving you lots of time as there’ll be no need to plug and unplug different cards in order to transfer multiple files from different cards.
With a hot-swapping function, the UGreen SD card reader can automatically detect the type of card inserted in any of its 4 slots (SD/microSD/CF/MS).
While the UGreen is more expensive than most of the other SD card readers on this list (and on the market in general) it does offer exceptional value and functionality that is unrivaled.
- Simultaneously read and write on two cards to save yourself the effort of constant unplugging and re-plugging.
- USB 3.0 enables data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps for faster Sync times, backward compatible with USB 2.0/ 1.1.
- Fully powered via your USB port — no additional power supply required.
If you are looking for the best SD card reader among all SD card readers, the Anker 8-in-1 Card Reader is it.
One thing you’ll definitely appreciate about the Anker 8-in-1 card reader. For a card reader of its capabilities, this is value you won’t find anywhere else.
As always, a look at the features first.
Anker 8-in-1 Card Reader Specifications
The Anker SD card reader is an exceptional card reader that features a quality build, a compact profile, and ease of use. Its ability to read and write from 2 cards simultaneously is a feature you’ll definitely appreciate when working with files and data from multiple cards.
Apart from being compatible with all the main card formats, the plug-and-play function that it comes with is another great feature that will save you a lot of time (and frustration).
If you are looking for a versatile SD card reader that is well able to handle all major formats and file transfers easily, speedily, and efficiently, the Anker 8-in-1 card reader is your best choice.
And the most amazing part is the price.
It is no wonder then that this is the best-selling SD card reader on Amazon – and that with raving reviews.
SD Card Readers – Finding the Perfect Link Between Your SD Card and Your Computer
SD card readers are one of the greatest technological advancements the IT world has seen as long as storage is concerned. Compact, versatile, and very affordable, they have become one of the most popular storage types, especially for use in cameras and smart devices.
And getting an SD card reader to help you fully utilize this phenomenal invention is very important if you are to harness the full power of your SD card.
With this list of the best SD card readers, finding that all-important link between your SD card and your computer has just become easier.
Although the best on this list is more of a personal preference, one thing is certain – you can’t go wrong with any of them.