Best SD card readers. A buying guide on the memory card readers in circulation.
SD, MicroSD and other types of cards are a great inexpensive solution for saving your most important data, such as videos or photos. To better manage them it is advisable to get a suitable card reader, but what if you are not familiar with the subject?
If so, finding the best SD card reader could become a stressful experience. That's why I wanted to make a guide to make things easier for you and help you easily find the SD reader that can read and write on the best micro SD cards.
How to choose the best SD card reader
Card readers, in general, are not too complicated devices. Therefore, their most important characteristics are:
Read / write speed
The read / write speed indicates the speed at which the card reader will transfer data between devices and memory cards. Your super-fast SD card will be of little help if your card reader doesn't support its full speed. Therefore, before buying, determine what the characteristics of the reader are and try to get the most out of your investment.
There is nothing more to say about the price, except that you should choose the card reader according to your budget. Keep in mind that price is not always a guarantee of quality and that there are many affordable devices that offer performance worthy of the best SD card readers. For this reason, do not rush your search.
Fast performance and an affordable price will be worth very little if your device isn't compatible with the type of card you have. For this reason, think about what your current and future needs are and choose the card reader that will perfectly fit these requirements.
With the variety of memory cards available, you can find the most versatile input options. For maximum control over data transfer, look for a reader with multiple input ports that can function as a microSD card reader, CF card reader, and standard SD card reader to ensure, whatever your storage method , full coverage.
With advances in modern devices, it is necessary to have a USB SD card reader to connect. If you're still using standard USB devices, a USB-C type won't be of use to you, so make sure you're not buying the wrong thing.
While not always essential, an LED indicator is useful for measuring when the reader is plugged in, warmed up, ready to use, and finished. A flashing light usually indicates a one minute wait, while a steady light indicates that you are ready to go.
Best SD card readers
Now that you have at least a clear understanding of what features an SD card reader should have, here is a selection of the best SD card readers taking into account your needs and financial availability.
1. Kingston MobileLite G4 FCR-MLG4
A high performance player at an affordable price.
- Simultaneous reading and writing on two cards
- A little too wide
- Only the SD card slot supports UHS
If you are looking for a good quality but inexpensive card reader, Kingston MobileLite G4 FCR-MLG4 it might be the perfect choice.
It is highly versatile, with support for various types of cards (SD, SDHC, SDXC and microSD / SDHC / SDXC cards). It features two slots (one for SD cards and one for MicroSD cards), which allows for simultaneous read / write on both and offers great sequential read / write speeds (251Mbps / 212Mbps), compared to the competition, like the reader More expensive SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II (SDDR-329).
Kingston MobileLite G4 FCR-MLG4 complies with USB 3.0 standards, comes with a nice two-year warranty, and overall presents a durable and highly efficient data transfer tool. Yes, it has a couple of flaws, such as its over-large design and support for UHS-II only in the SD card slot, but it's still a great device and one of the best SD card readers.Buy on Amazon
2. Sony MRW-E90 / BC2
A card reader with exceptional transfer speeds.
- XQD compatible player
- High transfer speed
- UHS-II average performance
- Not the best build quality
Exclusivity usually means higher costs and the card reader Sony MRW-E90 / BC2 is no exception. This card reader supports various types of cards such as SD, SDHC, SDXC and microSD / SDHC / SDXC and most importantly XQD cards as well, and this is the main reason for its high price.
It complies with USB3.1 Gen1 and UHS-II standards and offers super-fast sequential read / write speeds of 349,5 Mbps / 206,5 Mbps with XQD cards, while with other cards these rates are around 250 Mbps.
Unfortunately, its build quality falls short of its performance standards and should be updated. However, it is a very good device and one of the best memory card readers around. Of course, you have to be willing to pay its high price.Buy on Amazon
3. Transcend TS-RDF5W
A performing device at a fair price.
- Good compatibility
- Modest speed
If you are looking for both good performance and a fair price, in most cases, Transcend products are the best option. They don't blow your mind with their efficiency and don't impress with their design, but they certainly offer reliable, above-average performance at a great price. The card reader Transcend TS-RDF5W is no exception to this rule and offers compliance with USB 3.1 Gen1 and UHS-I standards and compatibility with various types of cards (SD, SDHC, SDXC and microSD / SDHC / SDXC).
This card reader comes with SD and MicroSD card slots, has an LED transfer activity indicator and comes with software RecoverRx which can prove crucial in case of data corruption.
It is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and offers modest performance, with sequential read / write speeds of around 100 Mbps, which isn't much, but it's more than enough for a decent SD card reader like this.Buy on Amazon
4. Lexar Professional LRW400CRBNA
A solid, reliable and fast card reader.
- Simultaneous reading / writing on two cards
- Its performance decreases with simultaneous work on two cards
If you are looking for a solid performance card reader, with good compatibility and compliance with USB 3.0 and UHS-I / UHS-II standards, Lexar Professional LRW400CRBNA it might be the right solution for you.
This card supports UDMA CompactFlash (including UDMA 7), SDXCTM and many other SD formats. It has a solid, yet lightweight design (weighs only 100g) and allows simultaneous read / write to two cards, although this causes a drop in performance.
When only one card is in use, its sequential read / write speed is around 150 Mbps / 140 Mbps, which is not great but is still valid for this type of device. Overall, while Lexar Professional LRW400CRBNA isn't among the best SD card readers based on its performance, thousands of satisfied customers show that sometimes not only the best performance is important, but reliability and overall product value as well.Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon
5. Kingston Digital FCR-HS4
An ultra-portable and super-fast card reader.
- Fast performance
- Attractive appearance
- Simultaneous reading / writing of multiple cards
- The CF slot is too large
Super fast performance, followed by an attractive design and a fair price are the most important features of the card reader Kingston Digital FCR-HS4.
This device offers high portability and good versatility, with support for SD, SDHC, SDXC, microSD / SDHC / SDXC, CF and MSXC cards and compliance with UHS-II standards. It features SD, MicroSD and CF slots and achieves sequential read / write speeds of around 255 Mbps / 220 Mbps, which is great for a card reader of this class.
Unfortunately Kingston Digital FCR-HS4 has some minor flaws, such as the overly large CF slot, but otherwise, this device is exceptional in both performance and appearance and overall it can be rated as the best SD card reader.Buy on Amazon
6. UGREEN 30333
Best versatile and practical SD card reader.
- Highly versatile
- Not very fast
If you like devices that offer a variety of options and great versatility, the card reader UGREEN 30333 is the one for you.
It is affordable, has four different card slots (CF, TF, SD and MicroSD) that can all work at the same time, and is compatible with a variety of cards (CFI, TF, SDXC, SDHC, SD, MMC, Micro SDXC, Micro SD, Micro SDHC, MS, etc.). In addition, this card reader complies with UHS-I standards and offers USB 3.0 connectivity for fast data transfers.
UGREEN 30333 has a sturdy construction and is equipped with a reinforced cable. It is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and has plug-and-play functionality that adds value to its functionality.
Although its performance cannot be compared to the best SD card readers, its great usability and practicality make it equally a great product, especially if you are looking for a highly versatile card reader.Buy on Amazon
7. SanDisk MobileMate SDDR-B531-GN6NN
Best micro SD card reader.
- Modest performance
- Only works with MicroSD cards
SanDisk MobileMate SDDR-B531-GN6NN is one of those card readers that offer decent performance at an affordable price. Its read / write speed of around 170 Mbps does not place it in the group of best card readers; however, it guarantees a good user experience and relatively fast data transfers.
Unfortunately, this card reader only supports MicroSD cards, which limits its usability somewhat, but on the other hand it complies with first generation UHS-I and USB 3.1 standards which certainly help its overall performance.
It offers a compact and highly durable build, followed by a two-year warranty, and overall, it presents a modest, but still efficient tool for handling the MicroSD card.Buy on Amazon
8. SanDisk USB 3.0 ImageMate
Best SD card reader with great performance.
- Lots of card slots
- Great performances
- Surface CF slot
Il SanDisk ImageMate All-In-One it is considered to be the best SD card reader ever. It offers everything you need for desktop file transfer to be organized at home.
The USB 3.0 connection reaches speeds of 500 Mbps and transfers all types of files, including music and photos. With multiple card ports, this device ensures efficiency, compatibility and reliability by reducing the clutter of your files. The sleek vertical design and sturdy metal stand reduce desktop clutter.Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon
Best selling SD card readers on Amazon
Below is an up-to-date list of Amazon's bestsellers on the best-selling SD readers. Have a good consultation!