A memory card reader is a must-have especially for anyone who is involved in photography. With one of these devices on hand, all you’d need to do is remove your memory card and upload your documents. This makes it extremely easy for you to edit your content and also share it with others.
One thing you need to know, however, is that finding a good card reader takes research. With so many brands available on offer, your best bet is to read an in-depth memory card readers review. And, we’re indeed glad to see that you’re reading this one.
Our guide talks about:
- Memory cards from different budget ranges
- Speed options
- Different brands
- To mention but a few
So sit tight, as we present you with the best SD card reader list as compiled by our unbiased editors.
Affordable Memory Card Readers Table
Heads-up – our list of card readers is quite long and, therefore, if you don’t have the time to read it, you can always use the comparison sheet below. It’s a shortened form of the main article.
|1||Transcend-USB 3.0 RDF5K||2.2 x 0.35 x 0.94 inches||TRANSCEND|
|2||Sabrent-Premium 3 Port Combo HB-MACR||3.54 x 1.1 x 1.93 inches||Sabrent|
|3||Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0||0.47 x 1.3 x 2.56 inches||Anker|
|4||Kingston-Digital MobileLite G4 USB 3.0||2.04 x 1.29 x 0.35 inches||Kingston Digital|
|5||IOGEAR-3 In 1 USB-C Quantum||2.8 x 1.3 x 0.47 inches||IOGEAR|
|6||Lexar-Professional USB 3.0 Dual Slot Reader LRW400CRBNA||4.65 x 1.3 x 5.5 inches||Lexar International|
|7||Kingston-Digital USB 3.0 2 in 1||3.67 x 2.07 x 0.63 inches||Kingston Digital, Inc.|
|8||Saicoo-USB 3.0 4 in 1||6.89 x 4.72 x 2.17 inches||–|
|9||Unitek 3 in 1 USB 3.0||2.52 x 2.72 x 0.55 inches||–|
|10||Nobebird-SD USB 2.0||2.52 x 0.71 x 0.35 inches||–|
1. Transcend-USB 3.0 RDF5K
Transcend-USB 3.0 RDF5K is designed for transferring high-resolution images, video recordings, and other data to laptops and computers installed with Windows and Mac.
It reads SD & microSD card formats including SDXC, SDHC, UHS-3, and UHS-I. Just as importantly, it is devised with USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface which reads all major memory cards to transfer data to any device.
You can use the Transcend-USB 3.0 RDF5K as a USB flash drive on your desktop or laptop. Transcend-USB 3.0 RDF5K is quite small, with a length of about 56mm, to conveniently fit in your bag.
For the price, card reader prices vary depending on how their features but generally standard card readers with one slot are usually affordable with most having a price point below $20.00. Transcend-USB 3.0 is competitively priced at below $10.00
Also worth noting, the card reader is fast, for your convenience.
Transcend-USB 3.0 has a LED indicator light which shows the memory card’s functions of data transfer.
The device is installed with RecoveRx software, which assists memory cards, external hard drives, digital music players in data recovery, USB flash drives and solid-state drives in data recovery operations. More so, the card reader supports CF and SD built-security features.
- It reads all major memory cards
- It transfers high-resolution data including videos
- It is quite fast
- It is budget friendly
- It is available in various color models
- It has only one slot for card reading
2. Sabrent-Premium 3 Port Combo HB-MACR
Sabrent-Premium 3 Port Combo comes with a lot of convenience for professionals and home users alike.
Although the package may seem to have a higher price point than other brands, it is worth noting that it is a combo, which includes two products a card reader and a USB 3.0 hub with three ports. Additionally, the product is backed by the manufacturer’s guarantee of up to two years.
Furthermore, if you need more features, there are four USB port hub models available for sale too.
Sabrent-Premium memory card reader is designed to read MicroSD, SDXC, SDHC, MMC, M2, SD, and CF memory cards. The card reader is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux Systems
There are three types of multi-card ports. More so, the card reader is fast.
On the other hand, the USB port hub is manufactured from aluminum. Sabrent-Premium USB 3.0 hub is sleekly designed and just as importantly, it is slim and therefore very portable, besides using little desktop space.
The USB port hub will add three complementary USB ports to your PC or Mac where you can connect printers, flash drives, external hard drives, phones, and digital cameras conveniently. Unfortunately, the USB 3.0 is not compatible with 2.4Ghz wireless devices such as mouse adapters and wireless keyboards, which require a USB 2.0 port.
- You get a combo consisting of a USB 3.0 port hub and a memory card reader
- They are durably constructed
- The card reader is designed to read major cards in the market
- The card reader is fast
- The card reader is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux Systems
- The USB port does not charge an iPad but only connects it
3. Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader
Anker 8-in-1 USB 3.0 Card Reader is a 5Gbps speed device that will enhance your data transfer operations. The 5Gbps speed is super fast for the transfer of videos, pictures and other data your convenience.
However, worth noting is that data transfer speed is influenced by other factors including the USB type and the memory card. Therefore the transfer speed may be slowed down.
The device is constructed with premium chips and made from plastic for durability.
It is able to read all major cards including Micro SDHC, Micro SD, Micro SDXC, RS-MMC, UHS-I, SDXC, SDHC, MMC, and SD. In addition, it is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, MAC OSX, Vista in addition to USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1. Further, it has dual card slots allowing two memory card functions at the same time.
Besides that, it has a LED display brilliance which enables you to monitor its operations.
The device is competitively priced and affordable.
It weighs 0.48 ounces (13.61 grams) and therefore portable.
- It is compatible with USB 3.0 and Windows 7, 8, 10, MAC OSX, Vista
- It is backward compatible with USB 2.0, and 1.1
- The card reader can perform simultaneous functions of reading and writing, thanks to the dual card slots
- The card reader is small and therefore portable
- With a speed of 5Gbps, it is fast
- It is budget-friendly
- It can read all major cards
- Older versions of Windows XP or Mac OS X may need to be upgraded to support the file system
- Data transfer speeds are also influenced by the USB ports and memory card
4. Kingston-Digital MobileLite G4 USB 3.0 Card Reader FCR-MLG4
Kingston-Digital MobileLite G4 USB 3.0 Card Reader is a dual card device manufactured to function in USB 3.0 ports. It is also backward compatible with USB 2.0. The device helps you transfer videos and photos conveniently to other devices.
The dual device allows two functions of card reading and card writing simultaneously.
The card reader is constructed from metal and other durable materials. In addition, the card reader weighs only 3.2 ounces (90.7 grams), which is quite small and convenient to fit in a camera bag, purse or pocket.
It is designed to read microSD, SDHC, SDXC, and SD. In addition, it is devised to support the latest card speeds including UHS-I and UHS-II. The card reader has up to 5Gbps transfer speed, however, other factors like the USB port and also memory card type plays a part in determining the overall transfer speed.
Further, the device is very pocket-friendly and it is backed by the manufacturer’s two-year warranty.
- It has two memory card readers
- It has up to 5Gbps transfer speed
- It is durably constructed
- The card reader is small and therefore portable
- The device is backed by the manufacturer’s two-year warranty in addition to technical support
- There are advanced card readers with up to three slots for card reading
5. IOGEAR-3 In 1 USB-C Quantum Card Reader/Card Writer
IOGEAR-3 In 1 USB-C Quantum Card Reader/Card Writer is designed with three slots for reading three types of memory cards namely Micro SD, SD and CF flash memory cards.
The card is compliant with USB-C ports. USB-C ports is USB 3.1 technology which facilitates the transfer of high-resolution videos, data, and images at speeds of up to 5Gbps. More importantly, it is backward compatible with USB 2.0 systems.
However, it has a slightly higher price point than other brands in the market. The good thing is that the purchase is a low-risk buy because of the manufacturer’s three-year warranty.
The card reader is devised to support the latest cameras which have UHS-II slots, providing read and write speeds of up to 312 and 260 Mbs/Second respectively, which is three times faster than UHS-I SD memory cards.
The card weighs a mere 1.6 ounces (45.3grams), and therefore, it is easy to carry around in your pocket, or purse.
- It has three slots which support MicroSD, SD and CF, simultaneously
- The card reader and writer comes with the manufacturer’s three-year warranty
- It has high speed
- It is backward compatible with USB 2.0
- It is small and very portable
- It is expensive
- It is only compatible with USB-C laptops
- Although it has multiple card slots, the slots are card specific
6. Lexar-Professional USB 3.0 Dual Slot Reader LRW400CRBNA
Lexar-Professional USB 3.0 will take your data transfer functions to the next level. The card reader is a dual slot device allowing simultaneous operations.
It is a high-end card reader that comes at a premium price, but wait, it comes with the manufacturer’s five-year limited guarantee.
The card reader is compliant with the latest CF and SD formats and it is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and standard CF and SD cards. It supports Compact flash including SDHC, SD, UDMA 7 and card formats with SD UHS-I and UHS-II. The reader has USB interface speeds of up to 500MBs/s.
Additionally, the card reader is designed to read both cards in the slots concurrently, just as importantly, it can transfer files from one card to another in the reader.
Besides that, it weighs 0.32 ounces (9.0 grams), for easy portability.
Further, it features a pop-up design that protects the device by alerting you when it is not in use.
- It has a five-year limited warranty
- The card reader has high speeds of up to 500MBs/s.
- It has two card slots
- It can read two cards at the same time
- It can transfer data from one card to another
- It is backward compatible with USB 2.0
- It is quite pricey
- Speeds are based on system configurations and may vary
7. Kingston-Digital USB 3.0 2 in 1 Multi-Card Reader
Kingston-Digital USB 3.0 is a sleekly designed device that will make a perfect card reader for professionals and home users. It is designed with special features to meet data transfer needs of printing houses, design studios, photographers and videographers.
Kingston-Digital USB 3.0 is a multi-card reader and therefore, it is able to transfer files to the pc or between two cards in the card reader.
The card reader weighs only 1.76 ounces (49. 8grams), and it is therefore easy to carry around. More so, it has a built-in LED indicator.
Unfortunately, the card comes at a slightly higher price point than standard one card readers, nevertheless, it is backed by the manufacturer’s two-year warranty in addition to technical support.
It supports a data transfer of the following memory cards microSDHC, microSDXC, UDMA 0-7, SDXC UHS I-II, SDHC UHS I-II, SD, UHS-I, MSXC cards, and Compact Flash CF Type I & II.
Besides that, it is backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports.
The card reader has up to 5.0Gb/s data transfer speeds. Which is 10 times faster than USB 2.0.
- It conveniently transfers high-resolution images and other data
- It has two slots for two cards
- It supports major card formats
- It is fast
- The card has a two-year warranty
- It is expensive
8. Saicoo-USB 3.0 4 in 1 Memory Card Reader/writer
Saicoo-USB 3.0 4 in 1, as its name indicates, is a card reader with four slots, two for reading SD/MMC and two for reading Micro SD/T-flash.
Saicoo-USB 3.0 4 in 1 card reader operates in computers, laptops with Windows 7,8,10, Vista and X. Additionally it functions in Mac OS 9 and above and Toshiba Thrive AT100 and Asus Transformer Pad TF300T. It also functions in some versions Linux and Androids supported with USB mass storage.
It is devised to read two cards concurrently saving your waiting time. The card can is designed to read major SD cards and micro SD cards. The Micro SD slot (T-flash) reads Micro SDXC, Micro SDHC, and Micro SD while the SD slot reads SD, SDXC, UHS-I SD, SDHC among others.
For price, it comes with a very low price point, which is very pocket-friendly.
Furthermore, it weighs a mere 1.44 ounces (40.8 grams). Also, the card reader has an auto-detect card memory. Further, it has a LED indicator for easy monitoring of your operations.
- It is very cheap
- The device has four slots
- It has a LED indicator which indicates the working status
- It is durably constructed
- The card reader can read two cards simultaneously
- It is not compatible with Google Nexus 7
- It doesn’t support Sony MS cards
9. Unitek 3 in 1 USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader Card Reader Writer
Unitek 3 in 1 USB 3.0 is designed for transferring high-resolution images and HD video recordings.
It is a multi-card reader with three slots. Firstly it has a slot for SD cards namely for reading MMC Card, RS-MMC, SDXC, and SDHC. Second, it has a CF (CompactFlash Card), and lastly, it has a Micro SD slot for reading Micro SDXC Card, Micro SDHC and MicroSD.
The memory card works on iMac, Apple MacBook, Chromebook, and Microsoft Surface among others.
The card reader is manufactured from aluminum for durability.
Besides that, the card reader is backward compatible with USB 2.0, 1.1 and 1.0.
More importantly, it is competitively priced and a good bang for your buck.
The card reader weighs only 1.76 ounces (49.8 grams) for a lightweight device and easy to carry around. In addition, it is devised with very high speeds of up to 5Gps.
- It is affordable
- It has three card slots for reading MicroSD cards, CF cards and SD cards
- The exterior is constructed with aluminum for durability
- It is backward compatible
- It has high speeds
- It does not support CF Type II cards because the card is thick than the allowance.
- It may need to be unplugged when the computer is restarted
10. Nobebird-SD USB 2.0 Card Reader, Micro USB OTG to
Adapter for SD/SDXC/SDHC/MMC/RS MMC/Micro SD/Micro SDHC/Micro SDXC, for Smartphones/Tablets/Laptops/PC with OTG Function
Nobebird-SD USB 2.0 Card Reader works with devices that support the standard USB 2.0 plug and also micro USB plug, which makes it compliant with smartphones and tablets that support OTG function only.
The card reader works on computers with various systems including Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Linux, Mac OS, Chrome among others. In addition, it can read most major cards used by professionals and home users.
The exterior of the card reader is manufactured from high-grade plastic for durability, in addition, it has a smooth finish. More so, it is designed with a safety cover design to protect the connections from dust and other elements.
For price, the card reader is very pocket-friendly, and besides that, it comes with an 18-month product warranty
The card reader weighs only 0.32 ounces (9.1 grams). Consequently, the size of the memory card reader is small and easy to carry in your pocket, purse or camera bag.
- It is reasonably priced and quite a low-risk purchase
- The card is backed by the manufacturer’s 18-month warranty
- It reads all major cards
- It is sleek and small, and easy to carry around.
- The exterior is manufactured from plastic
The Buying Guide
With hundreds of different models on the markets, today, we’d like to share the specific criterion to use. And fortunately, there’s always something for everyone.
If you’re operating on a limited budget, you’re better off going for a cheap reader. However, it’s worth noting that budget memory card readers usually come with their limitations. For instance, they’re usually less robust and flaky in terms of connectivity.
So, if you’re looking for speed and reliability, you might find it a good idea to increase your budget a little bit.
Speed is a good thing especially if you’re looking to save on time and be more reliable. Speed is of great importance, also, when one is looking to meet tight deadlines and transfer huge files fast.
In that case, it’s important to think about the type of connectivity you settle for. For instance, even though USB2 is quite popular nowadays, it’s Firewire 400 which offers slightly better speeds.
But then, it’s important to check and confirm if your specific computer model (and memory card) supports Firewire 400. Otherwise, USB2 connectivity would be just enough for most basic tasks.
Just how powerful is your memory card reader of choice? It’s important to ensure that the one you settle for is highly versatile.
This way, you’d rest assured of it being in a position to handle anything you’d throw at it. And this is an important thing especially if you’re looking to maximize your productivity.
And when we talk about versatility, we think about things like:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- USB hub
- Multiple slots – and so forth.
You don’t want to end up with a reader that’s too difficult to pack up and carry around. And for that reason, you want to be sure that your tool of choice is built with portability in mind.
In our opinion, a good card reader is one that’s compact but not too small. Besides that, you want to go for something that weighs 0.5 to 1.5 ounces at most.
Be sure to go for a reader that’s made by a renowned brand. Remember, if a unit is too cheap to be true, it probably is. It’s better to pay a bit more to settle for a premium brand than comprise in favor of a nondescript brand which would only disappoint you.
Which One Is The Best?
If you’re looking for what might be the best card reader, we’d recommend going for the Transcend TS-RDF5K. Transcend is one of the few brand names that we really trust in this niche. What’s more? The TS-RDF5K is well-priced and quite powerful.
What’s more? A purchase comes with a free download of the RecoveRx data software. This is such an important program for anyone looking to safeguard their data.
There’s no denying that a memory card reader is a highly important tool. And with that in mind, our recommendation is that you should always check to see that you’re getting the best deal available. And it’s our hope that the review and recommendations above will help you do exactly that.