When it comes to keeping your photos organized, either on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet, the best way to do so is by using a card reader. If there is no card reader already embedded into your device, you need one that connects externally, and that’s where the best SD card reader comes in handy.
You’re probably wondering what on earth you would ever need a card reader for. The truth is that if you have an abundance of photos stored on flash drives or SD cards, you need to get them off of those smaller drives and stored on a laptop for safekeeping.
This is especially true for people who have cameras that are a bit outdated. If your camera doesn’t come included with Wi-Fi technology to easily transfer your photos from the camera to your preferred device, you still need a way to get them off your memory stick. But a lot of computers don’t actually come with SD card readers. This means you need to plug in an external device like the ones we’re going to talk about today to transfer all your photos in just a matter of minutes.
But things are getting more and more complicated. You can’t just connect a USB device to a laptop anymore. Some don’t even come with USB ports, and instead have new USB Type-C ports. Some laptops will allow you to read an SD card on their own, and some won’t. It can be a huge hassle, which is why we have for you today the best SD card reader to get the job done!
The Unitek USB-C SD Card Reader comes in at less than $25, making it a quick and easy solution for moving around files. You can transfer files between your selected device and up to three cards at the same time. The device even comes with LED lights built into it so that you always know the activity status of your transfers. The cord is surprisingly long, making it easy to place out of the way while you’re working on your laptop. Also, the memory card reader is sleek without being too small, meaning it’s not the kind of device that you would put on the table in a coffee shop and then forget about.
The reader supports Micro-SD, CF Cards, and standard SD cards. It also uses a USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 combination to make your life easier while transferring. It works with Alienware computers, Lenovo laptops, gaming PCs, and even Apple MacBook Pros. It’s also compatible with Android 6.0, Mac OSX 10.1 and up, and Windows 8 and up.
- Read + Write 3 Card Types Simultaneously
- LED Lights for Activity Status
- Works w/ Phone/Laptop/Tablet
- Transfers at up to 5 Gbps
- Fairly Long Cord
- Slightly Expensive Compared to Others
- Slower Import than Export
The Verbatim USB-C Pocket Card Reader comes in three different sizes. You can pick it up with a USB-C cable, a USB 3.0 cable, or a USB 2.0 cable. All three devices work amazingly. The card reader is sleek, thin, with a compact and modern design that allows you to transfer all of your digital information, such as your photos, videos, and files, quickly and easily with the best in new technology.
Because the card reader is so small, you can easily carry it in your pocket. But this is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s easy to carry but it’s also easy to lose. Make sure you keep an eye on your card reader and you won’t have any issues. As for transferring information, the card reader is compatible with a large variety of different formats, including SD and Micro SD, and even UHS-II. It works with the Windows operating system and the Mac operating system, and it’s one of the swiftest and most affordable methods for transferring large piles of photos or videos!
- Sleek & Modern for Ultimate Portability
- Works w/ UHS-II
- USB Cable is Integrated for Convenience
- Product Available as USB-C/USB3.0/USB2.0
- Transfers Files Quickly
- Attached USB Cord is Short & Flimsy
- Easy to Lose Accidentally
The UGreen SD Card Reader is a huge advancement in file-sharing technology. It’s a 4-in-1 USB 3.0 card reader that is compatible with Memory Sticks, Compact Flash cards, Micro SD cards, and standard SD cards. But this unit is quite a bit more versatile and capable than the competition. It can transfer your data at up to 5 gigabytes per second, it can work on just about any operating platform, including Linux and Chrome OS, and it even uses a special GL3223 Intelligent Chip to increase performance and reliability while transferring your data. Plus, you can read and write with multiple cards simultaneously! No more plugging and unplugging different cards and wasting time!
Another great thing about this card reader is that it is designed with a reinforced cable, a very sturdy exterior, and connectors that are heat resistant. This means ultimate durability and a product that will last you for many years to come. It even supports cards that are up to 512 gigs!
- Huge Levels of Compatibility
- Instant Installation – No Driver Needed
- Reads up to 4 Cards at Once
- Durable w/ Solid & Robust Components
- Reads Cards Up To 512 Gigabytes
- Heavier Than Other Card Readers
- Cord is Very Long
Here we have another great USB 3.0 SD card reader, this time from Kingston. This is going to be the most expensive item we talk about on the list today, but that’s because it is arguably the most powerful and most reliable. It’s something known as a SuperSpeed Certified USB, which means it’s faster than you can even imagine. It works with every modern operating system, it comes with four individual slots for all of the most popular types of memory cards, and if you have high-resolution videos and photos, this is the card reader that you need. Nothing can slow this baby down, and you can have all your files transferred in just a matter of minutes.
The Kingston Card Reader is backwards compatible with USB 2.0, giving you the best of both worlds. It works with CF Type I and Type II, it is extremely portable and convenient for travel, and it comes with a USB cord. Because the cord isn’t attached, it’s easier to store in your day bag or camera bag.
- Advanced Support for Newest Cards
- Insanely Fast Data Transfer
- Backwards Compatible w/ USB 2.0
- Stylish Brushed Nickel Casing w/ LED Light
- Includes Separate Cable
- More Expensive
- Card Slots Are Always Exposed
Last on the list is the small and highly portable Transcend Information RDF5 USB 3.0 Card Reader. This compact card reader acts just like a typical USB thumb drive. You plug it directly into your laptop and two slots are supporting standard SD cards and Micro SD cards. It may not be quite as versatile as some of the other card readers, but if you have a normal SD card then it is the perfect companion for transferring files between your camera and your computer. It’s also dirt cheap, available right now for less than $20.
Even though the card reader is so small and simple, it still has some impressive features. For example, there is an LED light to indicate the transfer activity, the device is backwards compatible with USB 2.0, and it’s just as fast as any other pint-sized card reader!
- Wildly Affordable
- Backwards Compatible 2/ USB 2.0
- Fits into Computer Like a Thumb Drive
- LED Indicator Light
- Fits in Pocket – No Cords Needed
- Only Two Slots for SD or Micro SD
- Small & Fragile
The best SD card reader is going to be able to transfer everything, including RAW images, GIFs, text files and Word documents, HD and 4K movies, e-books, and of course JPEGs. But not all card readers are the same. Here are a few things you should look for when shopping around for the best SD card reader.
One of the most important features is going to be speed. If you’re moving 30 gigabytes of data, you don’t want to be sitting in front of the computer for three days waiting for the transfer to happen. You need a fast SD card reader that can make quick work of huge bundles of data.
And of course, you need to know what type of port you have on your computer. Things like Chromebooks, Apple laptops, and Ultrabooks almost always use Type-C ports, while older laptops and full-sized laptops will use the standard USB port. You might even have a weird computer that requires you to use a lightning port!
You also have to know what kind of SD card your files are on. There are a ton of different kinds, with at least three different types of Micro-SD cards and over five different types of fully-sized SD cards. The good news is that almost every quality card reader should facilitate the use of just about any SD card. It’s just important that you always check first before making the purchase. Some SD card readers are even able to read up to three different types of cards simultaneously.