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Best Memory Card Readers 2019

Find out which memory card readers offer the best price, speeds and ease of use in our guide to purchasing a memory card reader.

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Computer

 

When you have a memory card full of images to transfer to your computer, a card reader is the best, and quickest, way to get them from A to B. 

The memory card reader is a useful device that connects to the computer's USB port, allowing images, music or video files to be uploaded from memory cards, without the need for the camera to be connected to the computer. The latest card readers now also support USB 3.0, as do the latest memory cards, making image transfer quicker as well. Some computers do have built-in memory card readers but generally, they only support one type of card and they can be slower at reading data. Using a memory card reader to move images to your computer will also be quicker than plugging your camera directly into it if your camera isn't compatible with USB 3.0. 

You obviously don't want to be waiting for hours on end for images to be transferred so speed is important. Obviously, the faster the memory card reader is at transferring data, the quicker images will be moved from the memory card to your computer which means you'll be editing photos or sending them via email to grandparents sooner.

As well as speed, you want the device to be straightforward to use and multiple card slots are useful as you won't need multiple cables and individual devices for reading different cards. Price is another important consideration as is build quality and size could be something you want to look at should you want to take the reader with you on assignment or if storage space is something you're lacking. 

Warranties tend to differ, too, so this is always worth checking out before you part with your cash. You shouldn't overlook purchasing a memory card reader that has slots for memory cards your camera isn't compatible with either as many other devices will use micro SDHC, such as smartphones, which you may want to transfer data from. 

 

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Quick List Of The Benefits Of A Card Reader:

  • Convenience - No more reaching behind your computer to fiddle with cables
  • Speed - With USB 3.0 types, high transfer speeds can be achieved
  • Compatibility -  Most cameras only take one kind of card, some readers can take all different types of memory card
  • Power - Using a card reader saves your camera's battery

 

Memory Card Reader

 

Different Types Of Card Readers Available

With such a wide range of card readers available, it can be confusing deciding which to buy. The main types are outlined below.

 

Single Card Readers - These are the most basic of all, allowing you only to use one type of card in them. They are fine if you can never imagine needing to read any other type of card.

 

Multi-Card Readers - As they can read many types of memory card, these can be very convenient. If you don't think you'll use any more than two of the card types offered by the reader, though, try to find a dual reader and save some money.

 

High-Speed Readers - With the files digital cameras produce becoming larger and larger, the time taken to transfer images to your PC is increasing. If your computer has a USB 3.0 port, there are card readers that will take advantage of the extra speed these connections allow and are particularly effective with fast memory cards, such as Class 10 SDHC. 


Compact Readers - If you travel a lot and need a reader to take with you, these offer the perfect solution. Though on a normal desktop computer they aren't as convenient as the other readers mentioned.

 

Memory Card Readers

 

Top-Selling Memory Card Readers 

To help you out a little further, we've listed some of the best-selling memory card readers currently available. They all have different plus points so do consider which type of reader suits your needs before making your purchase. 

 

Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader

Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader 8-in-1 for SDXC, SDHC, SD, MMC, RS-MMC, Micro SDXC, Micro SD, Micro SDHC Card, Support UHS-I Cards, 18 Months Warranty

 

This is the number 1 best-selling memory card reader over on Amazon UK and it's got plenty of tick boxes against its name. For speed, it's USB 3.0 enabled which means transfer speeds sit in the region of 5GB per second (when used with high-speed memory cards such as Class 10 SDHC) but if your computer doesn't support USB 3.0, the card reader is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1. 

Another plus point is that this is an 8-in-1 reader which means it's compatible with SDXC, SDHC, SD, MMC, RS-MMC, Micro SDXC, Micro SD and Micro SDHC Cards. It also supports UHS-I cards and another bonus of having multiple card slots is that you can simultaneously read and write on two cards to save yourself the effort of constant unplugging and re-plugging.

No drivers are required if you have Windows 8 / 7 / Vista or Mac OS X 10.2 and above and the Anker memory card reader comes with an 18-month warranty.

Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader Overview:

  • USB 3.0
  • 8-in-1 card reader
  • Simultaneously read and write on two cards
  • 18-month warranty
  • Under £10

Buy On Amazon UK Buy On Amazon USA 

 

KiWiBiRD USB 3.0 Super-Speed Card Reader

KiWiBiRD USB 3.0 Super-Speed Card

At £5.99, this is another reasonably priced memory card reader that also offers USB 3.0 and support for 8 memory card types (SDXC, SD, MMC, RS-MMC, SDHC, Micro SD, Micro SDXC and Micro SDHC.) It also supports next-gen UHS-I cards and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. There are 2 memory card slots built in so you can read/write on SD and Micro SD cards at the same time and there's an LED indicator that shows data transfer activity. 

No software is needed, you just plug and play and it is compatible with PC, Mac, and Smart TVs. The size is worth mentioning as it shares similar dimensions to a USB stick which makes it very portable. You also get a choice of colours: pink and black should you be picky about the colour of your memory card reader. An 18-month warranty is offered along with 24/7 email support. 

KiWiBiRD USB 3.0 Super-Speed Card Reader Overview:

  • USB 3.0
  • 8-in-1 card reader
  • Simultaneously read and write on on SD and Micro SD
  • 18-month warranty & 24/7 email support
  • Under £10

Buy On Amazon UK Buy On Amazon USA

 

Rocketek Mini USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader

Rocketek Mini USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader

This tiny USB memory card reader features 2 slots and supports a variety of formats including SD, SDXC, SD-HC, MMC, TF, Micro SD, Micro SDXC, Micro SDHC  and Mini SD - UHS-I. It's compatible with USB 3.0 so transfer speeds are quicker when used with compatible memory cards and it's also backward compatible with 2.0 and 1.1. 

No external power is needed, simply plug and play, and an LED indicator tells you the status of the device so you don't accidentally unplug it when it's in the middle of reading or writing. 

The Rocketek memory card reader is compatible with Windows 2000/ME/XP/Vista/7/8(32bit/64bit) and MAC OS 10.X or above version. It also comes with free lifetime technical support and 24-month manufacturer's warranty. 

Rocketek Mini USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader Overview: 

  • Compatible with various card formats
  • USB 3.0
  • Two card slots - SD and MicroSD 
  • Free lifetime technical support and 24-month manufacturer's warranty
  • Under £10

Buy On Amazon UK Buy On Amazon USA

 

Kingston MobileLite G4 USB 3.0 Multi-Card Reader

Kingston MobileLite G4 USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader

 

This card reader from Kingston is USB 3.0 compliant so it can be quick in use and it supports SD, SDHC, SDXC, MicroSD, MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC card types. UHS-I and UHS-II card standards are compatible with this reader and those who can't use USB 3.0 have the option to transfer data via USB 2.0. There is only one card slot but it is compact, making it perfect for travel. 

The drive, which comes in a black and grey colour theme, has a 2-year warranty and free technical support is also offered. 

Kingston MobileLite G4 USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader Overview: 

  • Compatible with SD, SDHC, SDXC, MicroSD, MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC
  • USB 3.0
  • 1 card slot
  • 2-year warranty and free technical support 
  • Under £10

Buy On Amazon UK Buy On Amazon USA

 

Silicon-Power All-in-One USB 3 Multi-Card Reader

Silicon-Power Multi-Reader

The Silicon-Power supports USB 3.0 as well as USB 2.0 and is compatible with the following memory cards: SDHC UHS-I, SDXC UHS-I, UDMA6/UDMA7 CF, MS Pro, XD, M2, MicroSD/SDHC/SDXC. An LED indicator shows card insertion as well as data transfer activity and there are 5 slots featured on the device.

Silicon-Power All-in-One USB 3 Multi-Card Overview

  • Supports multiple memory cards
  • USB 3.0
  • 5 card slots
  • Comes with USB3 cable
  • Just over £14

Buy On Amazon UK

 

Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader 

Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual Slot Reader Compatible with SD and UDMA Flash Memory Cards

Compatible with SD and UDMA memory cards, this reader from Lexar features dual slots and supports USB 3.0. CompactFlash as well SD UHS-I and UHS-II card formats can be read by this device and the pop-up design protects the card slots when it's not in use. The reader is also compatible with standard CF, SD cards and USB 2.0. Concurrent and card-to-card file transfers are also possible. 

The device is compact so it won't take up too much room and it comes with a five-year warranty which is longer than they warranties for the devices listed so far. 

Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader Overview:

  • Compatible with various memory cards
  • USB 3.0
  • 2 card slots
  • 5-year warranty
  • Just under £50

Buy On Amazon UK Buy On Amazon USA

 

Popamazing Portable USB 2.0 Memory Card Reader

 

As you can see from its name, this memory card reader isn't USB 3.0 compatible but it may still be handy for those who aren't using ultra-fast memory cards as of yet. It reads and writes both SD/SDHC and Micro SD/SDHC memory cards but doesn't offer the compatibility levels of some of the memory card readers already mentioned. It's compatible with Windows Vista, Linux, 2000, XP & Windows 7 and Apple Mac and is compact in size which makes it handy for travel. This portable drive is easy to use and still offers a fast and easy way to transfer files between your digital camera/mobile phone and your PC, it's just a little slower than USB 3.0 compatible flash drives. 

Popamazing Portable USB 2.0 Memory Card Reader Overview:

  • USB 2.0
  • SD/SDHC & MicroSD / SDHC compatible 
  • No warranty mentioned 
  • Under £10

Buy On Amazon UK 

 

SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II USB-C Card Reader/Writer

SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II USB-C Card Reader/Writer

A super-fast SD card reader with a USB-C connector that works with UHS-II cards and is backwards-compatible with other SD cards. It features a flexible design that won’t block your other ports and delivers simple plug-and-play functionality.

SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II USB-C Card Reader/Writer Overview:

  • USB 2.0
  • 8-in-1 card reader
  • A super-fast SD card reader with a USB-C connector
  • Backwards-compatible with other SD cards 
  • Under £17.99

Buy On Amazon UK Buy On Amazon USA

 

Want to know more? Read our complete guide to memory cardsor have a look at the fastest SD memory cards available.

 

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