SD card readers are handy little devices that can help you transfer data between memory cards and devices. There are a number of benefits of having memory card readers that are equally enticing to photographers. A good memory card reader can have the following benefits:
- They let you store large files painlessly, especially high-resolution images and videos.
- Fast transfers let you get your images and videos to PhotoShop or your video editing program quickly.
- If you have different cameras in your arsenal, you can use different memory cards with one reader.
The first is their fast transfer speed, especially in USB 3.0 type readers. This is key for photographers who shoot in RAW as file sizes are much larger and take longer to transfer.
Second, memory card readers usually have more than one slot and are able to read different kinds of memory cards such as CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital (SD), or Multimedia Cards (MMC) at the same time. Make sure you choose a memory card reader that not only reads your camera’s type of memory card but other types as well. For convenience!
Third, memory card readers are portable and easy to use, letting you transfer your data anytime and anywhere.
And fourth, using a reader saves your camera’s battery. With a memory card reader, you don’t have to keep your camera on while your data is transferring through a cable (which can take a long time). Instead, just take out the memory card and pop it into the reader.
To help you choose, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best memory card readers on the market today.
Best SD Memory Card Readers
- Best Overall Memory Card Reader (Transcend USB 3.0 All-in-1 Multi-Card Reader
- Best Micro SD and SD Card Reader (Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader)
- Best Plug-and-Play SD Card Reader (KiWiBiRD USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1) Super-Speed Card Reader)
- Memory Card Reader With Fastest Read Speed (ProGrade Digital USB 3.1 Gen 2 Dual-Slot Card Reader for CFast and SD)
- Best SD Card Reader & External Connection Drive (Kingston Nucleum USB Type C Hub)
- Best Memory Card Reader for UHS-II SD Cards (SanDisk Extreme PRO)
- Best Memory Card Reader for SD and CF Cards (Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader)
- Other Great Memory Card Readers & Budget Wins
1. Transcend USB 3.0 All-in-1 Multi-Card Reader (Overall Best SD Memory Card Reader)
Lumoid rates this as the best memory card reader overall because it is small, compact, but super fast.
The Transcend USB memory card reader is a compact and light, yet incredibly powerful, superspeed wonder! Although this memory card reader has a Generation 1 USB 3.0 interface, it is also backward compatible with USB 2.0.
The creators of this nifty device wanted to ensure that it works well with the newer generation of laptops and thus equipped it with the new reversible Type-C USB port. The card contains four slots and can read SD cards, microSD cards, memory Sticks (MS), and CF cards.
The memory card reader also contains an LED light that indicates connectivity and data transfer. The device also has the RecoveRx software installed for free, which helps users in tracing out deleted data from within storage devices.
2. Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader (Micro SD and SD Card Reader)
This memory card reader is picked as #2 because it handles virtually every type of memory card on the market. It is also small, compact, and fast.
One of the highest-rated memory card readers, this crafty device, has two slots, one for an SD and one for a micro SD card, and both can be used simultaneously. The Anker 2-in-1 has broad compatibility and can read more than eight kinds of memory cards including SDXC, SDHC, SD, MMC, RS-MMC, MicroSDXC, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, and UHS-I Cards.
This memory card reader also has a USB 3.0 port that boasts transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps for fast syncing. It is also compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1 ports. The rate at which data is transferred, however, is affected by the speed of the memory card itself and even your device’s USB port.
The system requirements for this reader are simple. You can use this Anker memory card reader with Windows 10/8/7/Vista and MAC OSX. The Anker 2-in-1 memory card has plug-and-play properties, so you’re free from the hassle of using wires!
This product also has an LED display to show if it is working. It is small at only 35mm wide and is made of robust, high-grade plastics, and premium chips. This device also comes with an 18-month warranty.
3. KiWiBiRD USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1) Super-Speed Card Reader (Supports MicroSD & SD)
Lumoid likes this memory card reader because of its plug and play abilities.
The KiWiBiRD USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1) Super-Speed Card Reader is a crafty device that is incredibly useful as well as easily transportable. It has two slots for microSD and SD cards, so you can read and write on both cards simultaneously without having to switch out the cards.
The KiWiBiRD memory card reader also supports up to eight different types of memory cards including KiWiBiRD SDXC, SD, MMC, RS-MMC, SDHC, Micro SD, Micro SDXC, Micro SDHC, and UHS-I Cards. It has a USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Interface for highspeed transferring of large volumes of data. It is also compatible with USB 2.0 / 1.1.
This is a plug-and-play device compatible with PC, Mac, and Smart TVs and works with Windows XP, Vista versions seven and above. It is also compatible with Mac OS X v10.2.8 and later, Linux Kernel v2.6.30 and above, and Android 4.0 and above.
This device does not require any additional power supply and is fully powered by the USB port itself. The KiWiBiRD memory card reader has an LED light that indicates its working status. The cherry on top is that the device comes with a 24-month warranty.
4. ProGrade Digital USB 3.1 Gen 2 Dual-Slot Card Reader for CFast and SD (Supports Most Memory Card Formats)
Even though this memory card reader does not support Compact Flash, Lumoid ranks it because of its fast read speed.
The ProGrade Digital memory card reader is a top of the line, a heavy-duty card reader for CFast, SDXC, and UHS-II cards. It is not a compact flash reader, and buyers must be careful not to mix the two when purchasing this product. This device is a high-speed reader for high-speed memory cards.
The ProGrade Digital memory card is capable of reading memory cards at speeds of 1.25GB/s. It features two slots so that CFast and SD memory cards can be used simultaneously without saturating the USB interface.
The ProGrade reader comes with an adhesive magnetic plate that attaches to your laptop to create a mobile workstation anywhere. Though on the pricier side, the device has both the new type-C and type-A USB interface as well as a two-year warranty.
5. Kingston Nucleum USB Type C Hub (Best SD Memory Card Reader & External Connection Drive)
We ranked this memory card reader because its also a great connector drive for the different types of flash drives and memory card readers in your arsenal.
The Kingston Nucleum is a high-powered memory card reader encased in metal. It contains both SD and micro-SD card ports. In addition, it has two USB Type-A ports, two USB-C ports, and an HDMI port. One of the Type-C ports also doubles as a MacBook charger. This device is a steal, packing in a whole range of features coupled with high transfer speeds at a low price.
While the SD card slot supports UHS-II SD cards, the operating speeds are less than impressive. Luckily, this problem doesn’t persist for UHS-I SD cards. For these, the Kingston Nucleum operates at high speeds of 96MB/s and 83MB/s, making it one of the best memory card readers in the market.
6. SanDisk Extreme PRO (Best for UHS-II SD Cards)
Lumoid ranks this memory card reader because of its compatibility with UHS-II SD cards.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO is a great reader for UHS-II SD cards. It’s specifically designed to read them at high speed. This reader is also great for UHS-I, non-UHS SD cards, and microSD cards (with an adapter) as well.
This device isn’t pricey, but it is unable to read a large variety of cards. However, for the cards it can read, it does the job fairly well with its 500mb/s data transfer rate.
7. Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader (Best SD and CF Card Reader)
This is a great beginner memory card reader and it protects the slots and cards from dust with its pop-up build.
This is a USB 3.0 dual-slot professional memory card reader that is great for high-flow data. The Lexar Professional memory card reader can read SDXCTM, UHS-I SD, and UHS-II SD cards. It is also backward compatible with standard CF and SD cards, as well as USB 2.0.
This device boasts 500MB/s transfer speed as well and can to transfer data between SD cards. A pop-up mechanism protects the card slots from dust and defect.
8. Hama USB 3.1
Lumoid likes this memory card reader because of its thin design, which is great with the flat laptops on today’s market.
The Hama USB 3.1 is a simple yet powerful device that has a USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1) and Type-C interface. The USB 3.0 interface means that this little device has a whopping 2400 Mbps transfer rate! It is a UHS-II SD reader and is compatible with even the quickest SD cards.
Other features that make this device great are its compact design and low price point. It is a great device that can be easily used in tablets, smartphones, and the newer generation ultra-thin laptops. Don’t let its small size and simple design fool you. This little device is a powerhouse.
9. USB 3.0 SD Card Reader by Rocketek
Lumoid likes this memory card reader because of its 2TB storage space and compact size.
As powerful as it is small, this memory card reader by Rocketek can work with a multitude of formats including SDXC, SD, SD-HC, TF, MMC, Micro SD, Micro SDXC, Micro SDHC, and Mini SD – UHS-I. It is compatible with USB 3.0 but is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1. The device works on Windows 2000/ME/XP/Vista/7/8(32bit/64bit) and MAC OS 10.X or above.
It also contains an auto-detect memory card feature and supports SDXC for up to 2TB! It is adequately priced, especially for the number of features it provides and comes with a lifetime technical warranty and a 24-month manufacturer’s warranty.
10. IOGEAR USB-C 3-Slot Card Reader/Writer
This is a good basic memory card reader/writer with a 5 GB transfer speed.
This is an excellent device for everyone looking for lightning-fast transfer speeds. The IOGEAR memory card reader/writer is the device you need. The USB-C type port ensures you remain connected with the most up to date laptops and tablets and still enjoy high transfer speeds!
Boasting groundbreaking speeds of 5Gbps, the IOGEAR memory card reader, is one of the fastest devices to transfer data to and from your camera and laptop. Again, like most of the great memory card readers, the IOGEAR has a USB 3.1 generation one interface but is backward compatible with USB type-2 as well.
The memory card reader contains three slots, an SD card slot, a CF card slot, and a micro SD card slot, which support almost all major card types. These include SD, SDXC up to 2TB, SDHC, CompactFlash, SDXC, SDHC, SD, High-Speed CF (UDMA), Micro SD, Micro SDXC, and Micro SDHC. A powerful, fast, and well-designed memory card reader and writer that could work well with all types of devices.
11. Unitek USB 3.0 SD Card Reader
This card reader supports a wide variety of memory cards and is powered with an AC adapter.
This device is a multi-functional memory card reader and writer that allows the use of two slots simultaneously and still delivers lightning-fast transfer speeds. The Unitek USK 3.0 features three slots for SD, CompactFlash, and TF cards. This product supports a wide range of cards. You can find a list of cards in their manual! A great feature of this card reader is that it comes with a built-in overvoltage and short-circuit protection unit, so you don’t have to worry about losing your data.
With the USB 3.0 interface, users can reach lightning-fast transfer rates of up to 5Gbps can be achieved, while with USB 2.0 speeds of 480 Mbps can be achieved. This device comes with an impressive two-year warranty, so you can buy it without any worry.
12. Atolla USB 3.0 Superspeed Multi-Card Reader
This is another type of memory card reader that we liked that is compatible with Windows, Mac OSX and a wide variety of other software.
A sleek yet fast and efficient memory card reader, the Atolla card reader not only performs wonderfully but also looks great! The memory card features four slots that cater to SD, CompactFlash, Micro SD, and MS cards. All four slots can be used simultaneously without affecting the speed or efficiency of transfer. This reader can read and write data at an impressive speed of 5Gbps.
This product is an easy-to-use plug and play device that requires no installation. It features a blue LED light, which indicates connectivity as well as data transfer.
The Atolla is compatible with a number of different software including Windows XP, Linux, Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Chrome OS, and Mac OS. This device also comes with an 18-month warranty. So, if you’re worried about making an investment don’t be!
13. Delkin USB 3.0 Universal Memory Card Reader (Cheapest SD Card Reader)
This is the most affordable memory card reader on the market today.
Delkin Universal memory card reader is another big name in the memory card market. As the name suggests, this memory card is compatible with almost all other cards, including SD, microSD, microSDXC, type one and two CompactFlash, microSDHC, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro Duo and more!
This device is incredibly fast and boasts transfer speeds of up to 500MB/s, which is almost twice as fast as the old school 2.0 USB type memory cards. Although the card features a USB 3.1 interface, it is backward compatible with 2.0 and 1.1 USB interfaces, as well.
It has multiple ports that can be used simultaneously for enhanced workflow and greater efficiency. The plug-and-play feature makes the device easy to use eliminates the use of messy wires. It is also small and lightweight and hence quite easy to carry.
Bottom Line on Memory Card Readers
Memory card readers are essential devices for people who need to store or transfer large amounts of data. They should ideally be versatile so you can use them with multiple cards. Also, try to look for a reader that is compact, durable, and has high transfer rates. We hope you find something suitable from our comprehensive list of some of the best memory cards out there.