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Now almost all portable devices save data to a memory card. Such a drive is used in most smartphones, absolutely all cameras, action cameras cannot do without it, even game consoles mean installing a memory card. Well, how to interact with the information on such a card using a computer? Using a card reader! And if you are looking for a fast data transfer, then it is better to purchase one of those copies that were in our selection.

Selection Guide

Perhaps the choice of a card reader can be called as simple as possible. It’s even easier than deciding on a specific model of drill or hammer drill. In fact, any card reader has only a few basic characteristics. The most important of these is the form factor:

  1. Internal card reader Designed to fit into an appropriate 2.5″ or 3.5″ bay in a computer case. Such a device is connected directly to the motherboard.
  2. External card reader connects to any computer with a USB cable. Some of these card readers have a micro-USB or USB Type-C connector at the end of their cord – this device should be connected to a smartphone or tablet.
  3. Strictly speaking, exactly connector is the second main feature. The fact is that the most modern models have a USB 3.0 plug. It is thanks to him that they provide the maximum data transfer rate, squeezing absolutely everything out of the memory card.
  4. Another difference between different card readers is in the number of types of supported cards. The simplest devices are sharpened only for a microSD memory card. More advanced card readers support interaction with SD, Memory Stick, CF and other card formats.
  5. Perhaps we can stop there. However, one cannot fail to mention the price. But it entirely depends on what characteristics the card reader has. It is logical that options with USB 3.0 are noticeably more expensive than the rest.

Finally, we note that you can easily do without a card reader. Now it is not difficult to interact with the information contained on a portable device via a USB cable. But it must be a good wire that supports not only the transmission of electricity. Alas, not all users have it. And this is not to mention the fact that now portable devices can have a variety of connectors: Lightning, USB Type-C, micro-USB, and even more outdated ones.

Rating of the best card readers

Nomination place Name of product price

The best external card readers

one

SANDISK ImageMate All-in-One USB 3.0

2 490 ₽

2

Kingston FCR-HS4

1 530 ₽

3

HAMA H-39878

910 ₽

four

GINZZU GR-336B

775 ₽

5

ORICO CRS31

1 199 ₽

6

Kingston Mobile Lite G4

970 ₽

Best internal card reader

one

GINZZU GR-166U

920 ₽

The best OTG card reader

one

GINZZU GR-325B

338 ₽

The best external card readers

SANDISK ImageMate All-in-One USB 3.0

Rating: 4.9

SANDISK IMAGEMATE ALL-IN-ONE USB 3.0.jpg

The main advantage of this model lies in its name. It connects to a computer via a high-speed USB 3.0 interface. And not even according to the “troika”, but according to its version 3.2, if your computer has one! This means that data from the memory card will be copied at the maximum speed supported by it. However, this is the main advantage, but by no means the only one!

This model has a unique design. Most of all, the device is similar to the early PlayStation 2, only in a significantly smaller size. Here, too, a vertical arrangement on the table is used. At the same time, the product received a neat stand that makes the accessory a little higher.

In total, the card reader has four slots. All of them are sharpened for different formats of memory cards. To be precise, these are SD, miniSD (via an adapter), microSD, CompactFlash and MemoryStick. Perhaps the only thing missing is a slot for special cards developed by Huawei. But who will notice his absence? By the way, each of the slots has its own indicator light, symbolizing its operation.

At the moment it is one of the fastest card readers. Now tests show that it is able to copy files from a memory card at speeds up to 160 MB / s. And if in the future memory cards become even faster, then the card reader will catch up! Well, the main drawback of the device is its price. Like it or not, but not everyone dares to spend 2,500 rubles on its purchase.

Advantages

  • Comes with USB 3.0 cable;

  • Supports most memory card formats;

  • Unique and interesting design;

  • Each slot has a light indication.

Flaws

  • Very high cost;

  • Difficult to find for sale.

Kingston FCR-HS4

Rating: 4.8

KINGSTON FCR-HS4.jpg

Another card reader that stably supports the USB 3.2 interface. However, its cost is noticeably less – usually in Russian stores they ask for about 1,400 rubles for it. Such a price tag is due to the fact that the creators of the accessory did not bother with its design. This is an ordinary “bar” with rounded corners, laid flat on the table. This is the case when it is unlikely that it will be located next to the monitor on an ongoing basis – much more often you will put it somewhere in a drawer.

This card reader has four slots. They are designed for CompactFlash, SD, microSD and MemoryStick memory cards. If you have a miniSD card, you will need an adapter to read it. Well, if you have even more atypical memory cards, then you will have to forget about using the Kingston FCR-HS4.

The case of this model is made of plastic. But you may get the impression that metal was used – imitation of brushed aluminum is used here. The product also boasts an activity indicator. Otherwise, this is a familiar card reader, which has a very modest size. If you need to work with a memory card at maximum speed, then this is a very good option. And not the best, I must say, dear!

Advantages

  • Supplied with cable for USB 3.0;

  • All the most popular card formats are supported;

  • modest size;

  • There is an indication of activity;

  • Nice design.

Flaws

  • The price is still high.

HAMA H-39878

Rating: 4.7

HAMA H-39878.jpg

Another rectangular card reader with a detachable USB cable. The difference of this model is that its corners are much less rounded. Also, the product has a less prominent design. But the boring appearance had a positive effect on the price tag – in many cases, HAMA H-39878 can be bought for only 900 rubles!

This model also supports the USB 3.2 interface. This means that you will have some groundwork for the future. No matter how fast memory cards become, you will squeeze everything out of them!

Unlike the instances discussed above, HAMA H-39878 has five slots. Therefore, the product supports a larger number of memory card formats. There is no doubt that most often you will insert SD and microSD cards here. Professional photographers will benefit from the ability to install a CompactFlash card – the largest slot is intended for it. If you have old Sony equipment at your disposal, then the MemoryStick slot will not hurt. You can also insert removable drives in xD-Picture and MMC formats into this card reader. The latter were once used in push-button phones and the same smartphones, now they are almost forgotten.

In a word, HAMA H-39878 is designed for those who regularly deal not only with modern technology, but also with all sorts of retro devices. It is not surprising that the card reader is in high demand, which is why it is less and less common on store shelves.

Advantages

  • Even older memory card formats are supported;

  • Comes with high speed USB cable;

  • modest size;

  • Not very high cost.

Flaws

  • It is found on sale less and less;

  • The design won’t suit everyone.

GINZZU GR-336B

Rating: 4.6

GINZZU GR-336B.jpg

Do you often copy data from one memory card to another? In this case, the GINZZU GR-336B card reader may come in handy. It has an incredibly large number of slots. Seven slots allow you to place even several cards of the same type inside! In particular, there are two slots for SD-cards and the same number for microSD.

Externally, this accessory is nothing special. Its body is made of non-staining plastic. It is felt that the manufacturer decided to save on design. However, this is typical for GINZZU. But the product supports the USB 3.2 standard. The device comes with a detachable cable with the famous blue “tongue”, sharpened for USB 3.0. It’s nice that the card reader also has an indication of activity. Surprisingly, some manufacturers of such devices usually forget about this little thing.

Above, we talked about the four slots that will be used most often. And what memory cards support the rest of the sockets? Well, there won’t be any surprises here. These are CompactFlash, MemoryStick and xD-Picture. In a word, photographers and videographers will be satisfied. It’s nice that the data will be read at the speed that the existing card can issue. And this despite the fact that this model was announced in 2012! This shows well how much the development of removable drives and the card readers designed for them has slowed down.

Advantages

  • Comes with 80cm USB 3.0 cable;

  • Very large number of slots;

  • The price cannot be called extremely high;

  • There is an activity indicator;

  • Miniature sizes.

Flaws

  • The simplest design.

ORICO CRS31

Rating: 4.5

ORICO CRS31.jpg

The closer the end of the rating, the more often boring devices are mentioned in it. This rule is true for most reviews, including the one you are reading right now. ORICO CRS31 has a square shape, the body of the accessory is made of ordinary black plastic. The memory card slots are located on different sides of the device. And there are only four of them. They should be looked for on three sides, while the fourth is dedicated to a non-removable cable designed to connect to a computer. Also on the case there was a place for an activity indicator.

The high cost of this model is due not only to durability, but also to support the USB 3.2 standard. Therefore, you can get the most out of any memory card, no matter which one is at your disposal. In total, four formats are supported here. Basically, the owners of ORICO CRS31 use slots for SD and microSD, located one above the other. Photographers should like the CompactFlash slot – as you know, such cards are commonly used in professional SLR cameras. Well, the MemoryStick slot is useful for owners of the PlayStation Portable game console and some other devices from Sony.

This is one of the most compact card readers in our selection. It differs from analogues in that you cannot lose the USB cable intended for it, because it simply cannot be disconnected. Otherwise, the product is not surprising. The only surprise is the price, which turned out to be too high. It seems that the manufacturer himself understood this – apparently, the production of this model has been discontinued, which is why it is becoming increasingly difficult to find it on sale.

Advantages

  • Uses USB 3.0 or faster interface;

  • The wire will definitely not get lost;

  • All major memory card formats are supported;

  • There is an activity indicator.

Flaws

  • Rarely found on sale;

  • The price seems too high;

  • I would like more slots;

  • In terms of design, it is of no interest.

Kingston Mobile Lite G4

Rating: 4.4

KINGSTON MOBILELITE G4.jpg

The smallest card reader in our selection. It does not require any wire – the device has its own USB plug. The blue “tab” indicates that it belongs to the USB 3.0 standard. Therefore, you will be able to squeeze data out of the memory card at the maximum available speed.

It is clear that on such a miniature card reader there could not be a place for any large number of slots. There are only two slots on the back of the device. The first is for the SD card, while the second is for the microSD. As expected, you can use both cards at the same time, copying data from one to the other.

The length of this crumb is only 52 mm. And this is not the smallest card reader! There are even smaller specimens. But we do not recommend considering their purchase, unless you take a similar copy for use in tandem with, for example, a car radio. First, they are not particularly durable. Secondly, they only support a microSD memory card. And what will you do if you need to copy the photos contained on the card inserted in the SLR camera?

Kingston MobileLite G4 will serve you almost forever. It’s nice that nothing will happen to this model even if you sit on it. The fact is that it uses a durable aluminum case. This is partly due to the price tag, which is approximately 600 rubles.

Advantages

  • The built-in connector is used;

  • USB 3.0 standard supported;

  • Tiny size;

  • The body is very durable.

Flaws

  • No light indication;

  • There are no slots for not very popular memory cards;

  • The price cannot be called particularly low;

  • May block access to an adjacent connector.

Best internal card reader

GINZZU GR-166U

Rating: 4.9

GINZZU GR-166U

Our rating could not do without at least one internal card reader. This is the name of the device that is installed inside the computer case. Previously, such accessories replaced the drive. As for the GINZZU GR-166U, it fits into a 3.5-inch bay. Most computer owners use this bay for a DVD drive. Most importantly, you don’t have to get rid of the optical drive – many computer cases have two, three, or even more of these bays.

This card reader is connected to a high-speed USB bus located on the motherboard. At the same time, he is able to become its continuation! The fact is that the device found a place for a full-fledged USB 3.0 connector. Is it necessary to say that such a nest is never superfluous?

As for slots for memory cards, there is absolutely everything you need. Most often in modern realities, a microSD slot will be used. A little less often will be used a slot for a full-size SD card. The rest of the slots are for CompactFlash, MemoryStick, xD-Picture and even MMC cards. In a word, with such a card reader you can successfully interact with any portable devices – even with some already forgotten Siemens S75 mobile phone. And it’s not worth talking about more modern devices.

It remains to add that there is an indication of activity, as well as on most CD drives. You can buy GINZZU GR-166U in those online stores that sell computer components. Alas, now this model is found on virtual shelves less and less. First, its production has already been discontinued. Secondly, now an ever smaller number of people use desktop computers – many make their choice in favor of a laptop or even a tablet.

Advantages

  • It will complement your home PC well;

  • Supports all popular memory card formats;

  • Connects to a high-speed USB bus;

  • Card slots are supplemented with a USB 3.0 connector;

  • The price cannot be called particularly high;

  • There is an activity indicator.

Flaws

  • Rarely seen on sale.

  • If there is no PC, then the purchase will be meaningless.

The best OTG card reader

GINZZU GR-325B

Rating: 4.9

GINZZU GR-325B.JPEG

Now many people do without a desktop PC and even a laptop. But what if you, for example, need to copy materials from an SD card that was in the camera? You can’t insert it into a smartphone or tablet. For this purpose, you will either have to use a regular card reader, connecting it via an OTG adapter, which is always lost, or get a full-fledged OTG card reader. We recommend the second option. You should not be afraid of financial costs, since usually only 500 rubles are asked for such accessories. In particular, GINZZU GR-325B has just such a price tag.

This device is a kind of transformer. Its creators have tried to ensure that their creation can be connected to a variety of devices. At one end is a USB Type-C connector. It serves to connect the card reader to a modern smartphone equipped with the appropriate port. At the other end there is a micro-USB plug, which is necessary for owners of devices that were not released yesterday. With a simple action, this connector can be turned into a full-size USB plug. This allows you to insert the card reader into a traditional USB port on a desktop computer or laptop.

Please note that this model only supports the USB 2.0 standard. This means that copying and writing files will take a long time – you will not be able to squeeze the maximum out of the cards even if the card reader is connected to a computer. This is the reason for such a low price.

As for card slots, there are places for SD, microSD and, suddenly, MMC. It seems that such a set is enough for the vast majority of owners of modern smartphones.

Advantages

  • Three different plugs are present at once;

  • Very low cost;

  • There are no wires at all;

  • There are slots for both SD and microSD cards;

  • Convenient design.

Flaws

  • No slots for MemoryStick and CompactFlash;

  • Supports only not very high-speed USB 2.0 standard;

  • Longevity is questionable.

Conclusion

Now you know which card readers are the best. You also understand how to choose such a device. In short, you should focus on the form factor of the memory cards you use, as well as the presence or absence of a high-speed connector on your computer. You can also consider buying an internal card reader, which will be a great addition to your CD drive or even a replacement.