Memory Card Reader heroSource: iMore

Best Memory Card Readers iMore 2020

With the right memory card reader, you can share information across multiple devices. If you invest in a new cellular phone or camera, you don't have to purchase additional cables or install new software to connect to your existing computer or laptop. We recommend the SanDisk ImageMate Pro Multi-Card Reader as it delivers fast transfer speeds and is compatible with a variety of card types. Simply remove your device's memory card, insert it into a memory card reader, and start sharing information.

Best Overall: SanDisk ImageMate PRO Multi-Card Reader

Sandisk Memory Card Reader LifestyleSource: SanDisk

When it comes to a card reader that is reliable and compatible with multiple formatting, the SanDisk ImageMate PRO Multi-Card Reader is an excellent option. This card reader can be used with SDHD, SDXC, microSD, and CompactFlash cards. It features a sleek design, weighs only 3.8 ounces, and measures in at 4.8-by-2.3-by-0.7 inches.

This memory card reader is great for students and small businesses as it can read and write information quickly and efficiently. It delivers impressive transfer speeds ranging from 312 megabits per second for SD and microSD cards, and up to 160 megabits per second for CompactFlash cards.

Keep in mind that this reader is only compatible with CompactFlash cards up to UDMA7 as some users mention that their files became corrupted when using a CompactFlash card with the SanDisk ImageMate PRO Multi-Card Reader. However, the device is backed by a two-year warranty, ensuring you get a great working product.

Using this SanDisk card reader is extremely uncomplicated. Simply plug it in and start using it immediately. There is no need to download and install any additional software, which is great. Freely connect this card reader to your Windows or Mac computer as it is compatible with both via USB 3.0. It is also backward compatible with USB 2.0; however, the transfer speed is 10 times faster with USB 3.0.

Pros:

  • Compatible with SDHD, SDXC, microSD, and CompactFlash cards
  • USB 3.0 compatible and backward compatible with USB 2.0.
  • Two-year warranty
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac

Cons:

  • CompactFlash can become corrupted if not UDMA7 and below.

Best Overall

SanDisk ImageMate PRO Multi-Card Reader

Multi-card reader

This sleek card reader is compatible with SDHD, SDXC, microSD, and CompactFlash cards and works with Windows and Mac devices.

Best Value: UGREEN SD Card Reader

Ugreen Memory Card Reader LifestyleSource: Ugreen

The UGREEN SD Card Reader is a universal card reader that comes equipped with four different card slots. This makes this reader compatible with a multitude of cards, including microSD, microSDHC, microSDCX, SDXC, SDHC, MMC, RS-MMC, CompactFlash, MS Pro, MS Pro-HG, and MS Pro Duo. This versatility is excellent for individuals who work with content media.

The UGREEN SD Card Reader features plug-in-play, which means that you can plug it in and start to use it immediately without installing any software. It is also hot-swappable, so you don't have to worry about powering the device down before switching gears. With this reader, you can toggle between four different cards simultaneously, making transferring data a piece of cake. These are great time-saving features for a busy work environment. Some customers mention that this device can be quite touch-sensitive, ejecting cards easily.

Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS, this USB memory card reader can transfer files such as an HD movie in only a matter of seconds with its impressive data-speed transfer of up to five gigabits per second. This is brilliant for movie buffs and videographers. It is also great for transferring slideshow presentations rapidly.

Designed with a pure copper core that is plated with tin, the UGREEN SD Card Reader is durable. This memory card reader has excellent heat dissipation as it comes prepared with heat-resistant connectors. This compact device measures in at 2-by-2.6-by-0.6 inches, and it weighs 3.2 ounces, making it lightweight and portable.

Pros:

  • Can use multiple cares simultaneously
  • Comes with four card slots
  • Hot-swappable
  • Compatible with Mac, Linux, Windows, Chrome OS

Cons:

  • Can be touch-sensitive and eject cards easily

Best Value

UGREEN SD Card Reader

Simultaneously use four cards

This memory card reader can use up to four cards simultaneously. It is also hot-swappable.

Best Pocket-Size: Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader

Anker Memory Card Reader LifestyleSource: Anker

The Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader is a brilliant pocket-sized device that delivers fast transfer speeds. It measures at 0.5-by-1.3-by-2.6 inches and weighs only 0.48 ounces while offering transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second when used with USB 3.0. This pocket-sized device is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1; however, the transfer speed is slower with these devices.

Designed to read an SD and microSD card simultaneously, you don't have to worry about the hassle of ejecting and reinserting cards as you switch back and forth. Simply plug this card reader into a Windows or Mac OS device and start using it immediately. However, it may not be compatible with older versions, so ensure that you have Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista and that your Mac is equipped with the latest updates.

This device is reliable and durable. It is made from high-quality plastics and premium chips. It also comes with a built-in LED display that informs you of when your memory card reader is powered on, connected, and ready to use.

Pros:

  • Reads SD and microSD simultaneously
  • Plug and play
  • Compatible with newer versions of Windows and Mac OS
  • Extremely portable

Cons:

  • Not compatible with older versions of Windows and Mac OS

Best Pocket-Size

Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader

SD memory card reader that fits in your pocket

This pocket-sized memory card reader can simultaneously read and write on an SD card and a microSD card.

Best for Mac: Kingston Nucleum Card Reader

Kingston Nucleum Memory Card Reader LifestyleSource: Kingston

The Kingston Nucleum Card Reader is made to boost productivity as it comes with seven built-in ports to make connectivity to multiple devices as simple as possible. With one SD card slot and one microSD card slot, this memory card reader can handle your ambitious and driven lifestyle. To make this device even more accommodating to your needs, it can charge your iPhone or Mac computer even while all seven ports are in use.

Enjoy using multiple devices at once with this card reader as it also doubles as a USB hub. This device comes equipped with seven ports, including a USB 3.1 Type-C power pass through, a USB 3.1 Type-C data transfer port, SD card slot, microSD card slot, USB 3.0, and USB 3.1, and a 4K HDMI. The USB 3.0 is also backward compatible with USB 2.0. Some customers mention that it can sometimes eject a card when multiple cards are inserted into the reader at once.

The 4K HDMI output allows you to plug in this memory card reader into a larger monitor with excellent resolution for your images. This is a great feature for photographers and for individuals who work with content media.

The design of the Kingston Nucleum Card Reader and Type-C hub adapter mimics the appearance and functionality of Apple devices, making it aesthetically compatible with your MacBook. Measuring at 5-by-1.8-by-0.6 inches, the exterior is made from an aluminum casing that is durable and lightweight. It is also strategically designed to minimize magnetic interference, ensuring that it remains safe to use.

Pros:

  • Seven built-in ports
  • Great for Mac
  • Charges other devices while in use
  • Equipped with two card readers

Cons:

  • Can sometimes eject cards when both are inserted into the reader at the same time

Best for Mac

Kingston Nucleum Card Reader

Two-in-one memory card reader and USB hub

This memory card reader supports an SD and microSD card and doubles as a USB hub as well as offering seven connectivity ports.

Best for Photographers: ProGrade Digital SD UHS-II Dual-Slot Memory Card Reader

Prograde Digital Memory Card Reader LifestyleSource: Prograde Digital

The ProGrade Digital SD UHS-II Dual-Slot Memory Card Reader is brilliant for professional and beginner photographers and videographers. Measuring at 2.79-by-2.79-by-0.71 inches and weighing in at only 8.8 ounces, it packs high-quality and professional-grade performance into a compact and durable memory card reader.

This memory card reader is built for efficiency as it delivers a data transfer speed of up to 10 gigabits per second. It can even do this simultaneously from dual cards. However, some customers mention that it may not be quite as fast when reading both cards at once. This allows you to remain in your rhythm and continue your creative process without any interruptions due to wait time. Connect this ProGrade Digital memory card reader to your computer via the included USB 3.2 Generation 2 cable.

With the ProGrade Digital SD UHS-II Dual-Slot Memory Card Reader, you can indulge in adventure to chase the perfect shot. You don't have to worry about losing this card reader as it is magnetic and comes with a metal adhesive plate that allows you to attach the device to your laptop. It also backed by a 2-year warranty so you can ensure that you're getting a great product.

Pros:

  • Two card slots
  • Sticks to your laptop
  • 2-year warranty
  • Transfer rate of up to 10 gigabits per second

Cons:

  • Can be slower than 10 gigabits per second when reading both cards simultaneously

Best for Photographers

ProGrade Digital SD UHS-II Dual-Slot Memory Card Reader

Magnetic dual-slot memory card reader

This magnetic dual-slot memory card reader sticks to your laptop and has a transfer rate of up to 10 gigabits per second.

Bottom line

Using a memory card reader to help transfer data between devices has never been easier. Find a memory card reader that is built to deliver exactly what you need. If you're a professional photographer or videographer, then you may need a card reader that is easy to transport, has a lot of storage, and is compatible with your particular computer and camera. Perhaps a memory card reader that is designed strictly for Mac devices or Windows devices is better suited for you.

With memory card readers like the SanDisk ImageMate Pro Multi-Card Reader, you get fast transfer speeds amongst multiple memory cards as well as compatibility with both Windows and Mac devices. This is a great option for anyone who is looking for a powerful card reader that caters to basic every-day use. Whatever your needs are, chances are, one of our top picks is the perfect memory card reader for you.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Camille Sanghera is a freelance writer who loves telling stories through writing. When she is not content writing, you can find her watching movies, playing sports, or writing books. Check out her blog at www.happycoconut.ca.

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