Best USB-C Card Readers for Mac iMore 2021
USB-C is becoming the new standard connector and Apple is jumping on board in a big way. All the Mac laptops (both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) only have Thunderbolt 3 (aka USB-C) ports, and that has left a lot of people scrambling for dongles, including card readers. The best USB-C card readers for Mac will let you connect your SD cards, microSD, and in some cases, even Compact Flash card to your Mac, so you can transfer files and photos with ease. While a USB-C card reader won't necessarily give you all the options that the best USB-C hubs for Mac can, they are typically less expensive. Whether you just bought a new Apple product that only supports USB-C or you're doing a little future-proofing, here's a list of the best USB-C card readers for Mac.
- Compact and affordable: Cable Matters USB 3.1 type-C dual slot card reader
- Great for photographers: IOGEAR USB-C 3-Slot card reader
- Super fast read speed: SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II
- An entire hub: Satechi Multi-port adapter
- Portable versatility: Twelve South StayGo
With no need to install any drivers, and a handy LED indicator light, the Cable Matters USB 3.1 type-C dual-slot card reader is as simple and straightforward as it gets. Due to the lack of Compact Flash slot, the Cable Matters USB 3.1 type-C dual-slot card reader is smaller than other readers, making it even easier to carry around!
Just like the name suggests, the IOGEAR USB-C 3-slot card reader can accommodate three different types of cards; SD, microSD, and Compact Flash. No drivers, updates, or software need to be installed to use the IOGEAR USB-C 3-slot card reader, making it easy to use with all your devices at will.
If you are constantly transferring big files and need fast read and write speeds, the SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II can achieve 500MB/s data transfer speeds. The downside is this reader only supports SD cards or microSD cards that have an SD card adapter.
Satechi's multi-port adapter doesn't support high-speed data transfer or dual-4K displays. But it does have just about everything else you'd need to run your peripherals with your MacBook Pro. Things like SD and microSD card readers, 4K HDMI, Gigabit, and three USB-A ports.
All-in-one solutions are more versatile
When it comes to getting the most out of a single USB-C port on your Mac, you're going to want as many connections as possible and that's what the best USB-C card readers for Mac will do for you. As long as your USB-C ports aren't dead, you can plug the best USB-C card readers into any port USB-C on your Mac and enjoy the benefits.
Our top pick is the Cable Matters USB 3.1 type-C dual-slot card reader. It has both an SD and microSD card slot, so you don't need to fool around with microSD card adapters, and it's very affordable. It really is the best buy for most people.
If you're a photographer and you have cameras that use Compact Flash cards, you're probably going to want IOGEAR USB-C 3-Slot card reader to ensure you can get all your photos regardless of what camera you use.
Lastly, if speed is of the utmost importance to you and you don't mind having to use a micro SD card adapter, the SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II is the faster card reader around!
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