While many modern laptops and desktops come with a built-in SD card reader, not all of them do. Some are also limited to specific cards, which then require an adapter that is easily lost or misplaced.
There is no shortage of SD card readers available on the market, ranging from compact portable models to fast, versatile desktop devices. There is something for everyone out there.
Therefore, we decided to look for the best SD card reader currently on the market, so let’s go through and find the perfect SD Card Reader for you…
- 1 Top 6 Best SD Card Reader In 2021 Review
- 2 Best SD Card Reader Buying Guide
- 3 Are You Looking For Something Else?
- 4 What Is The Best SD Card Reader?
Top 6 Best SD Card Reader In 2021 Review
1 SmartQ C307 – Best Compact SD Card Reader
This nifty compact device called the SmartQ C307 looks just like a USB thumb drive. Well, technically, you could still use it as a storage device, only there’s no internal storage. Instead, there are two slots for inserting an SD card.
Compatible with SD, micro-SD, SDXC, SDHC, MMC, micro-SDXC, micro-SDHC, and UHS-I, it is certainly versatile. That covers nearly all the major storage types used by most cameras, tablets, and smartphones.
Fast data transfer…
To ensure data is transferred as fast as possible between the reader and your PC, SmartQ uses the latest USB 3.0 technology. It is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 in case your PC doesn’t have the latest ports.
Up to a 512 GB SD card can be inserted into the reader, with both slots capable of reading and writing simultaneously. That means you can even transfer data between cards using the SmartQ card reader.
Easy to use…
There is no need to install any drivers or download any software from a website. As a result, this is one of the best plug and play SD card readers available. Once you plug it into a USB port on your PC, it will recognize the reader instantly.
The SmartQ reader will work with almost any operating system too. That includes Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome. Stick this device in your pocket or bag to have access to card data almost instantly. Therefore, it’s also one of the most compatible SD card readers on the market.
- Compact design fits in your pocket or bag easily.
- Read and write to both slots simultaneously.
- Compatible with most operating systems.
- Small size can easily be misplaced.
- Limited to 512GB SD cards.
2 UNI – Best Portable SD Card Reader
This reader from UNI is very similar to our previous product and also looks very much like a USB thumb drive. It has a high build quality using aluminum for the body with two separate slots for an SD card on the left and a micro-SD card at the rear.
The UNI reader can read UHS-II cards at the same speeds as UHS-I cards, along with all SD and micro-SD card formats. These include SD, SDXC, SDHC, micro-SD, micro-SDXC, and micro-SDHC.
Simultaneous read and write…
Both slots can read and write simultaneously using the latest USB 3.0 technology. A data transfer speed of up to 5Gbps means that large photo and video files can be transferred in only seconds.
UNI’s card reader can accept SD cards with a capacity of up to 2TB, making it compatible with most high-end devices. Easily access data stored on SD cards used in different types of cameras, drones, tablets, smartphones, and more. If you want one of the best large storage SD card readers, this is a good bet.
This card reader works with a huge range of operating systems and major devices. Compatible with Windows 7/8/10, macOS, Linux, and ChromeOS, you can be confident of plugging in this reader almost anywhere when needed.
Making it even easier to access your data stored on SD cards is the plug and play feature. The PC will recognize the reader almost instantly when plugged into an available USB port without the need for any drivers.
- Solid aluminum construction and design.
- Compatible with SD cards up to 2TB.
- Plug and play with no drivers needed.
- No case or end cap for protecting the USB terminal.
- Sideload might not be convenient.
3 Anker 2-in-1 – Most Reliable SD Card Reader
Next up in our Best SD Card Reader reviews, Anker is fast becoming one of the most popular tech accessory brands in the USA. That is because they offer high-quality devices that perform correctly for an affordable price. And this SD card reader has all those qualities.
Appearing like a slightly overweight USB thumb drive, the Anker SD 2-in-1 SD card reader has a solid feel to it. It is shorter than our previous two products, only slightly longer than the width of an SD card when plugged in, but is also wider.
Latest USB 3.0 technology…
By including the latest USB 3.0 technology, it’s possible to reach data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps. Don’t worry if your PC doesn’t have a USB 3.0 port, as it is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1. Therefore, it’s one of the best old computer SD card readers currently available.
No external power source is required, as the minimal amount of power required is supplied via the USB port. Once plugged in, you can simultaneously read and write to both slots at the same time.
Windows and Mac compatible…
This SD card reader is plug and play compatible with Windows Vista/7/8/10 and MacOS X 10.2 and above. That means that your PC will recognize the card reader without the need for any downloads or file installation. In addition to old computers, it’s also one of the best laptop SD card readers out there.
All variations of SD and micro-SD cards, along with UHS-I cards, are supported with dual slots. Variations include SD, SDXC, SDHC, micro-SD, micro-SDXC, and micro-SDHC, which covers most major devices.
- Trusted reliability of Anker accessories.
- USB 3.0 and backward compatible with 2.0 and 1.1.
- Plug and play ease of use.
- Not compatible with Linux or Chrome OS.
- Sideload slots can be inconvenien
4 Unitek – Best USB-C SD Card Reader
All the products we have shown you so far are great for using alongside a laptop and are incredibly compact. Not that the Unitek card reader is huge, it only measures 2.44 x 2.24 x 0.59 inches (6.2 x 5.7 x 1.5 centimeters).
What you receive with the slightly larger size is an additional slot that can accommodate CF cards. You still also retain the two SD card slots for SD, SDXC, SDHC, micro-SD, micro-SDXC, and micro-SDHC.
Latest connectivity technology…
While USB 3.0 is the latest in USB-A technology, the Unitek card reader takes advantage of the even newer USB-C. This is the same port as Thunderbolt 3 but is different from Thunderbolt 1 and 2.
While your PC will require an available USB-C port to plug the device into, there are some advantages. USB-C offers higher power output and super-fast data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps.
Compatible with PCs, smartphones, and tablets…
There is a large range of devices the Unitek card reader is compatible with. It works with PCs running Windows 8 and above and Macs running iOS 10.1 and above. You can also connect directly to Android smartphones and tablets running 6.0 and higher.
Because the card reader is plug and play, there is no need for any software to be installed. Simply plug it into the USB-C port, and your device will recognize it almost immediately, ready to read and write data.
- 3-in-1 card reader including SD, micro-SD, and CF.
- Latest USB-C connectivity.
- Compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
- Your PC or Android device might not have a USB-C port.
- Can interfere with Macbook WiFi signal.
5 WARRKY – Best 7 in 1 SD Card Reader
For an all-in-one solution that can read and write almost any card, plus provide a USB hub, look no further than the WARRKY. You can simultaneously read or write to four cards at once while having three USB devices connected at the same time.
The device connects to your PC using a 2.5-foot braided USB cable for extra strength and tangle-free storage. Each of the ports and slots can support a card or drive with up to 2TB of storage space.
Four card slots are capable of reading a wide range of media cards. These include SD, SDXC, SDHC, micro-SD, micro-SDXC, micro-SDHC, UHS-I, CF, and Sony MS. There are also three USB 3.0 ports available for use with various devices.
Plugging the WARRKY into your PC uses USB 3.0 for super-fast data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps. This also provides power for the device with no external source needed. For older PCs, there is backward compatibility with both USB 2.0 and USB 1.1.
And there’s still more…
Preparing the device for use could not be easier. There is no software or files that need installing or downloading before use. Simply plug the device into an available USB port on your PC, and it will recognize it almost instantly.
This device will work with almost all major operating systems. This includes Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, iOS, Linux, and ChromeOS. For one of the most versatile SD card readers around, pack a WARRKY in your bag.
- A 7-in-1 device with four card slots and three USB 3.0 ports.
- Super-fast data transfer using USB 3.0.
- Plug and play compatibility with most major operating systems.
- The larger size makes it less convenient to transport.
- USB cable is high quality but too short.
6 Apple Lightning – Best iOS SD Card Reader
We’re sure that if you own an iPad, then you’ve experienced compatibility issues. Although many devices claim to be compatible with Apple products, they always seem to have something not quite right.
While Apple accessories tend to be more expensive, what you receive is an item that works correctly every time. Well, that is exactly what you get with the authentic Apple Lightning to SD Card Reader.
Transfer from camera to iPad…
This SD card reader will connect directly to your iPad through the Lightning port. After inserting an SD card into the reader, your iPad will automatically open the Photos App and organize your pictures into Moments, Collections, and Years.
It’s now incredibly easy to transfer photos and videos from your DSLR, GoPro, drone, or even security camera straight to your iPad. You can then view them on the beautiful display and easily share them with friends and family.
High transfer speeds…
Using the Lightning port to connect the card reader achieves data transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps. The same as USB 3.0 for iPad Pro. All other iPad models will offer USB 2.0 transfer speeds of 480Mbps.
Supported file types for photos include both JPEG and RAW. Video files in both SD and HD, including H.264 and MPEG-4, are also compatible. Make sure that the device you are recording images to is set to one of these file types.
- Apple renowned performance and reliability.
- Automatically launches Photos App and organizes files.
- USB 3.0 speeds when used with iPad Pro.
- Limited to use only with iPads.
- The camera must support one of the Apple file types.
Best SD Card Reader Buying Guide
There is an SD card reader for almost every purpose. Ranging from convenient compact devices to all-in-one card reading solutions. Plus, we can’t forget the authentic Apple device.
Now that you know what’s available, it’s time to narrow it down to which of these great products will best suit your needs. In this buying guide, we will identify the key differences you should be aware of before purchasing.
What Operating System Are You Running?
While all of these devices apart from the Apple Lightning will work with both Windows and iOS, you might not use either. Chromebooks are becoming more popular, and many people also run Linux. The Unitek will even work with Android phones and tablets.
For those running either ChromeOS or Linux, then your choices will be limited. Pick either the SmartQ C307, UNI, or WARRKY. Both the SmartQ C307 and UNI are compact, while the WARRKY offers an all-in-one solution.
Which Kinds Of Cards Do You Have?
Having one of these devices that can easily attach to your keyring is certainly convenient. You may want something with a bit more versatility, though. Being larger also means additional functions.
The Unitek offers an additional slot that adds CF cards to both the SD and micro-SD cards being readable. If you go for the WARRKY, you gain an additional slot for Sony MS cards, along with three USB 3.0 ports.
You should, by now, have a better understanding of what’s available, but also what each device is capable of. If you still can’t decide, then keep reading because up next, we reveal our choice of the best reader for SD cards and why. But before that…
Are You Looking For Something Else?
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Also, how about our comprehensive Best Chromebooks for Artists Review, our Best Drawing Tablets Review, our Best Standalone Tablets for Graphic Designers and Artists Review, our Best CPU For Gaming Reviews, and our Best Mouse For AutoCAD And 3D Modelling review for more awesome items currently on the market.
What Is The Best SD Card Reader?
It’s now time for us to choose. To help us make the decision, we have considered the following. The product must be well-built, offer useful features, and most importantly, perform to a high standard.
Our choice is the…UNI
With its aluminum body, this device is built to last. It’s also compatible with most PC operating systems and will fit in your pocket. Data transfer for both read and write is rapid and reliable using the latest USB 3.0.
Until next time, may data always remain secure.