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Supercharge Your Transferring Speed With the Best Memory Card Readers

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Supercharge Your Transferring Speed With the Best Memory Card Readers

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A Buyer’s Guide to Finding a Memory Card Reader

Long gone are the days when every laptop came with a built-in memory card reader. On the road to slimming down their devices, brands have started to ditch this handy slot. And even if the reader is retained, the transfer speeds are so dismally slow that they could give Internet Explorer a run for its money. This becomes a problem for content creators who extensively use memory cards because of the vast compatibility and reading speeds they provide. This is where a stand-alone memory card reader comes into place. Simply put, these devices hold the power to read your flash memory cards and transfer the data in them to any device at breakneck speeds. With the online marketplace being so vast, we’ve curated a list of the leading memory card readers of 2023.

The vast online marketplace for memory card readers can overwhelm the best of us. This buyer’s guide is intended to verse you on the do’s and don’ts of the expansive marketplace.

Things to Consider When Buying a New Memory Card Reader

Hardware interface

In the simplest of words, your card reader’s hardware interface will specify the plugs, cables, and sockets that will allow you to connect this peripheral with the device of your choice. Here, you’ll find options like USB, micro USB, and thunderbolt plugs. What you should be on the lookout for are flashcard readers whose hardware interface matches the ports on your laptop or mobile phone. This will ensure you don’t need an additional dongle to hook the memory card reader to your gadget. 

Media type

Next, you should consider the type of media formats your new flash reader supports. From SD cards to memory sticks, the options here are limitless. Just make sure your new peripheral supports the type of media formats you normally use. The complete list of supported formats will be given in the product description.

How We Selected the Best Memory Card Readers

Ease of use

Accessing the data on your memory card should be a simple process. On the downside, some readers complicate things by requiring additional third-party software to read or write the data on your card. 

Transfer speeds

The entire purpose of investing in a memory card reader is to benefit from the supersonic transfer speeds it provides. A peripheral with slow read speeds would really kill this purpose, now, wouldn’t it?

How Much Is a Memory Card Reader? 

Despite the plethora of benefits memory card readers provide, they aren’t priced that high. In fact, you can get a good quality one for as low as $7. On the downside, premium models will cost you a bit more.You can expect to pay up to $25 for a high-end peripheral. Such devices will usually be manufactured by a big brand and will have some sort of warranty package. They’ll also boast a more comprehensive hardware interface and offer perks like multi-card reads.  

Other Buying Tips


The portability and ease of storage of your new memory card reading peripheral will be determined by its size and weight. What you should be looking for is something compact and lightweight enough to take on the road. Just make sure its lighter weight doesn’t compromise its durability or the quality of the device itself. 

Light indicators

We also recommend you opt for a memory card reader with some sort of a light indicator. These indicators will inform you when the device is correctly connected and the data transfer has successfully started.

01 SmartQ Memory Card Reader

Boasting a super-fast transfer speed of up to 5 Gbps per second, this memory card reader from SmartQ does a lot of things better than its peers. With its four-slot design allowing you to access and edit four different cards at the same time it also boasts amazing media flexibility. From SD cards to Compact Flash, this bad boy can handle them all like a champ. 

Customers particularly appreciate just how easy it is to use this device. In addition to not requiring any additional software, its amazing face value makes it perfect for students and those who are on a tight budget.


  • Design is compact
  • Simple to use


  • The build could be better
SmartQ Memory Card Reader

02 COCOCKA Memory Card Reader

This super functional memory card reader by Cococka boasts three plug variations of USB 2.0, micro USB, and USB C. Resulting in ample flexibility, you’ll get a product that can make short work of reading through a variety of formats. You can also expect faster downloads and shares than ever before with transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps.

One great thing about this reader is it is designed for almost all operating systems, including Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, Vista, XP, Android, and MAC OS 10.4.6. On top of this, its operation doesn’t require any additional software.


  • Universally compatible with different formats
  • Doesn’t require Wi-Fi connectivity


  • The cap doesn't stay on
COCOCKA Memory Card Reader

03 UGREEN Memory Card Reader

The UGREEN card reader offers great functionality at a low price, making it a steal deal for those with a limited budget. It is widely compatible with most formats and operating systems, and it can accommodate four card slots (SD, TF, CF, and MS). It also allows you to read four memory cards at once.

This memory card reader features a USB 3.0 architecture, allowing you to transfer your media and files at up to 5.0 Gbps. While the built-in wire might prove irritating for some, it has a compact and portable design.


  • Supports four memory cards simultaneously
  • A speedy USB 3.0 transmission port
  • Works with most operating systems
  • Offers great value for your money


  • Comes with a built-in wire
UGREEN Memory Card Reader

04 UNI Memory Card Reader

This SD card reader is suitable for various cards, including MMC, SD, and micro SD. Adding to its easy operation, it has dual interfaces (USB 3.0 and USB C) which let you share data with other devices at a fast 5 Gbps. Thanks to the USB 1.1 and 2.0 interfaces, you can also read and write two cards simultaneously and ultimately deter the hassle of plugging and unplugging. 


  • Great transfer speed
  • Multi-card support simultaneously
  • Supports all popular operating systems


  • Card reader doesn’t work at times
UNI Memory Card Reader

05 Anker Memory Card Reader

Anker’s memory card reader hosts a variety of formats including SD, micro SD, mini SD, and MMC. It can read and write two cards simultaneously for added convenience, and its broad compatibility with different operating systems makes it perfect for those who intend on using their memory card reader for multiple devices.

This reader is manufactured from premium-quality plastics and chips for superior durability. Its USB 3.0 interface provides amazing speeds of up to 5 Gbps, and there is a built-in LED display here as well to indicate the transfer in progress. Coupled with its meager weight, it’s also extremely travel-friendly and perfect for those on the go!


  • LED light to verify the active status
  • Dual card slots for convenience
  • Compact and portable


  • Only supports a Type-A connector
Anker Memory Card Reader

People Also Asked

What is a memory card reader used for?

As its name suggests, a memory card reader allows you to read the data on your memory flash drive by connecting the peripheral to a computing device. The best ones on the market also offer you the option to write this data without the need for any third-party software.

Why do I need a memory card reader?

A memory card reader has become a necessity as many modern laptops do not come with an in-built flash card reader anymore. Even if your laptop boasts this slot, chances are the transfer speeds will be too low. A good-quality memory card reader will solve this problem by allowing you to read and write data at super-fast speeds, and ultimately at a more budget-friendly price. 

How do you use a memory card reader?

Simply insert your memory card into the reader. Afterwards, just insert this peripheral into your computing device and follow the instructions on the screen to access the data on the drive.

How can I tell if my memory card reader needs replacement?

Evident signs that your memory card reader needs replacement is a lacking or absent connection. Other signs are an evident build up of dirt or grime within the SD card itself that doesn’t go away even after cleaning. While it may be tempting to extend the use your SD card in these cases, it’s recommended to replace them to ensure you don’t run into future technical problems.

Alex Baum

Jun 6, 2022

37 Articles Published

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