Card Reader Review

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Reasons You Need a Card Reader

Its two days after your best friend's birthday party, and you're ready to download those 150 photos from your camera to your computer – ready for editing and emailing. You're anticipating the great captions and the opportunity to relive the festivities, but first you've got to find that pesky cord that connects your camera to the computer. Fast forward an hour, and you decide you'd like to import your contacts from your phone to another device. Again, you've got to find the cord that came with your phone. Two weeks later and you're looking to transfer some new songs onto your MP3 player's additional memory card. Yet again, you've got to locate a specific cord. The next day when you're ready to load up some new eBooks on your eReader's external memory? Same story. Wouldn't it be great if there were just one cord, one gadget, one tool that could connect to your computer once and then manage all those different memory cards each time you needed it? If you've got a multitude of electronic devices, you'll love having one card reader to use whenever you want to access any type of memory card.

We've gathered together some of the best selling and most comprehensive products in this review. You'll find reviews of thirteen different models so you can compare the best memory card readers, like the Moshi Cardette Ultra which is designed to support all existing card type;, the Lexar LRW024 which can read over 24 different memory cards plus has a unique pop-up design; and Sony's MRW62E/S1 which stands out because it reads a variety of mini and micro cards. You'll also find articles about card reader topics here, as well.

Card Readers: What to Look for

The first and most basic criteria are the memory card types it can accommodate. You'll also want to pay attention to the unique features of each model. And finally, notice the quantity and quality of the available help and technical support. These are the elements we've noted in making USB card reader comparisons. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™

Memory Card Formats
The best card reader for you will be the one that reads your memory cards. The device loses its usefulness if it won't accommodate all your various cards and you still have to go hunting for separate USB cables. Pay close attention to the specifications to make sure it will be compatible with the memory card formats you use. Keep an eye to the future, as well. Unless you plan on never changing and updating your electronic gadgets, your memory card reader needs are likely to change. Even if you don't own a CompactFlash memory card or a microSDHC card now, it's very possible you'll appreciate that compatibility in the future.

Features
Some are quite small and portable, others are designed to be stationary and to look snazzy on your desk top. The warranty terms and conditions all vary, some products include bonus software, and some work with more unique operating systems like Linux.

Help & Support
When choosing a card reader, make sure you pay attention to the available technical support. All the bells and whistles in the world are useless if there's no one to help you if something goes wrong. Most USB card reader manufacturers offer at least email and phone support. Some also boast a chat feature so you can instant message with a member of their support team. You might also find FAQs and troubleshooting information on their website.

With the right card reader, you'll be able to easily and painlessly upload or transfer data from the memory card of any of your electronic devices. No more hunting for the camera cord, MP3 player cord. Just one USB cord connecting just one device to your computer, and all your data transferring is a snap.

 
 
Electronics » Other Electronics » Card Reader Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Moshi Cardette Ultra Silver Lexar LRW024 Sony MRW62E/S1 IOGEAR GFR281 Mirrorbox CR GWC RU2C60 Kingston FCR-HS219/1 ImageMate SDDR-189 ImageMate SDDR-199 Aluratek AUCR204
Moshi Cardette Ultra Silver Lexar LRW024 Sony MRW62E/S1 IOGEAR GFR281 Mirrorbox CR GWC RU2C60 Kingston FCR-HS219/1 ImageMate SDDR-189 ImageMate SDDR-199 Aluratek AUCR204
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Lowest Price
Visit Moshi Cardette Ultra Silver
$49.99
Visit Lexar LRW024
$49.99
Visit Sony MRW62E/S1
$29.99
Visit IOGEAR GFR281
$19.95
Visit Mirrorbox CR MIR-521
$15.54
Visit GWC RU2C60 Hi-Speed Card Reader/Writer
$15.08
Visit Kingston FCR-HS219/1
$22.00
Visit ImageMate SDDR-189
$24.79
Visit ImageMate SDDR-199
$21.99
Visit Aluratek AUCR204
$19.99
Ratings
9.13
8.70
8.50
8.45
8.40
8.38
8.00
7.95
7.88
7.13
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
8.75
10.00
8.75
8.13
8.75
9.38
9.50
8.13
7.50
8.92
8.75
7.50
7.88
8.75
8.75
8.75
7.50
8.75
8.13
8.38
7.50
8.13
6.88
8.75
7.50
6.88
9.38
9.38
7.50
3.75
 
Memory Card Formats*
Secure Digital (SD)
Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)
CompactFlash (CF)
 
Memory Stick (MS)
MultiMediaCard (MMC)
Extreme Digital (xD)
    
Microdrive
 
 
  
SmartMedia (SM)
 
 
   
Olympus DC
  
      
Features
Length (inches) 4.3 3.9 3.75 4 3.5 3.75 3.61 7.5 6.2 4
Width (inches) 2.4 2.5 2 2.3 2 2 2.71 2.5 4.5 2
Height (inches) 0.65 1 0.625 0.625 0.5 0.6 0.79 0.5 1.8 0.625
Weight (ounces) 2.75 2.4 2 4 1.5 2 2.5 6.1 4.8 1.8
Number of Card Slots 3 5 4 6 4 4 5 4 1 4
Warranty Length (years) 2 1 1 3 1 1 2 2 2 1
USB Cable Included
Plug-and-Play
LED Indicator
 
Help & Support
Email Support
FAQs
 
 
 
Phone Support  
 
Live Chat Support  
 
   
Operating Systems
Windows 7
 
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Mac OS X
*Card readers may not support all card types within a given format. See product reviews and specifications for details on the exact memory cards each reader supports.