By June 28, 2011

MicroSD USB Reader Review

I’ve been a gadget geek for as long as I remember. I have a few “hardware boxes” in the basement with various batteries, cords, AC adapters, crazy hardware interface X to USB adapters, and an entire ZipLoc baggy filled with different memory cards. I have one mobile phone data migration kit with eight adapters.

The standardization of charging cords and memory cards is one of the best things to have happened to gadgets in recent years. Almost all mobile devices are charged with microUSB adapters and use microSD cards for storage. Most digital cameras now use SD or SDHC form factor cards.

If you’re tricky, you can get by storing and transferring your mobile media on one card format using one storage card form factor and two adapters.

Most MicroSD cards come with an SD card adapter. Your home computer may or may not have a built-in SD card reader. One of the laptops in the house has a built-in SD card reader, the other two do not. My work laptop doesn’t have an SD card reader, either. My friend has a “multimedia” desktop with a built-in SD card reader, none of our four desktop PCs in the house have one. Your mileage may vary.

One thing all of those computers have are USB slots. I have a few multi-format card readers like the i-Rocks IR-5400, but who wants to lug something like that around all of the time? I started looking for easily transportable MicroSD card readers.

I was given a very small MicroSD to USB adapter by a friend who works at Sandisk.

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It is great, and I wanted more of them. The problem was that they were pretty expensive, especially when I first got mine two years ago. They were about $10 – $15 online. Seemed a lot for a small piece of kit.

They are now as low as $3 on Amazon.com, and if you have Prime they are eligible for free second day air shipping.

I team mine up with 4GB or 2GB MicroSD cards I have lying around. These days you can get a speedy Class 6 8GB card for about $15, also with free shipping from Amazon Prime. Class 10 cards are available, and you can readily find 16GB cards for less than what I paid for an 8GB card a year ago.

If you can be patient, online merchant Meritline has the generic version of the reader for just $0.89 including shipping.

I have both the Sandisk “name brand” reader and the knock-off / generic, and they work equally well. I’ve used the readers on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and MacOS machines, and none of them have required special drivers.

The readers and the cards are cheap enough that I have one in my work bag at all times. It makes it super easy to transfer files from mobile devices like my HTC Incredible or the 808 cameras I tried to use as motorcycle helmet cameras. With an oft-included SD card adapter, I can take pictures with my Canon Rebel XSI or Canon PowerShot and then transfer the pictures via the USB adapter.

If you have any MicroSD or SD card devices in your house, consider consolidating using a MicroSD to SD card adapter for your devices and a MicroSD to USB adapter for transferring files. You’ll have a single set of memory cards and an easy way to move files around.

Strongly recommended

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