For a long time, I have been postponing this purchase. Mostly because having the card mounted inside a device was the sufficient way of transferring the files back and forth between (insert a random card device here) and the PC. With the arrival of my 1st, Raspberry Pi things have changed. I needed something specialised. Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader is going to be put to my unprofessional but highly practical tests.
Small, but capable
My previously purchased 40in1, 5’25 caddy reader for a £15 from Maplin turned out to be an absolute waste of money. The listing failed to mention no SDHC support or extremely short cable which was not able to reach my motherboard. I needed something that works, it’s fast and easy to use.
There isn’t exactly much to talk about here. Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader has a USB end on one side as you would expect and two slots for SD and miniSD type cards on one side. It is a fairly small device, with a little thickness to it.
Somehow I would prefer the cards to load from the opposite sides, as this would make ejecting microSD cards easier. It is a very small issue, though. If I want to be really picky, a solution to get the Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader attached to a key ring or something would be really helpful. Not that I run around with a USB reader everywhere. Some might…
Let’s get practical! The device supports SD and miniSD cards, therefore I have loaded the reader with such cards and started small tests with my famous 1.03GB zip file.
Please bear in mind that transfer speed will depend on the USB type used, and a class of the cards inserted into the reader!
Sending some files back and forth rendered very constant results. This means I finally found a solution to my reader issues. I seem I had more luck with SD cards than with previous readers.
Sending the test file to the SD card took 21 seconds, and the speed was rock solid 41Mbps. This is obviously thanks to the card and Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader. Transfer to the miniSD was slower, but also consistent 32Mbps. Upon upgrading to a quicker card, I was able to get speeds in excess of 90Mbps.
OK, so how about transferring the files to both cards at the same time? Anker claims it supports it, and it was one of the factors that made me commit to this purchase.
I’m actually slightly surprised with the result! USB3.0 is hardly a bottleneck here and I think this is where the performance could improve. I’m glad to have this option, this way I don’t have to wait for the transfer to be complete to start playing with another card, but with these speeds and smaller files, it would be quicker to queue jobs up and wait!
So what will happen if we copy the file from one card to another? And does the order matter?
Something tells me that my Class 10 mini SD card might not be as great quality, as the carefully chosen SD card for my camera.
Overall the Amazon reviews look inviting, but let’s take a look at what people are moaning about this time before I share my thoughts on it.
Now that’s a bit scary. I never felt my card getting hot, even during the simultaneous transfers. It sounds like a soldering fault. This was addressed by ANKER, kudos, to them but this is a rather scary fault to have.
Trust the Engineer? This one apparently has a Class 10 UHS-1 card which is not as fast as advertised! Min speed for this class is 10Mbps, and testing the reader using USB extension lead to see if it will read faster, is a rather poor methodology for an engineer.
There are also a few reviews that claim the card stopped working after a few times. It could sound like a quality control issue, which in extreme circumstances could cause the overheat. I have dealt with the ANKER before I was happy with the customer support given.
I’m very pleased with my Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader. It works as intended, no overheat detected, and I never had any issues with it even when constantly abusing my cards by ejecting it without unmounting it from the system. Judging from a high volume of positive feedback, you can risk buying one. Test it with few big files to see if your card reader works correctly and check the temperature. You would have to be very unlucky to get a faulty one.