The Best USB-C Memory Card Readers

Are you a photographer with a new MacBook Pro? You need a USB-C memory card adapter. I tested five to find the best one.

[Update: I’ve added a link to a new reader, the Verbatim USB-C Pocket Card Reader, which supports UHS-II speeds and costs just $17.]

If you own a MacBook or new MacBook Pro, you’re well acquainted with dongles and adapters. Both machines include just one type of port: USB-C. The old MacBook Pro models included an SD card reader built-in, making it easy for photographers to insert a memory card and import their photos. Now, we need an adapter.

But which one? As you would expect, several models are on the market at a range of prices. To make things more interesting, there isn’t just one type of SD card—performance and capacity depends on what type of card it is.

At Macworld, I look at five models and break down which one(s) to buy. This feature took a surprising amount of time, not just in performing many speed tests and copying gigabytes to my 2016 MacBook Pro, but also in untangling the mess of card speeds and certifications. It was time and effort well spent.

Start here with the roundup that shows the best cards: Best USB-C memory card readers.

Don’t forget to peruse (or open in another browser tab) this helpful explainer about SD card speeds the many codes and markings they have: SD memory cards: The features and specifications to look for.

Next, read the individual device reviews. If you want to purchase any of them and support my work, click the Amazon link in brackets, which kicks a small affiliate fee my way; prices are accurate as of the time I wrote this post. (Or, click the links in the articles, which I believe gives the affiliate fee to Macworld—support your favorite journalism outlets!)

And if you’d like to comment on the article, or ask questions, feel free to do it here or at the Facebook post for the article. (Macworld sensibly removed its commenting system, so Facebook is the place for reader interaction now.)

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

  1. I have a PC with a USB C port.


    1. These should apply equally well to PCs (and I think a few smartphones equipped with USB-C ports, but I don’t know which ones). I tested only on a Mac, since the reviews were for Macworld.


  2. jean pierre (pete) guaron August 1, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Sadly, Lexar has now ceased – my card reader is one of their multi-card 25-in-1 USB 3.0 readers, and it is fantastically useful – I use several different cams, and it covers all my needs. It’s quick, convenient, reliable, cheap, and a great piece of gear.

    The cards it reads are:
    CompactFlash® Type I and Type II UDMA 7, SD™, SDHC™, SDXC™, miniSD™, miniSDHC™, MMC™, MMCplus™, RS-MMC™, microSD™, microSDHC™, Memory Stick™, Memory Stick (with MagicGate™), Memory Stick PRO™, Memory Stick PRO Duo™, Memory Stick Duo (with MagicGate), Memory Stick PRO Duo Mark 2, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo “HX”, Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™), xD-Picture Card™, xD-Picture Card Type-M, xD-Picture Card Type-M+, and xD-Picture Card Type-H.


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