Whether your profession is photography or you happen to be just a point-and-shoot user, reading your SD cards can be difficult since not all computers come with a card reader.

A quick internet search for “computer card readers” reveals some odd looking readers, readers that are strange colors, large in size, or need to be installed directly into the computer.

Being a flash storage manufacturer, Kingston knows the insides and out of how these devices work and who better to make a device that can read them as well. Compact in size and made to read all types of SD cards, the Kingston High-Speed Media Card Reader can meet your expectations.

Welcome to my review of the Kingston High-Speed Media Card reader. Throughout this review, I will be discussing the following topics: the design, performance and my final thoughts. I would like to thank Kingston for providing me with this device.

The Design

Beginning with the body of the Kingston media card reader, we find that Kingston opted for a plastic housing that measures at 3.67 x 2.074 x 0.629 inches (93.3mm x 52.68mm x 16mm) so that it can be easily placed upon a desk or below a monitor.

Considering most of the internals of this product is empty space for the media cards to be inserted, the plastic housing is surprisingly resistant to flexing or any type of bending. The top of the unit is coated with a brushed aluminum vinyl that is offset with the all-white body and also found on the top is the red illuminated Kingston logo that either stays solid when a card is connected or blinks when the drive is in use.

On the face of the unit are your media card slots for SDHC/SDXC, MicroSDHC/MicroSDXC, CF, and MS/DUO media cards. Flip the unit 180 degrees and you will find the center positioned, USB 3.0 connector that both transfers data and power. It should be noted that this port can also accept USB 2.0 cables if need be.

With the design of the Kingston media card reader being minimalistic, it meets nearly all the expectations of a desk mounted card reader as inserting memory cards is easy and the cards do not interfere with one another. The only complaint I have with the design is, it would have been nice for Kingston to add rubber pads on the bottom of the unit to prevent it from sliding about on a desk.


Right away, I connected the new card reader to my Windows 8.1 64bit computer and within a few moments Windows began installing generic plug-and-play drivers for the card reader. I also ensured to connect the unit to a USB 3.0 port on the rear of my Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z97 motherboard.

For testing purposes, I used a Kingston 32GB Class 10 UHS-I SDHC SD card . Labeled both on the SD card and Kingston website, this card has a 30MB/s read speed and the results of my testing may surprise you. To benchmark the device, I used ATTO Disk Benchmark which wrote up to 8GB of hypothetical data to the SD card to put it under stress.

Straight away, we begin to see fast read speeds, with writing speeds maxing out quickly. When transferring 128MB, the SD card hits the maximum read speed of ~45MB/s, 15MB/s more than Kingston says the card will do. At that same point, we see a maximum write speed of ~12MB/s.

Next, I used a Kingston UHS-I U3 MicroSD card, an SD card that is at the top of its class. Identical results appeared with the card maxing out at 1GB of data for both the read and write speeds.

In terms of using the media reader for everyday usage, I found it to be pleasing and stress-free. When I used the unit for the first time, I did experience a slight hiccup with Windows Explorer crashing when inserting my SD card; however, a CHKDSK on the SD card solved the issue.

My Final Thoughts

Backed by a two-year warranty and the reassurance that SD cards are sticking around, Kingston offers a reasonable media reader for any user. Its compact size allows it to be carried with you, especially if you are a traveling photographer. Priced at $21.45 on the Kingston website (Amazon offers this unit in black), this is a media card reader that will last the life of SD cards.

Buy it Now:

© 2015 Justin Vendette