Practical multimedia card readers come in various forms. They vary depending on the number of slots, USB speed, installation method and card format compatibility. While some internal card readers are only suitable for installation on desktop computers, most external card readers install on most computers. Some new laptops without USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports are only compatible with readers that have USB Type-C™ connectors. Newegg stocks a variety of card readers, including USB 3.0, internal, external and CompactFlash™(CF) card readers.
Plugging in an external card reader is the quickest way to connect your card to a computer. Like many other computer accessories, these plug-and-play card readers for computers connect via USB ports. Compared to USB 2.0 readers, USB 3.0 card readers have faster transfer speeds, and they are the preferred choice for many consumers. While card readers with a single SD slot are adequate for most users, buyers with older cameras should look for cards with MMC, CF and XQD slots. But such cards are bulkier than single-slot SD card readers for computers. Look for a multi-slot reader that supports simultaneous file transfer from various slots when transferring data from several memory cards. Wired external card readers are easy to connect to computers with clustered ports, compared to readers without wires.
The wear and tear associated with constant handling of external card readers limits their usage by users who transfer large volumes of data with consistency. Many internal card readers meet the needs for work, school or home use. The readers install in DVD ROM slots or other empty 5.2-inch and 3.5-inch slots on the PC. Most internal card readers designs are for use in desktop computers, although there are some for laptops. Most internal card readers have multiple ports, and it is common to find readers that support SD, MMC, CF, MD, XD, TF and M2 memory cards. Some internal card readers come with other slots, like USB flash drives, ESATA and 3.5mm audio jacks in addition to the card slots. Other advanced features on some readers include support for card-to-card file transfer, and LCDs that show the CPU temperature and fan speed.
On-The-Go (OTG) multimedia card readers allow you to access data on your card from a smartphone or tablet. These readers are similar to external PC card readers, but they have micro USB connectors instead of the usual USB connectors. Similar to external computer memory card readers, OTG readers come in wired and wireless formats. Users who deal with different memory cards should opt for multi-slot cards that support SD, MMC, M2, TF and other formats. Some OTG cards feature USB ports, which can expand the connectivity options of mobile devices.