Since many desktops and laptops don’t have media readers, external digital media readers for your desktop or laptop are perfect if you need it at home or even on the road. Flash media readers allow Flash storage devices to be used as portable storage for computers as well as for uploading or downloading of pictures, music, and other data without requiring the original host device (such as a digital camera or MP3 player), and without any additional drain on its batteries. Over the past five years Kingston has introduced three hi-speed Flash memory readers to the market. Today, we will be comparing performance on the three Kingston media readers when using the Kingston 8GB Compact Flash Ultimate 266x card to see how things have changed when it comes to read and write performance.
The original Kingston 6-in-1 media reader was released in 2002 and supported just six formats and had a USB cable that could not be removed from the reader housing. Then in 2005, Kingston updated the original USB 1.1 compliant 6-in-1 reader with a USB 2.0 based 15-in-1 reader that we reviewed here. The Kingston 15-in-1 reader featured a Mini-USB interface, so the USB cable could now be removed to make packing it for a trip much easier. Just this month Kingston introduced their third media reader – the Kingston USB 2.0 Hi-Speed 19-in-1 Reader. The 19-in-1 reader eliminates the need to carry cables as the reader has a compact USB cable that is ideal for use with a notebook. As you can see over the years Kingston has been improving the functionality of their reader, but what about performance? Kingston does not rate the read and write speeds of their media readers due to the wide variety of speed grades that flash memory comes at. Let’s take a closer look at the features on the 19-in-1 reader and then take a look at performance.
The 19 media card formats that the Kingston media reader supportsmed include: CompactFlash Type I and II, SD, SDHC, miniSD, miniSDHC, microSD, microSDHC, MMC, MMCmobile (DV RS-MMC), MMCplus, MMCmicro, RS-MMC, Microdrive, Memory Stick Micro (M2), Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and finally Memory Stick PRO Duo. If you look closely at the image above you can see the slots that the 19 different cards insert into.