Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader and Linux

📅 March 29, 2018
Do you need a small, portable device to read SD and MicroSD cards that is also compatible with Linux?

The Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader is turning out to be a handy device to have on hand. It supports SD and MicroSD cards, dual mounting with one device, plugs into USB ports up to 3.0 for faster data transfers, and best of all, it is compatible with Linux.

The Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader

Packaging is very simple. A box, the reader, and some paper.

The contents.

 

(Not shown to scale. Smaller in real life.)

Only SD and MicroSD cards are supported. There is one slot for each on the side of the device.

 

“Can I insert two cards at once?”

Yes. If a MicroSD and SD card is present, the reader will treat them as two separate drives and Linux will detect and mount them. This means you can work with two cards using one USB card reader. You can even transfer data between the SD and the MicroSD card using this reader.

Linux Compatibility

Yes, this is 100% compatible with Linux out of the box. (Tested using Linux Mint 18.3.) Simply plug it into a free USB port (backwards compatible with 2.0 and lower). No driver installation was necessary.

“How Fast is the Reader?”

Using USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 ports (there was no speed increase with USB 3.1 Gen 2 since the device is limited to USB 3.0/USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds), the Anker was tested using the Disks benchmark in Linux Mint 18.3. Compared with the previous Plugable USB Card Reader (another speedy USB 3.0 card reader). The Samsung EVO+ 256G MicroSD was the test card used for both tests in both readers. Here are the results:

Anker Card Reader with Samsung EVO+ 256G MicroSD 100x100M Test

100x100M Test. Results as expected from the card. ~95MB/s read and ~26MB/s write.

Plugable Card Reader with Samsung EVO+ 256G MicroSD 100×100 Test

100x100M Test. Results are practically the same as the Anker. Good.

Conclusion

After using the Anker card reader for over a month, it has proven to be a fast, reliable reader for Linux. Never had an issue, never a problem, nary a corrupted transfer, nor a suddenly forced unmount. Its small size makes it easy to tuck away in a bag, and the only apparent speed limitations are those of the SD or MicroSD being used.

This has turned out to be a good, inexpensive purchase, so if you need a spare USB card reader for your travels, then this is worth taking a look.

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