As we touched on earlier in our review of the SanDisk ImageMate, card readers have taken on many shapes, sizes and form factors. For those of you that want something for your desktop PC, there is no shortage of units available with internal USB 3.0 headers. For those of you that want something with a touch of portability, we have devices such as the ImageMate and of course, the unit we have today, the Transcend RDF8 USB 3.0 card reader.
Transcend has been an innovator and global leader in flash memory technology since their humble beginnings, so it comes as no surprise that their latest take on the portable card reader would make use of all modern memory card form factors. Included in this we have SD, microSD, Compact Flash and Memory Stick. With the purchase of this card reader, Transcend offers a free copy of their exclusive RecoverRX software. The RDF8 carries a two year warranty.
Included in the scope of delivery, we found a 2ft USB 3.0 cable and of course the reader itself.
On the front of the reader we have slots for microSD, Secure Digital and Compact Flash.
The backside of the RDF8 includes the USB 3.0 connection and Memory Stick slot.
For a quick size comparison, I laid each card reader out in our photo booth. Here we can see the Vantec internal reader being the largest, with the SanDisk and Transcend having the option of portability.
For testing card readers, I utilize memory cards from SanDisk's Extreme line-up. These cards utilize the latest technology for their respective format.
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In testing the Compact Flash capabilities of the RDF8, we found the reader to do quite well. Random read results had the RDF8 out in front of both of our previous readers, while remaining results were tight between the ImageMate and RDF8.
Secure Digital testing had all three of our readers fighting for position in random write. After this, we found the Transcend RDF8 slightly quicker in sequential write.
MicroSD testing had the RDF8 slightly quicker in all read testing, while write testing had all three readers linear.
The Transcend RDF8, with its rather small form factor, doubles as both a desktop unit as well as offering the ultimate in portability while travelling. Even with its small footprint and use of plastics, the RDF8 feels quite durable.
Performance of the RDF8 was exceptional, in all testing we found it slightly quicker or on par with competing products. The USB 3.0 interface allows full speed transfer of your video and photos, and support of UHS-I and UDMA7 memory cards insures the RDF8 will be compatible with successive generations of memory cards for years to come.
At the time of writing, I was able to find the Transcend RDF8 for an amazing low price of $15.99 at Amazon, and at that price it's really hard to go wrong with this product.