The product I will review in this article is a Kingston MobileLite G3 Card Reader. Before starting the review, I would like to say a huge thank you to Kingston for sending out this product for me to review.
What Is It
The MobileLite G3 from Kingston is a versatile and inexpensive USB 3.0 card reader taking a variety of card formats including SD/SDHC/SDXC, microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC and Memory Stick Pro Duo. The card reader will deliver very fast data transfer speeds, provided you have a computer with a USB 3.0 port. In the event that you don’t, fortunately, the card reader is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 as well, the speeds just won’t be as fast. The USB connector is also embedded into the card reader, meaning you don’t need to carry an external one with you on your journey. The MobileLite G3 doesn’t require an external power source, a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port on your computer will provide enough juice for the card reader to function. The G3’s dimensions are 62.15mm x 29.40mm x 16.40mm making it very portable indeed. The card reader works with Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista (SP1, SP2), Windows XP (SP3), Mac OS X v. 10.6.x+ and Linux v 2.6.x+
What I liked about this Card Reader
As a content creator I have to manage quite a lot of video footage and sometimes external audio from a microphone like the Zoom H1. Before I received this card reader, I would have to plug the microphone in to my computer, transfer the audio files or put the micro SD card from the microphone into an SD card adapter, put this into my computer and then transfer the files. I would later have to repeat a similar process to get video footage from my SD card on to the computer. Enter the Kingston MobileLite G3.
The G3 has two differently sized slots for cards depending on the type as you can see in the picture. I put the micro SD card from my Zoom H1 microphone into the bottom portion of the G3 and put my full size SD card containing my video footage in the top part and connected the G3 to my computer. Both cards showed up as separate devices on ‘My Computer’ which was great because I could effortlessly transfer, rename and delete files between the cards and to and from the computer. This made my workflow slightly more efficient and I will be using this every time I do video editing requiring footage/audio from two different card sources.
I like the retractable design of the Kingston MobileLite G3 Card Reader. When the card side of the reader is retracted, you’re free to put one or two cards in the slots, you can then expand the reader, just to make sure you don’t pull the card out by accident. This retractable design means that when you don’t want to use the card reader, you have a very compact form factor which is not only very light but could fit into a shirt pocket or with the keyring hole, you could attach this to your keys so that you’re never away from this useful card reader. The USB side is also retractable, meaning when you want to connect the card reader to the computer, you will need to retract this side to expose the USB connector.
While the card reader is in use, a blue LED emits from the top which is a nice touch. My computer currently is a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop and being 5 years old, it doesn’t have a USB 3.0 port. However, I still managed to move 1.6 GB of data in 60 seconds; impressive.
What I didn’t like as much about this Card Reader
I found very little to not like about this card reader in the time I used it. When you think about traditional card readers, you probably picture something somewhat large requiring an external power source. The fact that G3 is neither large nor requires an external power source made it very appealing to me. The only slight gripe I had with it was the retractable portion felt a bit flimsy, even when fully extended. It would have been nice for this to have a more solid feeling but perhaps this was done intentionally to allow the cards to be freely swapped. It also became a bit tight to retract the sides, which sort of makes you feel like the device could give way after a long time and perhaps even break. If I’m really going to be picky then I should mention the packaging. Normally a product reviewer doesn’t talk about the packaging unless it was a bad or really good experience. This one was the former. I had to use scissors to get into the packaging and there were some sharp corners in the plastic, so if you’re buying this for a child, then tell them to be careful or cut it out for them. It would have been nice if there was a tab to open or just an easier way to get into the packaging, maybe Kingston can work on this with the G4, but again this was a small gripe.
Ultimately, the Kingston MobileLite G3 Card Reader is a must buy (It’s only £6.61 on Amazon) if you’re a content creator or anyone that uses a lot of cards for transferring various kinds of footage day to day or even occasionally. I think anyone still purchasing a large card reader with an external power source knowing that the G3 is available is a fool. The G3 is light enough to take with you anywhere you go, it’s great that you can use it with a great range of operating systems and USB 2.0 and 3.0 configurations. The retractable design keeps the device very compact, albeit feeling a bit flimsy and sometimes tight on the sides. The main attraction to this product is the wide variety of card formats it supports, not just the common ones. I really enjoyed using this product and as stated above, I’ll definitely be using it in all of my future video production.
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So what do you guys think of the Kingston MobileLite G3 Card Reader? What card reader, if any, do you use currently? Let us know in the comment section below.