June 1, 2011

Mass Storage Device: USB Flash Disk VS. USB Memory Card Reader (with a Memory Card)

I found two USB devices that can be used as a USB Mass Storage Device for transferring and storing files. A conventional USB Flash Disk and a memory card reader with a memory card attached. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that I experienced after months of use.

USB flash disks are devices that can be plugged on any USB port and can be used to store files and data with capacities ranging from a hundred megabytes to few gigabytes. According to my experiences, advantages are:
*It has faster transfer speed (depending on USB port)
*Generally lasts longer than the memory card setup

The downsides are:
*It is much expensive than the memory card setup (though prices are catching up quickly)
*Can only be used on PCs with USB ports (thus, cannot be used on cameras and mobile phones)

The USB memory card reader is used in the same way as a USB flash disk but needs a memory card attached to it before it can store anything. Advantages are:
*It is cheaper (but prices are catching up quickly)
*Can be used on multiple devices (the memory card can be ejected and used on your camera for example)
*Flexibility (once the memory card is full, you can replace the card with another one and still use the card reader)

*more likely to break (especially if you’re constantly switching memory cards, which causes wear and tear on the card and reader)
*slower transfer speed (according to my experience)

In conclusion, a memory card reader is not a reliable replacement or substitute to USB flash disk. It is still better to use flash disk as a way of storing files.