Card reader (it is also called Multi-Slots Card Reader/Writer or Memory Card Reader/Writer) is the device for reading and recording digital data on memory cards of different types.
Card readers can be external (as a separate device connected to USB port) and internal (built-up into a computer or laptop’s system unit). Internal card readers can be found not only in computers and laptops but also in some printers, for example. However, internal card readers have one drawback: they can read memory cards of only a definite size and kind.
If a user needs to connect a card reader to the machine, he/she has to download card reader drivers at first. Without these settings, it will be impossible to work with this device.
External card readers provide access to the documents even if there is no gadget with the help of which they were initially created at hand. A user can work on them anytime and anywhere.
Card readers are characterized by:
Speed of reading/recording;
Compatibility with different USB specifications;
Support of the main memory cards types (such as CompactFlash Type I/II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, IBM Microdrive, SmartMedia, MultiMediaCard, SecureDigital, etc.);
Support of Hot Plug and Hot Swap;
Support of Plug & Play function, etc.
There are such kinds of card readers:
Classic card readers (have 4 slots for memory cards and a LED power indicator).
Card readers with USB hubs.
Card readers with FireWire interface.
Card readers equipped with Bluetooth adapter.
Card readers with the function of mobile phone battery charging via special USB cable.
Internet card readers.
Note that it is necessary to download drivers for card reader no matter what type of card reader is going to be used (or install the native ones).
Not so long ago, there appeared a card reader capable of reading 62 formats of memory cards. Except its main task of reading and recording data on memory cards, devices with USB, Fire Wire and SATA interfaces as well as microphone can be connected to it.
All existing card readers can be divided into:
Special (the ones that are used in ATMs, subway, etc.).
According to the mode of functioning, card readers can be:
Traditional (with electric connection). The speed of data exchange is the highest.
Magnetic (have a magnetic head for reading the stripe on cards).
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