Saturday, June 23, 2012

SDHC Reader … Pretec P240 is inexpensive and incredibly fast …

I have wanted a USB 3 card reader for at least a year now. I had been on Ron Galbraith’s extensive test site at that time (and before that and again recently) looking at card speeds and reader speeds and the difference from a few years ago is really astounding.

Well, Ron shows 4 or even more USB 3 readers now and they are all very fast. The Pretec P240 is one of the better ones and comes in a tiny, portable format that makes it very versatile. But in looking around the web, most of these readers are not available in Canada, or if they are the cost is high. Close to 60 bucks for the Sandisk, for example.

I had always wanted the Lexar dual slot, which matches the USB 2 version I have. It got great speed improvements with USB 3. But the Pretec beats it with several cards, so I decided that Lexar would not win this one.

Anyway, I was pretty frustrated by the limited availability in Canada and then I remembered eBay. And sure enough, there was a seller in Hong Kong that had it for under 20 bucks, shipped. Now, that’s the kind of deal where you just hold your nose and pray that something comes in the mail.

And I was caught by surprise today when that very reader arrived in the mail. That is only 11 days after ordering it!

You can see here how small it is.

My test was simple. I dropped a bunch of files onto two cards – the 200x Duracell and the 45Mbps Sandisk Extreme Pro, which features UHS-1.

The Duracell test had only 11 seconds of reading on the old Lexar USB 2 reader, and 10 seconds on the new Pretec. That seemed to be not very promising. So I copied a lot more files on the Sandisk and repeated the test.

The Lexar reader took 38 seconds. The Pretec only 15. That’s a whisker under 40% of the time. Now that’s more like it!

So, if you are looking to get a new reader, you could do a whole lot worse than this reader, and the price is so good that the small amount of risk you take when ordering from Hong Kong is easily compensated.

The seller’s name I chose is Kjcollection, and he has 23,635 feedbacks at 99.6% … this is an excellent rating and I would trust a seller like that implicitly, which is exactly what I did …