In terms of performance in our real world tests using a variety of flash cards from different manufacturers, both readers produced some impressive results. For example, when tested with a 1GB SanDisk Ultra II, the 8-in-1 reader managed to squeeze out a read performance of just over 8MB/sec. However, the read performance of the single slot CompactFlash reader was slightly better at 10MB/sec. Similarly, the single slot reader also proved to be quicker when writing to the same CompactFlash card, just topping 8MB/sec in comparison to the 8-in-1’s 6.3MB/sec.
As for the 8-in-1’s SD slot performance, I measured a read/write speed of approximately 7MB/sec using a 512MB Kingston Elite Pro, but as reflected in the graphs, the type of SD card is likely to have a bearing on the transfer speeds.
Of course, the speed of the memory card you use will affect the performance of the readers, but each reader is capable of producing impressive results. Both designs are certainly worthy of consideration, depending of course on your particular requirements. If you’re happy with just a CompactFlash card reader then the £11.90 ImageMate CompactFlash USB2.0 Reader/Writer is both competitively priced and fast. On the other hand, if you own more than one type of memory card then the ImageMate 8-in-1 USB2.0 Card Reader/Writer is also a good performer with the added bonus of a functional design. For said reasons, both are recommended.