SmartQ C368 Review
Choosing a good memory card reader can be a difficult task. Especially since there are so many different ones out there and for some reason the biggest memory card companies don’t really have their own devices. And when they do, they are generally hard to come by or always sold out. Which is why these 3rd party readers are so popular. Such as the SmartQ C368 for example. Not only is it very well priced but it is also compatible with 4 different card types. And it has received a lot of both positive and some mixed reviews as well. So here are my thoughts about it.
- Dimensions: 71×42×15 mm / 2.8×1.7×0.6″
- Speed rating: UHS-I
- Slots: SD, Micro SD, MemoryStick, CF
- Connection: USB 3.0
These 3rd party companies do a very good job at making great looking devices. And the SmartQ C368 is no exception. It’s a very sleek looking memory card reader with a glossy black plastic as the case and a rectangular shape. And it’s attached to a cable with a USB 3.0 connector at the end. The cable length is kind alright as long as you use it with a laptop. It’s pretty much the perfect length for that. But if you are planning to use with a PC, then the cable will be far too short. Depending of course where the USB ports are.
The C368 is also a bit bigger than some of the other memory card readers you may have seen. That’s because it has 4 different memory card slots, 3 on the one side and one on the opposite side. So that includes slots for SD and MicroSD memory cards, MemoyStick (MS) and CompactFlash (CF). CF and MS are pretty rare nowadays but there are still some people who need to use them. So having a separate port for SD and MicroSD cards is pretty useful as you don’t need to use a separate adapter.
In terms of build quality, the SmartQ C368 is definitely not the most high end device. Which is already obvious from the price. They have used pretty cheap plastic that kind of feels flimsy. You can tell from the lack of weight when you hold the device. The slots and the USB connector worked well though. I didn’t experience any issues with them.
In terms of performance, the C368 is really nothing special. As in you plug it into the USB port on your computer and you can immediately start using it. It doesn’t require for you to install and drivers or programs. And yes, you can use it on Linux, Windows, Mac and Chrome. It’s even possible to use it with a phone as well as long as you have an adapter cable for it.
Like I mentioned before, the reader has 4 slots for different memory cards. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you can use all of them at the same time. The C368 only supports one card at a time. There is also the C368 Pro model that is pretty much the same but that version also allows you to use two at the same time.
In terms of speed, SmartQ has written the maximum USB 3.0 transfer specs for the data transfer speed of the device. Which isn’t exactly correct. This memory card reader is rated for UHS-I cards, which means that the maximum read and write speed you can expect to get is 104 MB/s. That’s if your memory card supports that of course. You can also use faster UHS-II cards with it as well but the speed will still be capped at 104 MB/s. Which is still more than good enough for the average person.
The SmartQ C368 is a decent memory card reader for the average person. It supports different types of cards so you never have to worry about not having a compatible reader. Plus it’s small enough so that you can store it anywhere. I don’t see the speed as an issue either. Clearly this reader hasn’t been designed for professionals anyways so it’s not a problem. The quality of the device can be questionable. There’s been a lot of reviews where people have had problems with the ports. I had no problems with my device though. So based on my experience, I don’t have any complaints.