Kingston MobileLite G3 USB3 SDXC Card Reader

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
September 18, 2012
Manufacturer
Kingston
Product Page
MobileLite G3
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71884
Kingston MobileLite G3 USB3 SDXC Card Reader
The MobileLite G3 is an evolutionary update to the older G2 series. Adding USB3 and SDXC card support, this more than replaces the older unit.

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Page 1
Introduction

With the introduction of USB3 and the new SDXC card format, it is just about time for companies to release new card readers to take advantage of the evolutionary changes in the market. The steady pace of technology continues to push forward and Kingston responds with the MobileLite G3. This new card reader is an upgrade to the »older model with USB3 support and the ability to read SDXC cards while keeping the same design as the G2.

About Kingston

Quote

In 1987, Kingston entered the market with a single product. Founders John Tu and David Sun fulfilled a severe shortage of surface mount memory chips with a memory module that would serve to redefine industry standards for years to come.

Combining one of the most extensive and stringent testing processes in the memory industry, an exceptional free tech support center and a consistent roll-out of innovative technologies, Kingston Technology has continually set industry standards of quality and reliability throughout its history.

Reliability is the cornerstone of the Kingston product strategy. It has played a key role in maintaining the long-term relationships developed over the years with customers. Kingston remains committed to exceeding industry standards with every new development while maintaining the signature reliability of its products.

http://www.kingston.com/us/company


Packaging

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Kingston remains with the white packaging, but this time showcasing the red Kingston dude logo. This is a card reader only, but there will probably be card reader and SDXC card combos in the future.

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The back of the packaging clearly states how to use the product. It is fairly obvious, we hope.
Page 2
Specifications

  • Compliant — with the USB 3.0 specification, SDA 3.01 standard
  • Versatile — multi-functional USB card reader supports SD/SDHC/SDXC, microSD/SDHC/SDXC and MSPD
  • Backwards compatible with USB 2.0
  • Operating System Compatibility Windows® 7, Vista, XP & Mac
  • Requirements — system with USB 3.0 port
  • Portable — easily fits in your pocket
  • Guaranteed — two-year warranty, free technical support
  • Dimensions 2.45" x 1.16" x 0.646" (62.15mm x 29.40mm x 16.40mm)
  • Operating Temperature 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
  • Storage Temperature -4° to 158° F (-20°to 70°C)


Marketing Summary

Quote

Kingston's MobileLite G3 is an essential part of your mobile gear. This compact, multi-functional USB 3.0 card reader lets your easily transfer digital data, photos, games, music and more stored on Flash cards between all kinds of digital devices. MobileLite G3 has retractable covers on each side that make it compact and protect the USB connector and Flash cards from damage. It's ultra-portable and backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

http://www.kingston.com/us/flash/readers


Parts

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The packaging contains nothing except the the MobileLite G3. We had hoped to see a little USB extension cable like the older G2, but it wasn't included. The issue is that the G3 has a very bulky area around the USB plug and it won't be able to fit in tight spaces. Without the extra extension cable, this may present a problem for laptop users and even some desktop users.
Page 3
MobileLite G3

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Looks-wise, the MobileLite G3 takes on the appearance of the supplanted G2 model. The difference is in interface support and color scheme. Since USB3 has moved to a blue color scheme, the G3 fits right at home with the blue color accents. As the physical markup of the unit is identical to the G2, you can »read that review and watch the video for a more intricate look.

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Like the G2, the MobileLite G3 also has the capability to expand and close its ports and card reader areas. This serves two purposes. The first is to protect the USB port and card that has been inserted while in transit (or in use). The second is to make sure that the USB port protection never gets lost like traditional caps that always seem to disappear. The problem of debris getting into the port still remains, however.

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Once a card is inserted (a Kingston SD4/16GB), the end can be closed to protect the card from snapping off in the reader or while in transit. This is such a useful feature, making it so you can have a USB flash drive with removable storage.

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Once the side is locked, the card is protected and you can consider this a normal USB flash drive.

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The MobileLite G3 accepts microSDXC and normal sized cards. It is backwards compatible with USB2 and cards back to the normal SD standard. Buying this reader gives you future proofing since most devices still use SDHC only.

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The MobileLite G3 is the exact same size of the G2 and you can see how it compares to a standard size DVD. It is very portable and doesn't weigh that much, making it a very nice addition to a road warrior's laptop bag.

Use

The MobileLite G3 operates at USB3 speeds as long as the card supports reads and writes that can saturate that bandwidth. We've thrown cards at it (and other readers) and the USB2 bandwidth was more than enough to handle all of those cards. The market will simply have to wait for new SDXC cards to come out in greater force to make use of this new reader. Thankfully, it works just fine with older cards and USB2 ports so you don't need to wait to start using it at any card's full speed right now.

The major issue we have with the MobileLite G3 is that it is still bulky. We had problems putting it into one of the USB ports on a desktop case and laptop users should be aware if they have sunken USB ports in their computers that this may not work. We'd have liked to see an extension cable be included, but it isn't a deal breaker. Just keep it in mind before purchase, or buy your own extension cable.

Conclusion

The MobileLite G3 is about $12 at the time of posting. This is a good price for a product that does what it is advertised. It is a step up for the displaced older model and allows for a good future proofing with the USB3 and SDXC card support. And really, how many people don't use SD cards nowadays? This reader should work for most people and is a very nice addition to the mobile focused crowd. We'll be toting this along to CES next year.

ASE Publishing would like to thank Kingston for making this review possible.
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