A memory card is a flat storage device that augments the memory capacity of electronic devices. Also known as a Secure Digital (SD) card. They can be used in digital cameras, cell phones and a host of other devices that manipulate digital data and have a memory card port. They can also be used to make data conveniently mobile or to prevent data loss by acting as a back-up or storage. Choosing the right one for you is a balance between your needs, the intended use, and financial capability. Memory cards have evolved over the years, getting smaller in physical size and larger regarding memory capacity and speed. They are now found in nearly all electronic data devices, acting as main or additional memory.
Lower end users can opt for an SD standard card with up to 4GB memory. This can handle most basic data and application needs for everyday use. Mid-level users can go for a Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) standard card with 4GB to 32GB memory. This can handle relatively larger data and more demanding applications. Higher end users can go for the Secure Digital Xtended Capacity (SDXC) card with 32GB to 2TB memory. The 2TB upper limit is somewhat theoretical as some memory in all the cards is dedicated to internal running software. The SDXC card is large scale and usually acquired by those with a niche need for it. It is also not currently compatible with most devices.
Memory cards also come with different operating speeds that are grouped into classes. The classes are 2, 4, 6 and 10 with two being the slowest and ten being the fastest. The speed should also be tailored to your needs as it affects the speed of transfer of data and utility. There are also classes 1 and 3, Ultra High-Speed classes that are specifically for niche professionals. Those with no class specification might have been manufactured before the advent of speed classification so watch out! The class can be found printed on the memory card.
They also come in different physical sizes. The largest being the standard SD card, mid-size the miniSD card and the smallest being the microSD card. Older generation devices have a standard SD card port while most modern devices are compatible with the microSD. So depending on your device, this is a factor to consider. You can buy an adapter to fit in any SD card size to your devices’ port, but be sure to check compatibility. Physical size also affects internal memory size, standard SD cards were the earliest generation and generally have less storage capacity than the more recent microSD cards.
Both size and speed affect the cost price of memory cards. According to your budget, these factors may be limiting with the larger and faster cards being more expensive than the slower and smaller ones. All these considerations are vital when selecting the right memory card for you.