As you probably know, Chromebooks don’t really come with much in terms of storage.
That’s why many owners resort to buying some sort of external storage to supplement the onboard storage.
And that’s also probably why you’re reading this guide- to buy the best SD card for your Chromebook.
That’s enough for intros. Let’s get started with the reviews. Shall we?
Last updated: 1/9/22. This page has been updated for accurate information. Found something inaccurate or have a question? Leave a comment and let me know!
The 3 absolute best SD cards for Chromebooks in 2020
I’m going to take a wild guess and say you probably have 16GB of space to save your stuff.
If you have more, congrats. You’re in the minority. Because most models come with just 16 gigs of storage, which really isn’t a lot. But even then, you probably need more space.
We can solve your problem simply by getting more storage (in this case, SD cards).
Here are three cards which are some of the best on the market. This list is based on dozens of reviews around the ‘net, and my personal input as well.
SD cards are nice because you can them for very fast file transfers. If you plan to get Ubuntu or run Steam games, you may want to save the games to an SD card and then run them directly from there.
With a lot of people working form home, saving your extra docs or spreadsheets onto some speedy SD cards is a reliable way to not take up those precious gigs on your Chromebook. Just be sure to make backups of your backups.
People wonder why they should use these cards over external hard drives (EHDs). It’s because of read/write speeds. SD cards are solid state, meaning they don’t have moving parts. Unlike traditional storage with a needle and platter, the time for your computer to “read” information or “write” information is reduced.
You can grab info from your storage much quicker. Or you can “save” something the same way. You know know you bring media into your computer and you get that dialog popup showing the ETA? With solid state drives, it’s many times speedier. That’s why you should prefer SD or flash drives over EHDs.
This is beneficial for people who rely on external storage due to the Chromebook’s infamous low storage space.
For all other purposes, SD cards are compatible with Chrome OS and offer a fast, portable, and reliable way to save your files.
Best SD Card #1: Lexar Professional 633x 64GB (2 Pack) w/ Image Rescue 5
This is probably the most basic and “works out-of-the-box” SD card you can get.
Lexar is a leader in the world of printers, cameras, and external storage. The Lexar Professional SD card is a high-speed card with blazing speeds advertised to reach 95MB/s (read) and 20MB/s (transfer).
If you’re not familiar with these terms, it basically means it’s a very fast card. You can access your files in a jiffy, and also transfer stuff to and from your laptop quickly.
I save a lot of images for my projects (and this site), and I find that it improves my workflow simply by speeding up large file transfers. Sometimes I take a lot of videos and photos with my phone and I need to transfer them to my Chromebook.
It works on most modern cameras and camcorders, so you can take it outdoors if you’re an adventurer. You can snap pics and record videos and then transfer them to your laptop in a pinch. This card is reliable, but not as much as the other two on this list.
I’d say the Lexar Professional is better left at home for backup purposes. Read the other cards to see why.
The transfer process is already tedious enough (plug phone into the computer, connect to iTunes, save to SD card, plug card into Chromebook, transfer into Chromebook), but this saves a lot of time because I’m not waiting on the transfers.
It’s a Class 10 card packed with the ability to save full-HD, 3D, and 4K images and videos. Note that most Chromebooks don’t have enough pixels to even show full 3D or 4K media. That only means this card is way ahead of Chromebooks (which is a good thing).
You also get Image Rescue software which gives you the ability to retrieve lost and corrupted images and videos.
Personally, I don’t use this kind of preloaded software on any type of hardware (external hard drives, thumb drives, etc.). But it’s nice to have as an added bonus for those who need it. Apparently, it works pretty well.
If you just want a reliable, fast, and one of the best SD cards for your Chromebook, check out the Lexar Professional series.
They come in a variety of capacities (16GB, 32GB, 64B, 128GB, 512GB) and in double packs as well. I suggest buying the largest capacity you can afford because you get bulk pricing. The more you buy, the cheaper the price per GB.
Also, consider getting a double pack if you’re paranoid about your images, videos, and media. You can save them on both cards for redundancy in case one goes corrupt.
This is one of the most reliable cards and is perfect for professionals who need to constantly move their presentations, files, or data around. Very useful if you need to switch between multiple workstations.
Check out the Lexar Professional Class 10 SD card on Amazon.
Best SD Card #2: SanDisk 128GB Ultra Class 10 SDHC Memory Card
If you’ve done the tiniest lick of research about memory cards, you’ll have read about SanDisk.
They’re probably the world leader in thumb drives and portable memory. It’s what they do. It’s all they do.
The SanDisk Ultra is an affordable and extremely reliable SD card. It’s actually shockproof, resistant to temperature, waterproof, and even x-ray proof. You can bring this card with you wherever you go and it’ll handle your journeys without any sweat. It’s a tough card.
If you’re an adventurer, this is your best bet. Take it with you in your camera and snap your pics and videos. Take them back and plug this baby into your Chromebook and chug away. This is one of the most durable SD cards on the market. If you want reliability, check the SanDisk out.
As for performance, it’s right behind the Lexar. It has read speeds up to 80MB/s, which is already super fast. It’s about 10MB/s behind the Lexar, but it’s barely noticeable. With the added reliability of this card, it makes up for it.
I think this card is good for those who want a cheap SD card that’s compatible with Chromebooks. It’s affordable and gets the job done.
Like the Lexar Professional, this card can store full HD images and videos and fits in all compact mid-range cameras and camcorders.
It’s geared towards those who adventure. It’s also compatible with SDHC and SDXC digital devices. It has a super fast speed so you can take pictures and videos quickly. It’s ideal for point-and-shoot cameras.
The SanDisk Ultra is affordable and extremely reliable. It’s an excellent choice for your Chromebook. It comes in 16, 32, 64, and 128GB selections.
Store all your personal or business matters onto this card. Grab them in a flash. With people working from home nowadays, some extra storage space helps without the drag of read/write times slowing you down. Pair it with your Chromebook’s SSD and you’re set.
Best SD Card #3: Samsung 128GB PRO Select SDXC Memory Card
This card tied with the Lexar for the fastest SD card. It features up to 95MB/s read speeds and 90MB/s write speeds.
This means ultra-fast file loading and transferring. I personally use this card for my phone and Chromebook.
It works for a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, cameras, drones, desktops, laptops, and of course, your Chromebook. Having the ability to use SD cards in multiple devices gives you the ability to swap it out for whatever the reason and the ability to transfer files.
It comes in Micro SD form factor with an adapter so you get that multiplatform ability. You can literally use this in any modern device to save or transfer files to.
The Samsung PRO Select is also durable and reliable just like the SanDisk Ultra. It’s waterproof, resistant to heat or cold, magnetic-proof, and x-ray proof. You can use this thing anywhere you go and it won’t get damaged by the environment. It’s awesome. I’ve gotten it dirty a few times on the bike trail and washed it off with no problem.
It’s capable of saving 4K video and pictures as well as 3D media just like the others on this list.
As for the performance, I found that it reaches just below the advertised 95MB/s. I’ve gotten it up to 90MB/s transferring large files. I’m pretty sure that the variation can be due to a bottleneck somewhere. Either way, it’s fast enough for me (and I’m impatient). It’s right around Lexar’s speeds, give or take a few MB for read. The write speed is much faster by a whole magnitude.
I mainly got this due to the durability and adapter. I wanted something that would work across all my stuff should I need it to. That way, I don’t have to buy an adapter or another card format. The durability came in handy on the trails. And the large capacity is what I need for 4K video from my phone.
It comes in 32, 64, and 128GB variations. All three variations come with the SD adapter.
The 128GB is the best for the price. You save a ton of price/GB as of this writing. Plus, getting more space means you don’t have to upgrade later on to another card because you’re out of space. Isn’t that why you’re reading this buyer’s guide in the first place? Because you need more storage?
I found this card to be the best out of the all the SD cards I’ve used. If I had to pick one to suggest, I’d go with the Samsung because it’s reliable and works across all devices.
However, it really depends on what you do. You need to make that decision and choose accordingly.
Check out the Samsung PRO Select on Amazon.
What about external hard drives? Or thumb drives?
Those are alternatives that you can use to save your stuff.
They all have their pros and cons. If you want the cheapest solution per GB, external hard drives are the way to go. You can get them in both traditional HDD and the newer SSD formats.
If you want something portable like an SD card, but with more compatibility (since most devices have USB ports rather than SD/MiniSD ports), you may want to check out thumb drives as well.
SD cards fit somewhere between external hard drives and thumb drives on the spectrum of external storage for pricing. It’s not the most expensive, but it’s not the cheapest too. With a Chromebook, you can only really use these three different types, assuming you don’t want to use something like Google Drive.
Did you find yours?
And…that’s about it.
These 3 cards are the best SD cards for Chromebooks that I’ve come across. You can check out all the reviews about them by clicking their links and reading them over. Check out the reviews. Do some comparison. Do whatever you need to do to snag the best one for your purposes.
All in all, if you want something basic and reliable that you’ll just use for backup, I’d suggest the Lexar Professional.
If you want something cheap and affordable that you’ll carry around, go for the SanDisk Ultra instead.
If you want something that’s premium, reliable, and works across all your devices, go for the Samsung PRO Select.
Got any other awesome memory cards? Let me know in the comments and I’ll check them out.
Thanks for reading.