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Best SD and microSD Cards for Chromebooks 2022

Your Chromebook deserves the best microSD card it can get, whether you bought a budget model or the best Chromebook on the market. Chrome's security model treats removable storage differently than storage you can't — and not all Android apps can use SD storage for data — but a microSD card slot means extra storage space for photos, video, documents, or anything else worth keeping. Whether you need microSD — or full-size SD for an older laptop — these are your best bets for dependable, affordable storage for your Chromebook.

These microSD cards ensure your Chromebook has plenty of storage

Futureproof your purchase with the best microSD cards for your Chromebook

As mentioned before, microSD cards fit in a wide array of devices, from the best Chromebooks to Android phones to cameras and more. It's hard to go wrong with the Samsung EVO Select, especially if you can catch it during one of its frequent sales. SanDisk and PNY also make some excellent cards, and the SanDisk Extreme can offer you more storage than even the most expensive Chromebooks come with. By grabbing the best microSD card you can right now, you get an easy-to-use card that can be used in your current Chromebook and probably your next one, too. But worse comes to worst, you could always grab an external hard drive for your Chromebook if needed.

MicroSD card slots are what current Chromebooks mostly ship with, but if you're rocking an older model, there might still be a full-size SD slot on it. If there is, I still recommend getting a microSD card — they almost always come with SD adapters — because they're compatible with a wider array of devices. The one caveat to this is if the user in question is a young child that could lose a microSD card the size of their thumbnail, and in those cases, a full-size SD card like the Kingston Canvas Go! Plus is just what the teacher ordered.

Demystifying SD classifications

Most SD and microSD cards have at least two of these classifications in addition to the straight read/write speeds listed for the card, and they seem to add new ones every 2-3 years. Here's what these strange symbols mean:

  • Video Speed Class — Indicated by a stylized V followed by numbers from 6 to 90, this class is one of the newer classification systems and was developed specifically for shooting ultra-high-definition video. V30 starts at 30MB/s write speed, V60 starts at 60MB/s write speed, and V90 starts at 90MB/s. Your Chromebook won't be shooting 4K video, but it's a nice indicator of speed compared to UHS.
  • UHS Speed Class — Indicated by a 1, 2, or 3 inside a U, this class is still used on most cards today. U1 starts at 10MB/s write speed, U3 starts at 30MB/s write speed, and either one should be okay for a Chromebook.
  • Speed Class — Indicated by a number inside a C, this was the original classification system for SD cards. Class 10 (10MB/s write speed) was as high as this class went, so it's not as helpful an indicator of power/quality these days since almost every card is Class 10.
  • Application Performance Class — Indicated by a stylized A followed by 1 or 2, this class is supposed to be a measure signifying that a card is optimized for storing and running Android apps. You won't need to worry about this one on a Chromebook as you cannot currently install apps to the SD card on a Chromebook.

These specs focus on write speed, which tends to lower the two rates on an SD card. If you see a card with a "transfer" speed of 100MB/s but only a U3 class, the chances are that card has a read speed of 100MB/s and a write speed of 30MB/s.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.