Lexar Professional Workflow Card Reader and Drive Hub Review

Introduction


There are many ways to get your data from memory cards to your system, server, or other memory cards, but it is far from all of these ways that are equally great. One of the best solutions for this comes from Lexar in the form of their Professional series Workflow card readers, portable SSDs, and storage drive hubs. Lexar provided me with a full set of these readers and a drive hub for reviews and today I’ll be showing you what they can do.

We’ve previously already reviewed the very affordable and compact Workflow DD512 portable USB 3.0 SSD and that is just one of the many options you have in this series. No matter what memory card type you use, you’ll find a reader for it and best of all, you can easily hook them up by simply plugging them into the drive hub.

Let us first talk a little about the drive hub itself, The Lexar Professional Workflow HR1. This is a four-bay drive hub that connects through a single USB 3.0 cable and comes with an external power supply to make sure that you got the optimal performance to all four readers at the same time.

While an external power supply can a little annoying, it is necessary to ensure a proper power supply to all four connected devices. The included AC adapter isn’t large and it won’t be a power hog either with its 20W maximum power consumption.

There is a second model available that also features a Thunderbolt 2 connection that will be particularly useful for Mac OS users on their iOS based systems. Whether you’re a pro photographer or videographer or an adventure seeker using a sports camcorder or aerial camera, it’s easy to create your custom workflow setup.

Thunderbolt 2 technology gives photographers and videographers the power to quickly transfer 4K video and other large media files at up to twice the speed of Thunderbolt and up to four times the speed of USB 3.0 devices. With a hub, you can easily copy and move files from one memory card to another, or back them up on a portable SSD that fits right into the hub next the card readers.

There are quite a few card readers available, among them the Workflow UR1 three-slot microSDHC/microSDXC UHS-II reader, the Workflow SR2 SDHC/SDXC UHS-II  reader, the Workflow CFR1 CompactFlash reader, and the Workflow CR1 CFast 2.0 card reader that I’ll be stocking my drive hub with today. All card readers are available with USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 to match your needs and drive hub.

The modular design allows you to easily swap card readers and storage drives depending on your needs, without the hassle of extra cables for each drive and the at times difficult connection access. Do you need four SD card readers at the same time? No problem. Do you need up to 12 micro SD cards at the same time? That’s no problem either. As you see, the choices are many and they are yours.

Feature Highlights:

  • Transfers images and video from multiple memory cards at once
  • Hubs leverage Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3.0 technologies for high-speed transfer of RAW images, high-res photos, and HD, 3D, and 4K video
  • Readers support today’s latest card formats—SDHC/SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II, CompactFlash UDMA 7, XQD
    2.0, CFast and CFast 2.0 (Thunderbolt or USB 3.0), and microSDHC/microSDXC UHS-I and UHS-II
  • Innovative, modular design
  • Use the card readers with a hub or on the go
  • Two-year limited warranty on hub and readers

Kingston Adds 512GB Capacity to its UHS-I SD Cards

If you are one of those people who likes to take lots and lots of photos and never emptying the memory card before taking even more, then you should take a look at Kingston’s latest SD card that sports up to 512GB capacity now. This is could also be a perfect card for those who take a lot of ultra-high resolution photos, 4K or 3D video, or just wants to carry a lot of files in a compact form factor.

The new 512GB capacity card is added to the line of Class 10 UHS-I SDHC/SDXC cards and it can provide a read performance of up to 90MB/s and a write performance of up to 45MB/s. These speeds might not sound like much when we’re used to SSD speeds, but it is enough to support continuous shooting with burst modes and reduce stutter in videos. In addition to the new large 512GB capacity, the cards also are available as 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities. Those who wish more performance than that have to take a look at Kingston’s U3 series that offers up to 80MB/s write speeds, but only come as 256GB cards.

The new memory cards haven’t arrived at the shops I checked while writing this, but they can be pre-ordered for around 250 Euro. That is about €0.49 per GB, and while it isn’t cheap, it is a fair price for such a card.

Kingston Released new 128GB and 256GB SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 SD Cards

Kingston Digital just upgraded their range of high-speed SD cards with two new and larger capacities. The Kingston SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 Flash Card is now available in 128GB and 256GB on top of the previous available 16GB, 32GB, and 64Gb models.

If you’re into 4K photography, 3D video, or high fps video and photo recording, then this card might be just the right one for you. That goes equally if you just want a speedy memory card. The Kingston SDHC/SDXC card can read with up to 90MB/s and write with up to 80MB/s thanks to the UHS-I speed class 3 (U3).

Kingston SDHC/SDXC UHS-I U3 Flash Card Features & Specifications:

  • Versatile: Class 10 performance when used in a non-UHS-I capable device
  • Compliant: with the SD Card Association specification
  • Secure: built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss
  • Compatible: with SDHC & SDXC host devices; SDXC cards are not compatible with SDHC-enabled devices/readers
  • File format: FAT32 (SDHC 16GB, 32GB); exFAT (SDXC 64GB, 128GB, 256GB)
  • Capacities1: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB
  • Dimensions: 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm
  • Operating Temperatures: -25°C to 85°C
  • Storage Temperatures: -40°C to 85°C
  • Voltage: 3.3V
  • Performance2: up to 90MB/s read and 80MB/s write, UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3)

Kingston is backing these memory cards with a lifetime warranty and free technical support and they won’t even cost as much as you think. The 256GB model can currently be pre-ordered starting from 105 Euro for the 256GB model.

SanDisk Retail Products at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – We had to stop by the SanDisk booth and check out their storage drives, and we were not disappointed. They brought along pretty much their entire portfolio of current and new products.

In the Retail section the had anything from the tiny UltraFit USB 3.0 over the iXpand USB 23.0 drive to the Ultra Dual USB drive with both micro and normal USB plug.

Memory cards are used everywhere from cameras to smartphones and a lot in between. Sandisk has quite a few different models on display, both microSD and full-sized SD cards.

SanDisk’s SSDs were also among the retail products, that includes the Ultra II in mSATA and 2.5-inch form factor, SSD Plus, and the awesome Extreme PRO that you might remember from our review.

SanDisk also has Wireless storage in their portfolio, for example the Connect Wireless Flash Drive and Wireless Media Drive.

Patriot Releases EP Pro microSDHC/SDXC 4K Capable Card

We see more and more devices each day capable of dealing with 4K resolution. More pixels means more storage and more bandwidth is needed and Patriot is ready with a new memory card for just this.

The new Patriot EP Pro microSDXC is a Class 10, UHS-I U3 card capable of a performance up to 95MB/s while reading and 80MB/s while writing.

This is plenty of speed for 4K video recording and thereby also HD and UHD resolutions, but it is equally great for continuous and burst image capturing with your high-end cameras. Action junkies tend to love to record their daring activities and the Patriot EP Pro is just as suited for use in Action-Cameras as it is in smartphones and tablets.

The EP Pro will be available in both 32GB (SDHC) and 64GB (SDXC) capacities so you don’t have to miss a moment and can capture new ones in the blink of an eye and store within seconds due to the EP Pro’s record response time. Users can also share their images and videos without delay by transferring stored data to their desktop, tablet or 4K TV and experience the record write speeds of the EP Pro microSDXC.

The new EP Pro microSDXC card should become available in July of 2015. Sadly no word on pricing yet besides the mentioning of ‘affordable’.

Inateck HB3001G OTG 3-Port USB Hub and Card Reader Review

Introduction


Modern smart devices can perform all sort of things and we’ve reached a time where the term smart might actually apply, that is at least until we get to the issue of connectivity. And this is where the On-The-Go (OTG) feature comes into play, it allows us to expand the connectivity to our Android and other OTG devices by turning the micro USB connector into a USB host adapter. We’ve recently tested some flash drives that support this feature, but OTG is so much more.

Inateck have taken a serious look at what smart device users could lack on features and created the HB3001G All in one Card reader and 3-port USB hub for smart devices. While the packaging highlights Samsung S4, S5, Note 3, Note 4, Tab 4 and Tab S devices, this hub will work fine with any OTG enabled device. One of the great features that USB has, the plug and play nature, makes this a possibility.

You could run into the trouble that your internal SD card slot simply can’t read the card size you have available, so plugging it directly into the smart device isn’t an option. The Inateck card reader doesn’t have this issue and should load any capacity card you can provide or that is supported by the operating system. It supports SD(HC), MS, TF and M2 memory cards just as good as any ordinary USB storage.

Many people aren’t aware that Android has native support for mouse and keyboard input, and as such you can just connect your normal mouse and keyboard and use your smart device as an all-in-one computer instead. Any true plug and play device should work like a charm, but getting printers or similar things to work isn’t a thing you should count on, although it is possible.

When you connect USB devices to your tablet or smartphone, you’ll use the battery to power these devices. There is also a natural limitation on how much power your device can provide for the hub and that is why Inateck also added a power connection that can be connected to any USB port or charger to supply those additional power requirements without putting extra drain on your devices battery.

Kingston Released UHS-I microSD For 4K and HD Video Capture

Kingston released a new microSDXC card for users who either just want that extra speed from their compact storage or actually need it for fluent 4K video recording. The new SDCA3 card can read with up to 90MB/s and write with up to 80MB/s and can be had bundled with an SD card adapter or without.

The new cards aren’t just fast, they’re also very rugged and can withstand submersion in 1 meter deep water for up to 30 minutes, offer MIL-STD-883H military standard shock resistance, X-ray protection from both sides, and can withstand temperatures up to 85°C.

“The growing adoption of high-performance cameras and Android-based mobile devices has prompted Kingston to provide fast microSD cards to maximize device performance,” said Valentina Vitolo, Flash Business Manager. “We are confident that our new 90-80MB/s microSD card is built for extreme conditions and users will be able to capture all the memories they want on the card.”

Specifications

  • UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3) with up to 90MB/s read and 80MB/s write
  • Waterproof, Shockproof, X-ray proof, and temperature proof
  • Compatible with microSDHC-SDXC host devices; not compatible with standard microSD-enabled devices/readers; microSDXC cards are not compatible with microSDHC-enabled devices/readers
  • SD adapter for full-size SDHC/SDXC uses in DSL-R or DSL-M cameras, 4K camcorders, and other devices
  • Lifetime warranty with free technical support
  • Capacities5: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
  • Card Dimensions: 11 x 15 x 1 mm
  • SD Adapter Dimensions: 24 x 32 x 2.1 mm
  • Operating Temperature: -25°C to 85°C
  • Storage Temperature: -40°C to 85°C
  • Voltage: 3.3V

Thanks to Kingston for providing us with this information

Lexar Has Introduced Us to the World’s Fastest SD Card

Lexar has the determination to bring their customers the best and fastest storage options, and as such they have just released the worlds fastest SD card; the Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II card. To complete their portfolio, Lexar also introduced two other SD UHS-II products; the Professional 1000X SDHC/SDXC UHS-II card as well as a new Professional Workflow SR2 card reader that supports the high-speeds that these cards can perform.

“UHS-II technology really raises the bar in terms of performance. The latest UHS-II additions to our Lexar Professional product portfolio provide users the ability to capture and offload work even faster, so they can get back to what’s important–capturing great images and video,” said Adam Kaufman, director of card product marketing, Lexar. “Our multi-line UHS-II product offering gets performance into the hands of any user at a great value and with the Professional 2000x card, it comes right out of the box.”

This is a card that you have to stop a moment at and just say “wow”. The Lexar Professional 2000x has no problem impressing anyone with its transfer speeds of up to 300 MB/s while reading up to 260MB/s while writing. That is very close to SSD speeds, and on a very tiny form factor. These cards will allow the user to capture 4K and 3D video with more frames than meets the eye, and of course anything below as well. Each Professional 2000x card comes with an included USB card reader that supports these speeds. The Professional 2000x card will be available in 32 GB and 64 GB capacity.

The little brother; the Professional 1000X, is aimed at photographers and videographers who want great performance at a more affordable price. While they aren’t as fast as the 2000x series, they still impress with speeds up to 150MB/s when reading and 95MB/s when writing. You’ll also get more size options on these cards, ranging from 16 GB all the way up to 256 GB.

To really complete the new UHS-II product portfolio, the Lexar Professional Workflow line has expanded to include the Professional Workflow SR2 reader; a SD UHS-II USB 3.0 reader. Other card readers available include Thunderbolt 2 connectivity and hub modes for multiple cards. So there is something to fit the many specific, but still different needs of as many customers as possible.

Of course, both of these cards are backwards compatible with older cameras and readers, where they’ll either perform at UHS-I or Class 10 speed depending on their connection. The cards also include the latest version of the Image Rescue software and come with a limited lifetime warranty.

All three new products will be available in Q4 with MSRP’s on the Lexar Professional 2000x of £135.99 (64GB) and £77.99 (32GB). The Lexar Professional 1000x card has MSRP’s of £400.99 (256GB), £128.99 (128GB), £71.99 (64GB), £40.99 (32GB), and £23.99 (16GB), while the Lexar Professional Workflow SR2 reader has an MRSP of £22.99.

Thank you Lexar for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Lexar

ADATA Premier Pro 32GB UHS-1 microSDHC Memory Card Review

Introduction


In today’s connected world, storage is a fundamental part of our day-to-day activities in one way or another. With a rapidly increasing number of smartphones coming on to the market, having enough storage to hand for all of your photos and music [for example] is one of the key decisions that comes into play when it comes picking the right phone for you. Whilst there are many phones out there that offer large storage capacities out of the box, such as iPhones and a number of Android phones, there are also a large number that do not. To fight back the problem of not having a great deal of storage space, a number of handsets offer up a microSD card slot, allowing the user to buy a card, insert it and instantly boost the storage capacity on their phone.

Looking at other market areas, digital cameras for the most part utilise full-sized SD cards or CompactFlash (CF), however there are a small number of cameras that only accept microSD format cards. When we look at what microSD cards are actually available on the market, it soon becomes clear that the range is actually quite small. Out of all the vendors that do produce microSD cards, ADATA are one of the few that manufacture high performance models alongside the likes of Kingston and Sandisk. Given the relatively small size of a microSD card, there is still enough space to cram up to 64GB of storage into the tiny plastic housing with speeds that fast enough for Full HD recording.

The Premier Pro line of SD and microSD cards are some of the fastest cards that ADATA have to offer and with speeds of 45MB/s read and 40MB/s write on offer, the Ultra-High-Speed Class 1 cards offer up more than double the performance of a standard class 10 card. With a large number of cards only coming close to their rated speeds, is ADATA’s Premier Pro worth the extra cost?

    [youtube]http://youtu.be/Q_sie9gzs0E[/youtube]
  • Capacity: 16GB/32GB
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 15 x 11 x 1.0mm
  • Weight: Approx 0.25g
  • Standard: N/A
  • Performance: Read/Write speed up to 45/40 (MB/s)
  • Performance: Random Read/Write: 1400/150 IOPs
  • Operating voltage: 2.7~3.6Volt
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Voltage: N/A
  • Compatibility: Smartphones, tablet computers
  • Certifications: FCC, CE, BSMI, VCCI
  • Note: Read/write speed based on ADATA internal testing; performance may be lower depending on host device.

SDXC UHS-I To Supports 4K Video Resolution

UHS speed Class 3 has been announced, which is a new high performance class that supports 4K video in its 4096 × 2160 (8.8-megapixel) resolution. The new class will be available for SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II and SDHC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices.

UHS speed class 3 defines a minimum of 30 Megabytes per second for high quality video and this should be enough even for large 4K video format files. The SD Association came up with UHS-I and UHS-II high performance bus interface that can support data transfer between SD memory card and device or up to 104 megabytes for UHS-I and 312 megabytes per second for UHS-II as a theoretical limit. Hoover, the actual speed will be much slower, but effective enough.

4K videos, live broadcasts and content can be recorded on high-performance devices such as Digital Single Lens Reflex (D-SLR) cameras, Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (D-SLM) cameras, camcorders and video cameras and then played back smoothly. New devices offering the UHS Speed Class 3 will be backwards compatible and will work with existing SD memory cards.

The compatibility of UHS Speed class 3 cards with existing devices, but at lower speeds, is unsure at the moment. There has been a lot of talks about the SDXC cards working on some unsupported devices, however the odds are that they will not work unless specifically stated. More about speed/benefits can be found here and information about compatibility can be found here.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Fudzilla