Lexar Professional Workflow Reader

Includes a Four-Bay Reader Hub

The Lexar Professional Workflow Reader is unique in that it simultaneously downloads up to four memory cards of basically any memory card format. It's ideal for heavy shooters like videographers, wedding and sports photographers, or photographers who shoot with a combination of different card formats.

The system's centerpiece is a 3.3×4.3×6″ sturdy, black plastic cabinet with four bays that hold removable card readers. On the back of the cabinet is a single USB 3 connector and power cord, and the bottom of the cabinet has a rubberized grip.

The swappable readers support all of the popular memory card formats (CF, SDHC, SDXC, XQD, etc.), and because the design is free of compatibility issues, it allows you to configure combinations of card readers to suit. This modular design will also allow Lexar to produce new readers for the cabinet, as future memory card formats come on the market. Both the main hub and individual readers have fast USB 3 connectivity at the rear, which means you can remove, connect, and work with a single reader as a standalone, or dock it in the hub with other card readers.

I simultaneously downloaded four cards—two CF UDMA 7 and two SD cards—to my desktop very quickly, without a hitch. (I've deliberately left out the exact time because transfer speed varies not only with connectivity but also with card speed, processor, hard drive, etc.)

One caveat: At this time, neither Adobe Lightroom nor Photoshop support simultaneous downloading of multiple memory cards; however, Lightroom does support consecutive, multiple-card downloads. Photo Mechanic's image browser is the only program I know that does download simultaneously.

This Lexar Professional Workflow Reader increases efficiency and productivity, saves time, and leaves me wondering why no one thought of this sooner.

Company: Lexar by Micron
Price: Hub $99.95; Individual readers $36.99-44.99
Rating: 4.5
Hot: Efficiently transfers large amounts of files; modular all-in-one device
Not: No Adobe support; no quick start guide