Lexar Media has overhauled its 2007-era dual-slot professional flash card reader to support fast new cards and the higher-speed USB 3.0 interface that have arrived in the last four years.
Like its predecessor, the new reader handles CompactFlash (CF) and Secure Digital (SD) memory cards. Unlike its predecessor, it can handle SDXC, a newer member of the SD card lineage that provides for larger capacities, and SD's UHS-1 higher-speed interface.
Things didn't change on the CF side of the shop; the older model supported the present high-speed standard for CompactFlash, called UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access). CompactFlash allies including Nikon, Sony, and SanDisk--Lexar's top rival--are working on a faster PCI Express-based CompactFlash successor, but it's not on the market yet.
The dual-slot reader costs $50.
The use of USB 3.0 dramatically improves transfer times--for those computers that have USB 3.0 support. Its raw data transfer rate of 5 gigabits per second is about 10 times faster than USB 2's 480 megabits per second.
It'll work on USB 2.0 ports on a computer, though obviously not at the USB 3.0 data rates. And Lexar cautions that those using SDXC cards should make sure they have computers that can understand its exFAT file system.
The device looks about the same as its predecessor: it's got a pop-up design that reveals the two slots when opened but protects them during travel when it's closed.