Reviews |Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series

Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series Review

Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series
Review

Price when reviewed

£265

$399
Check current price

Our Verdict

CFExpress, in all its forms, has revolutionised the memory card format due to speed, reliability and robustness. The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type-A Card Gold Series is one of the first smaller format cards I’ve looked at, and coupled with the phenomenal Sony A7 IV; it stands up to all the demands of the camera without issue.
The card is well made, tough through the test and performed without issue, capturing high resolution 4K video at maximum settings without a hitch.
At an average of £100 cheaper than the Sony equivalent and putting in much the same performance, it seems like a no-brainer to opt for the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series.

For

  • Solid performance
  • High quality
  • Robust

Against

  • Speeds don't quite reach Lexar's quoted

What is the Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series?

The Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series is one of the only alternative Type A CFExpress cards on the market against Sony’s Tough range.

The card is designed to fit cameras such as the Sony A7 IV and A7S III that are compatible with the smallest of the new CFExpress card formats.

As memory cards go, the CFExpress cards’ size is about half that of the more popular CFExpress Type B cards and a touch smaller than a standard SD Card.

Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series

As with the range of all CFExpress cards, this new release has been designed to keep up with the action offering transfer speeds that exceed those possible by the current cameras.

This means they make an ideal choice for cameras such as the A7S III, capable of capturing 4K at 120fps. The card’s speed will ensure that the storage media keeps up with the action with transfer speeds that are benchmarked at roughly three times that of a standard UHS-II SD Card.

Another important feature of any memory card besides the camera is its robustness. Unlike most UHS-II cards that now offer some moisture protection, there’s no mention of this in the specifications. However, with a storage range of between -25ºC and 85ºC, it seemed OK to pop it into a freezer bag, seal it and then pop it in the freezer for 24 hours and then leave it shaded in a spot in the garden that was reaching just over 40ºC in direct sunlight. Just a not, I let the card return to ambient temperature between the two tests rather than shocking it from one to the other. Either way, the card worked well in both conditions.

Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series

The final test was the shock test; in the specifications, LEXAR Professional states that the card is Shock resistant (50[G], 11[ms] / half sine wave. Apply the above impact three times from each of the three orthogonal. I’ve translated this to dropping the card from a height of 2m onto a wooden floor several times, I can’t be sure it hit at right angles, but ultimately the card survived and worked.

Specification

  • Specification (from the Gear) Max Capacity : 80GB / 160GB
  • Performance Sustained Read Up to: 900MB/s
  • Performance Sustained Write Up to : 800MB/s
  • Minimum Sustained Write Speed : 700MB/s
  • Video Class : VPG 400
  • Interface : PCI Express
  • Form Factor : Type A
  • Operating Temperature : -10° C ~ 70° C (14°F ~ 158°F)
  • Storage Temperature : -25° C ~ 85° C (-13°F ~ 185°F)

Performance

There’s no doubt that the new CFEXpress card format in all its forms is infinitely more robust than the SD Card format that it is quickly replacing. The Type-A cards are a neat compact size which inevitably gives a little more space on the camera side for the dual card slots compared to the larger Type-B cards.

Currently, the volume of cameras that supports Type-A cards is quite limited. However, Sony have pushed ahead and adopted the smaller form factor for its latest A7 cameras over the larger format.

In use, it’s easy to see why the smaller size is more convenient, and while small, the cards are by no means microSD cards small and fiddly. The size is easy to handle, and inserting and extracting from the camera is easy enough.

Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series

Checking over the card appears to adhere to the usual LEXAR Professional standards of quality. The main plastic core appears to be of decent quality, and there’s a small metal plate on the front and back to reinforce the feeling that this is a premium product. If you’re in any doubt, check out the price! On the front is the Gold sticker highlighting the range, the 160GB Gold Series CFExpress Type-A card.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a blank sticker or area to scribble in small details a card number or identifier; this addition seems to have fallen out of fashion.

LEXAR Professional give the card a stated transfer rate of 900MB/s, and using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Tool; the results are as follows:

Write: 723MB/s
Read: 734MB/s

While these results are slower than LEXAR Professional’s, they’re still superb.

Final Thoughts

Currently, there’s a limited choice of CFEXpress Type-A cards as the market has generally focused on the more popular CFExpress Type-B cards. However, with Sony pushing the format as the main speed choice within their range of Sony A7 cameras, we will hopefully see a greater range of choices appearing over the coming year.

For now, the Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series card hit the target regarding speed and reliability. Used in the Sony A7S III and then the Sony A7 IV, the card kept up with the action, file formats, framerates and resolutions without issue.

The Blackmagic Disk Speed Tool results may have fallen slightly short of the official transfer speed, but the card proved that it was more than capable with an impressive performance all around.

Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series

Ultimately with an almost £100 price difference against the Sony Tough card and putting in a very solid and similar performance, I know which card I’ll be opting for.
The Lexar 160GB Professional CFexpress Type A Card Gold Series balances well price and performance.

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