Reviews |Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader Review

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader review
Review

Our Verdict

The new Lexar CFexpress card reader is ultra-compact and lightweight, so much so that the cable takes up more room than the reader. The build is basic, and there’s no activity indicator. However, file transfers are suitably impressive making the most of this blistering speeds of this new format.

What is the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader?

The latest Canon R and Nikon Z cameras have already adopted the CFexpress card format. It’s far more robust than CF or SD, but it’s the transfer speeds that have ensured the formats quick rise in popularity.

There are already several manufacturers producing high-quality cards for this new form factor, and with Lexar back in the game, a test of their CFexpress 128GB card proved that the company was still very much at the front of the pack.

Complimenting the new cards is the equally small Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader.

This has been designed to hold one card at a time, but with the USB Type-C connection, it promises transfer speeds that will be far in excess of traditional memory card formats.

CFexpress is fast, and this new card reader promises speed and compatibility. This reader will appeal to photographers and videographers who have already or are about to utilise the advantages of the format.

Features

The Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader has been designed to work with CFexpress Type B Cards and offers read and write speeds of up to 1050MB/s.

Connection with your computer can be made through USB Type-C, which will offer you the maximum performance, but it’s also backward compatible with older USB Type-A connections. Lexar has included both cables in the box.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader review

The size of the reader is small at 56.2 x 47.8 x 12.85mm and it weighs in at 21g, this weight doesn’t include the cable.

Operating temperatures are from 0 through to 40ºC which may be a little limiting for some territories.

Lexar state that the card reader is compatible with PC and Mac systems, running a variety of OS.

Build and Handling

The quality of the Lexar CFexpress cards I looked at recently was excellent. This quality, while not completely reflected in the build and materials of this card reader, is still good.

The unit feels quite lightweight, which it is at 21g, but it is solid enough. It’s very much been designed with a purpose rather than to reflect a real feeling of design and quality of the Lexar Multi-card reader.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader review

The exterior looks and feels like bog-standard ABS, so at least it will be ultra-tough, if not a design classic. There are no rubber feet or any design details other than the slight texture changes and the embossed Lexar logo.

For a device like this, that is no bad thing, it should be functional, and it certainly appears to be that.

The card reader is compact and small, which means that it’s easy to fit into your camera bag without taking up much if any room. In reality, the cable seemed to take up more room than the drive.

A nice feature is that removable cable, so you have the choice of plugging in the cable type you need for your system and swapping and changing it as you need.

I often take an external drive with me, and having all devices using the same cable type is a huge advantage.

The overall design is functional, small enough to tuck into a bag pocket when not in use or dangle from a USB port while you’re having a coffee and downloading the images at the end of a shoot.

Performance

The quoted transfer speeds for this small drive were 1050MB/s for both read and writer.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader review

To test this out, I connected the Lexar card reader to a MacBook Pro 2018 with i9 and 32GB Ram. Running Blackmagic Design Disk Speed test and I produced the following results:

Read = 876MB/s
Write = 876MB/s

It’s unusual to get the same result for both read and write and while the transfer speeds may not have been quite up to those quoted by Lexar they’re still impressive.

Verdict

There’s no doubt that the Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader does the job. It offers a compact no-fuss solution to downloading your images and video at ultra-fast speeds.

Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B USB 3.1 Reader review

The design whilst not the most inspiring is certainly functional, and the small size and weight make it easy to transport as well as use.

There’s only one addition that I would like to see, and that’s the inclusion of an activity indicator, a small flashing LED that indicates it’s ready, transferring or whatever. At present, it is just a simple box that quietly does the job.

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