Reviews |SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader

SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader Review

An ultra fast CFexpress reader that will keep up with your cards transfer rates

Ready to post: SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader
Review

Price when reviewed

£129

$129

Our Verdict

The SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader again shows that SABRENT is quickly developing into a main player in the memory and storage area. The new card reader features a slick metal design with a silicon case to help protect it when being transported.
The tough design and attention to detail visually and aesthetically stand out, but it’s the performance of this reader that elevates it above the competition.

As one of the only CFexpress card readers to feature a Thunderbolt 3 connection, it offers transfer speeds that are double that of most of the competition. This speed almost maximises many CFexpress card’s performances which ultimately saves time when it comes to downloading huge images and video files.
Aesthetics and performance are excellent; of course, this all this does come with a hefty price.

For

  • Ultra-fast
  • Robust design
  • Good for in and out of the studio

Against

  • Expensive

What is the SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader?

When it comes to maximising transfer speed, SABRENT has invested heavily. The SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader makes the most of the read and write speeds of the format, enabling you to download content at a far greater rate than most other readers.

As it stands, this is one of the only Thunderbolt 3 card readers on the market, and using it makes a huge difference in transferring rates, almost doubling the speeds at which files can be transferred from the card to the machine compared with standard USB Type-C readers.

The speed is just one aspect of this card reader; the other is the superb build quality. The drive is encased in a silicon jacket that helps protect it against knocks and bashes in the kit bag.

Ready to post: SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader

The SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB, 3 to CFexpress card reader, is, however, just a very fast and therefore expensive card reader, and with many cheaper and slower options out there, you’ll need to be sure that the cost of this card reader is worth it for your workflow.

Specification

  • Card compaitibility: CFexpress only
  • Interface : Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C
  • Construction: Aluminium, Silicon
  • Bus powered : Yes
  • Compatibility : Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, USB 3.0, 2.0

Performance

Few card readers match or even come close to the performance of The SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader. Popping in various CFexpress cards instantly shows that the transfer rates are beyond the USB Type-C CFexpress card reader I tested from SABRENT recently.

While that card reader was beautifully finished with decent transfer speeds, the new reader is a level up. Testing the reader with SABRENT’s CFexpress 512GB card enabled a write speed of 649MB/s and a read speed of 1469MB/s.

Those read speeds are impressive. Attached to a USB Type-C port on a PC, the performance is excellent, with the write speeds remaining around the same and read speeds dropping to 919MB/s.

Ready to post: SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader

Swapping the card for the LEXAR Diamond series CFexpress again shows excellent results with write speeds of 1250MB/s and read speeds of 1531MB/s, slightly over the port’s stated speed but below that max specification for the card.

Downloading video and image content from the Canon EOS R5 C showed that 40GB of data could be copied across to the main drive of the MacBook Pro M1 Max in 25 seconds. That transfer speed was quick and left absolutely no time to grab a coffee.

Final Thoughts

If you need a CFexpress card reader that matches the transfer rates of the latest cards, then look no further than The SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 CFexpress card reader.

The design instantly stands out with the robust main body of the reader encased in the silicon protective jacket. In use, the Thunderbolt 3 connection, helped to provide transfer speeds that exceeded all other CFexpress card readers that I have tested.

My one thought is that Thunderbolt 3 has been around for a few years and has now been surpassed by Thunderbolt 4, so is it a cost thing that helped to make the decision to release a Thunderbolt 3 model rather than a bang-up-to-date Thunderbolt 4, proberbly, or is it that the Thunderbolt 3 connection is simply fast enough for the format. Either way, this is an incredibly fast card reader.

Ready to post: SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader

The SABRENT Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3 to CFexpress card reader is the best in class at this moment in time. However, that speed and build quality come at a price, but considering how much time this will save you, it’s more than worth it.

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