Real World Review – Lexar HD2 : Multi Reader Just Got Better

When Lexar introduced the Workflow Tower last year, I took it to SXSW for a real world review.
Basically you have a 4 slot unit, where you can interchange the card reading modules, depending on your media, and have them all download concurrently to a folder, or consecutively to Lightroom.
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This was a dream come true, as I was able to download all of my material without waiting to switch out cards, thereby letting me sleep more (and dream). Getting to your hotel room at 3:00 AM with a handful of cards to download is no fun.
Ok, a little fun as you see the images!

And when you didn’t need the heavy lifting of the 4 banger, each module worked on it’s own. No power needed, as you are used to. Carry what you need on the road. Sweet.

So this year, they brought out the V2:
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simply called Lexar Workflow HR2 Four-Bay Hub

With an expanded line of modules, Thunderbolt™ 2/USB 3.0, back-up drives, AND 2 Thunderbolt ports in the back,
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giving you super fast downloads, and the capability to daisy chain these puppies.

I can only imaging a team of photogs, needing massive multiple downloads simultaneously. Like at a wedding. Or at a news event when a companies team of photogs have runners moving the media cards from the editors to the photogs and back again.

I’m a one man band out there, but shooting SD and Micro SD (GoPros) all of the time. Flexibility is a great thing for longevity in gear.
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The new modules include a 3 slot microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-I, , 2 Hard Drive back-up options,SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-I and UHS-II, CompactFlash® UDMA 7, XQD™, CFast™ 2.0 (Thunderbolt or USB 3.0), and who knows what else would come along.

And if you’ve already invested in the modules from Version 1, don’t worry: all work in the new deal. The beauty of this system is the fact that it is modular, and changes with you.
I have to say, my CF cards are getting a lot more use in my video camera than my still gear.

Now the power requirements on the Thunderbolt version, make you carry a heavier power adapter, than I’d like, . But the extra sleep is worth it!
V1 had a smaller power adapter, but didn’t have as many perks.
About $200 for the Hub.

It may have more horsepower than you need. The V1 is still a great option.
And remember that you do have to buy the modules separately, but that’s how you get the setup that you want. I use 2 SD card modules, 1 CF (for Canon XF100 video camera), and 1 triple micro-sd for the GoPro.

My hope is that they come out with larger back-up hard drives modules, and my workflow will be able to get further streamlined.
I somehow see that happening.

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