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Lexar Workflow Review (HR1, DD512, CFR1 and SR1) Updated with HR2, UR1 and SR2

Lexar Workflow Review (HR1, DD512, CFR1 and SR1) Updated with HR2, UR1 and SR2

NOTE: Updated 6th February 2015 to include HR2, SR2 and UR1… …For anyone who works with photos or video, getting content from the camera to our main workstation can be time consuming. Especially for those who write to multiple cards, of different formats in the same camera during long sessions… or those working with large video files. In our Lexar Workflow review we take a look at some of their new products which look to minimise the time spent after the shoot, while offering a flexible, future-proof solution.

Lexar Workflow Review – Packaging and bundle

lexar-professional-workflow-review-hr1-box lexar-professional-workflow-review-hr1-bundle

Lexar go with familiar artwork on their Workflow range packaging which on the HR1, as well as giving us a nice clear image of the product, also features a window to the device itself. Bundled with the HR1 we get a mains adapter with multiple plug heads and a USB 3.0 cable. There is also a version available, the HR2, which features Thunderbolt connector.

Lexar Workflow Review – The HR1

lexar-professional-workflow-review-hr1-front lexar-professional-workflow-review-hr1-back

The HR1 is shown above and uses a mix of matt plastic (sides/top)  mixed with glossy finish (front and back). A rubber section is found on the base which maximises stability on our desk then on the back and front surfaces we also get some minimalist branding with the bottom edge on the rear having our power input and USB 3.0 port. Turning back round to the front we find four bays, with click out covers, which house our modular readers/storage. Speaking of those…

Lexar Workflow Review – The DD512, CFR1 and SR1

lexar-professional-workflow-review-packaging lexar-professional-workflow-review-bundle

To populate our HR1, while also offering stand alone functionality, Lexar offer a range of modular units for various media types. We have the CFR1 and CFR2 for CF cards, the 2 signifying Thunderbolt. Then there is the XR1 for XQD, SR1 (SD UHS-1)and SR2 (for SD cards with  UHS-2 spec) with UR1 offering 3x microSD card compatibility up to UHS-1 speed. Each arrives with a USB 3.0 cable and a cover to keep the slot dust free.


As well as the SR1 and CFR1 which we are testing today, Lexar offer two flash based storage modules, the DD256 and DD512 (our sample). These offer read speeds of 450MB/s and write of 250MB/s with the capacity matching the product names. All of the above products have a 2-year warranty and Lexar factory test with a wide range of products to ensure compatibility.

UPDATE 06/02/2015- The HR2, SR2 and UR1


Early in 2015 we received the latest additions to the Workflow range. These were the HR2 (4 bay desktop module), UR1 which is a 3-slot MicroSD  block and SR2 which is a standard SD card reader. Overall the packaging and bundle are the same as shown above, just with the addition of a Thunderbolt cable on the HR2.

lexar-professional-workflow-hr2-ur1-sr2-review lexar-professional-workflow-hr2-review-back

As with the HR1 we can install up to four pods in our HR2 and all have a USB 3.0 connector on the back as before. The HR2 also has a USB 3.0 connector but in addition to this it also has two Thunderbolt connectors which allow us to connect to our system with this cable, or daisy chain more than one HR2. As far as the SR2 and UR1 go, the former supports up to UHS-II SD cards and the latter allows UHS-I MicroSD.

Lexar Workflow Review – SD and CF Cards

lexar-professional-workflow-review-cf-1066x-box  lexar-sd-card

lexar-professional-workflow-review-cf-1066x-card lexar-professional-workflow-review-cf-1066x-back

Of course all of the storage devices and readers match Lexars range of cards, including the 160MB/s rated CF model and 90MB/s rated UHS-1 SD card. Those products all arrive with data recovery software as well as protective cases with Lexar offering a lifetime warranty on all flash media.

Lexar Workflow Review – Setup and Performance

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Setting up the various Workflow products couldn’t be easier. For each individual module in stand alone mode we just plug in the USB 3.0 connector and insert our card (or with the DD512 view it as a USB drive). For modular mode in the HR1 and HR2, we connect that via USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt and just slot in our readers/storage. A blue LED  on each reader signifies power on and activity. The DD512 featuring the same LED as well as a set of white lights to give a quick indication of free space.

In terms of speed, we hit the advertised rating for 450/250MB/s on the DD512 and each reader allowed us to hit the peak read/write speeds of the Lexar cards we used for testing. For those who have access to faster UHS-1 write products, no issues there either. We were able to hit 90 MB/s on that front, with the HR1 also allowing full speed read/write from multiple cards at the same time. It was also possible to copy direct from card to DD512.

Lexar Workflow Review – User Experience and Conclusion

Starting with the build quality and design of the HR1 and HR2, and associated modules, we have a fairly sturdy design. It feels solid enough with no flex on the main surfaces and the base appears to be well applied. The gloss finish is a bit of a nightmare to keep clean, a real dust and fingerprint magnet which we would have liked to be matt but otherwise the unit looks good. The same can be said of each module although the readers do have a bit of flex to their top surface; not enough to concern us though.

Would we have changed or added anything else? It would have been fantastic if there was a button which with a single press copied all the data from installed cards to the DD512/256 but otherwise, no.

Set-up is of course simple. Plug and play essentially. It was also good to see that the speeds we achieved when reading and writing to each device were as advertised and that there was support for the fastest cards available. With the added bonus that a modular design means we can take each module as a stand alone reader/drive or swap them out for future, higher spec or alternate models.

Who do we see this set of products appealing to? If you happen to have a camera with multiple card types, shooting to both. Or even multiple cameras capturing stills and video separately then these are for you. Not only will it allow you to copy the files to your workstation from multiple sources at the same time, the USB 3.0 (or Thunderbolt on HR2) will allow you to do it faster than the majority of integrated or USB 2.0 card readers. There is also the option to copy direct to DD512 or DD256 and ensure that as quickly as possible a backup of your work is created and stored safely.

Summary: A very flexible set of flash/storage products which will have a positive impact on the workflow of many creative professionals.

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Stuart Davidson

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