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Lexar rw035001 Memory Card Reader Review

written by: Steve McFarlane•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/20/2010

This is a review of the Lexar rw035001 SD, SDHC, CompactFlash memory card reader.

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    Memory card readers are computer accessories that are, more often than not, used indoors and not moved around much, but sometimes consumers need a card reader that is designed for portability and offers the added benefit of providing high data transfer rates, so even large files can be quickly moved between a computer or other storage devices. One such product is the Lexar rw035001 memory card reader.

    The rw035001 is a member of the Lexar 300X professional Ultra DMA CompactFlash card reader line of products, which is specifically designed to allow for high data transfers. The rw035001 is a dual slot reader that can accommodate SD, SDHC and CF memory cards alike.

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    Rugged Design

    The rw035001 is ideal for the user who is constantly on the go and needs a storage option that doesn’t need to be petted. Its sturdy Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-slot USB memory card reader review construction and plastic body ensures that it can handle the rough and tumble, that it may have to endure, when taken on an out-of-office job. When the device is not being used, pushing down the top of the device covers the media ports while pushing on the side is all that is required to access the ports again.

    The convenient push down and stow-away design allows for the ports to be covered from dust and other foreign bodies. However, some users may find the stow-away press down design to be gimmicky and annoying, but it is a practical design that keeps the ports relatively dust free.

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    Performance

    Sure, there are cheaper card readers on the market, but its high data transfer speeds make the rw035001 an attractive option for consumers who are looking for a high performance card reader, especially professional photographers.

    While Lexar claims a top write speed of 45MB per second, the actual performance numbers for these devices are usually less in the real world, depending on the computer’s specifications of course. However, users should experience higher transfer rates when moving files from the card to the PC, as opposed to writing data to the card. The data transfer numbers are most impressive when the Lexar rw035001 card reader is being used with an Ultra DMA CF card though.

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    Cause for Concern

    There have been reports, by some users on the Internet, that the Lexar rw035001 card reader corrupts large capacity (16GB and above) cards when they are being formatted, with these claims being unverified one can’t be sure what’s the real issue. However, it is a concern to bear in mind if you decide to purchase this device. Perhaps it is a good idea to test the reader with a large format card that doesn’t contain data that you can’t afford to lose before taking the plunge.

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    Conclusion

    Despite the issue some users report that the rw035001 has formatting large format cards, it is a neatly package media reader that is small enough to travel with and rugged enough to use outdoor on an ongoing basis. The snappy transfer speed is another added bonus that allows quick data transfers from SD and SDHC Memory Cards with even better numbers when a UDMA CompactFlash card is used.

    Technical Specifications

    • Supported Flash Memory - SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, CompactFlash Card
    • Compatibility – PC and Mac
    • Connections - 1 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A
    • Price: $30 - $43

    Image credit: "Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-slot USB memory card reader review."