Kingston FCR-HS4 Review

The Kingston FCR-HS4 is a professional memory card reader that’s been designed specifically for photographers. It has a high UHS-II speed rating, which translates to higher transfer speed memory cards. Plus it’s versatile as it has 4 different memory card slots. Overall it’s a very highly rated media reader among photographers so we decided to review it.

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 93×53×16 mm / 3.7×2.1×0.6″
  • Speed rating: UHS-I and UHS-II
  • Slots: SD, microSD, CF, Memory Stick
  • Connection: USB 3.0

Design

Despite being having such a high speed rating and supporting 4 different memory cards, the media reader actually isn’t big. It has a dimension of 93×53×16 mm / 3.7×2.1×0.6″ which means that the reader is portable and you don’t have to worry about storing it. It should fit into most camera bags as well. Unlike the more basic media readers, the FCR-HS4 doesn’t have a USB plug attached to it. Instead it comes with a MicroUSB 3.0 to USB 3.0 cable which you attach to the reader. This way it doesn’t block your other ports either.

Kingston FCR-HS4 Design

The overall design is also pretty sleek. Kingston has given it a white plastic body with a brushed nickel case around it. It adds a nice touch to it and makes it look more professional and expensive. There is also a small LED indicator embedded into the Kingston logo on top. It lights up when you insert a memory card and flashes when you use it. Plus there are even 4 rubber pads underneath to keep it steady on your desk. The overall build quality is also very nice, all the cards slide in smoothly and stay there.

Performance

Now the performance completely depends on the type of memory card you are going to use. The reader itself is capable of transferring data at up to 640 MB/s as that’s the limit of USB 3.0 ports. However no memory card is capable of that so it’s limited. Here’s an example of what the maximum speeds should be based on the best UHS-I and UHS-II speed ratings.

  • SDXC  UHS-II – 312 MB/s
  • MicroSDXC UHS-I – 104 MB/s
  • CompactFlash Type II – 167 MB/s
  • Memory Stick PRO Duo – 60 MB/s

These are also the maximum speed ratings of each card type that the Kingston FCR-HS4 supports.

I used a SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-II card with a 300 MB/s read speed and  260 MB/s write speed to test out the performance on the memory card reader. Here are my results!

Read Test

I transferred a 3.92 GB file from the memory card to a computer within 15 seconds. The average read speed was around 251 MB/s with a peak at 266 MB/s. So it didn’t quite meet the 300 MB/s read speed that’s written in SanDisk specs.

Write Test

The exact same can also be said about the write speed. It took me around 18 seconds to transfer it from the computer onto the memory card. The average write speed was 210 MB/s and peak 224 MB/s.

I did also check out some benchmarks done on the FCR-HS4. I discovered that most of the UHS-II SD cards reached an average read speed of 250 MB/s. They also had results on the exact same SanDisk card that I used. The results were pretty much the same as what I got. My guess is that that’s actually the readers maximum speed.

Conclusion

Overall I really like the Kingston FCR-HS4. Despite not reaching the speeds I was hoping for, I’m still satisfied with the results. It’s still a really fast memory card reader you can get considering the price.

8.5 Total Score
Excellent!

The best value memory card reader for photographers and videographers!

Design
8
Build Quality
9.5
Performance
8
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