Lexar Woos Pros and (Enthusiasts)addicts With High-End Memory Cards:
Choosing flash storage presents a bit of a conundrum, whether you’re selecting the capacity of your iPhone 7 or deciding which Lexar memory card to buy with your Go Pro: costs per gigabyte are constantly decreasing, but the cheapest options are almost certainly lower capacity, and in many cases, less reliable.
So companies like Sandisk and Lexar—which today unveiled a slew of new SD Cards, readers, and other memory gadgets in celebration of its twentieth anniversary—have built their businesses on quality and performance. Professional photographers swear by them, but should you spend $275 for Lexar’s latest 256GB high-performance microSDXC card?
Lexar is aiming the card at the action sports crowd. It’s capable of recording up to 36 hours of HD footage and has read transfer speeds of up to 95MB per second. If your next trip to the skate park or the ski slopes involves setting up your camcorder on a tripod to record all day long, then you’ll want this card. If not—maybe you can’t stomach $275 for a memory card, or perhaps you’re using a Go Pro camera, which only supports cards up to 128GB—both SanDisk and Lexar offer a slew of cheaper 128GB and 64GB cards that work fine with Go Pros and other high-end cameras.The two manufacturers are the only memory card makers to be certified under the new Works with Go Pro program, which is designed to discourage people from buying lower-end cards that the cameras don’t fully support.
Lexar home screen:
The other reason you might want a 256GB card is for multimedia storage. If you already have a large collection of movies and videos and aren’t sold on the streaming options offered by Spotify, Apple, Amazon and the like, you could pair the giant card with Lexar’s Micro SD Reader for your iPhone. With its companion app, you can either transfer files to and from your phone’s internal storage, or play back video and audio files stored on the card.The reader, formerly available only with a Lightning connector, now comes in micro-USB ($10) and USB Type-C ($13) versions for Android phones. Unlike iOS, Android has its own user-accessible file management system, so no separate app is required for transfers or playback.
Of course, despite the carefully created ecosystem and the GoPro certification program, there’s still nothing to stop you from pairing a $15, off-brand 64GB microSD card with your GoPro camera or Lexar reader. So Lexar’s final line of defense against cheaper Chinese invaders is the quality testing lab at its Silicon Valley headquarters.where engineers test Lexar cards in more than 1,000 consumer and professional products, from cheap point-and-shoots to Mac Book Pros to $15,000 broadcast-quality cameras.
Lexar Quality Labs 2:
The cards are also subjected to rigorous abuse, including vibration, temperature, electric shock, impact, and strength tests.
Lexar Quality Labs 1:
There’s an entirely separate testing process for GoPro compatibility, a process that engineers said takes several days to a week for each card.
Lexar Quality Labs Go Pro:
Finally, a portion of the lab is dedicated to data recovery. Lexar doesn’t widely advertise its recovery services, but if your card fails for any reason, you can send it in and engineers will attempt to salvage its data.Still, $275 for a microSD card is a lot. If you’re in the market for such a card, chances are you’re a professional photographer or digital media enthusiast already sold on the benefits of high-capacity, quality flash storage. If not, it’s hard to resist the oodles of cheap cards that have flooded online stores in recent years.