Dockcase Studio 8-in-1 Overview: A Good USB-C Hub

Dockcase Studio 8-in-1 Overview: A Good USB-C Hub

Photographers always have to repeat images from their reminiscence playing cards. And at the moment, there are 4 most important card codecs being utilized in new cameras: CFExpress A, CFExpress B, SD, and infrequently micro SD. The commonest strategy to learn these codecs is thru a card reader. Sadly for some photographers with too many cameras, meaning numerous card readers. On this put up, I’ll overview one answer: The Dockcase Studio Good USB-C Hub 8-in-1.

Introduction and Most important Options

Earlier this 12 months, Alex reviewed the Dockcase Good USB-C Hub. In that overview, he mentioned, “whereas I want it had CFExpress help, CFE might be too new of a normal to realistically anticipate in an off-the-shelf hub.” That want is now granted partially by the Dockcase Studio.

The Dockcase Studio Hub is able to studying CFExpress Sort A and Sort B playing cards

Certainly, the Dockcase Studio’s most attention-grabbing function for me is that it will possibly learn 4 sorts of playing cards: CFExpress A, CFExpress B, SD, and TF (appropriate with the microSD customary). However the Dockcase Studio hub is not only a card reader. It additionally has an HDMI port, in addition to an influence port in case you need to energy your laptop. I particularly examined the facility port with my Macbook M1 Air laptop computer, and it does work. Nevertheless it solely had sufficient energy to run my laptop computer, not cost the battery.

It additionally has a small display, which lets you monitor what’s plugged into it. Lastly, there’s a daily ol’ USB-A port, which could be very helpful if you happen to’ve received some older cables akin to a mouse or an exterior drive that also makes use of USB-A.

Thus, the principle goal of the Dockase Studio hub is to exchange a number of sorts of card readers in addition to run a second monitor and use a peripheral. By way of help, it’s acknowledged that it really works with Home windows, MacOS, and Linux.

By way of bodily dimension, the Dockcase Studio is comparable in size and width to my Delkin CFExpress B card reader, however a bit thicker.

Dockcase Studio with all ports occupied besides the HDMI port – and a bonus self-portrait

The Display screen

The Dockcase USB hub has a display, which I assumed was attention-grabbing. Why would one thing like this want a display? And what does it do? The very first thing it does is give some primary details about what’s plugged into it: HDMI cable, SD Card, CFExpress card, and many others.

The principle display reveals what’s plugged in

There’s additionally some data displayed in regards to the CFExpress playing cards you plug into it: it tells you its well being standing, power-on hours, and the entire learn and write throughput. This may be fairly a helpful function as a strategy to monitor the well being of your card.

The display has a couple of different features, akin to deciding on the quantity of energy accessible for exterior units. You may choose between 5W and 25W for the hub and exterior units, with the remaining 95W to 75W going to the host. This can be helpful for units that want a certain quantity of energy to run optimally. On the highest proper nook, there’s a meter that reveals the temperature of the gadget.

Two screenshots: the left reveals the principle energy display, and the appropriate reveals the display the place you may choose the facility to order for the hub

One factor I wish to see on a tool of this type is the power to repeat all recordsdata from a CFExpress card to an exterior SSD. For the reason that gadget itself may be powered on through USB energy with out a pc host, this is able to be an ideal function to have for backing up whereas touring, and it doesn’t appear infeasible to implement. Sadly, it doesn’t have such capabilities at the moment.

Pace Testing

I did quite a lot of velocity assessments, evaluating each the studying and writing velocity of the Dockase Studio hub to my Delkin CFExpress B card reader and to my Sandsik USB 3.0 SD card reader.

In my assessments, I used AJA System Check Mild, which lets you write giant chunks of information to the disk to check the learn and write efficiency. I additionally examined a number of cables to verify there weren’t any side-effects from utilizing sure cables, and I copied numerous recordsdata from the cardboard to to examine real-world use.

I didn’t have a CFExpress Sort A card available so the assessments will solely be with CFExpress Sort B playing cards.

In the event you’re transferring giant volumes of images, a quick card reader is useful. Nikon Z6 + 500PF @ ISO 1100, 1/800, f/5.6

1. CFExpress Sort B Studying

The specs of this reader say that it will possibly switch as much as 1000MB/s by means of the CFExpress card interface. I used the AJA tester and began with a 256MB file to check the learn and write velocity of a Delkin Black 64GB card.

Within the writing velocity take a look at, the Dockcase Studio managed a imply write velocity of 702MB/s in comparison with the 745MB/s write velocity of the Delkin reader. Thus, the Delkin reader was 6% quicker. The distinction is statistically important, but it surely’s not drastic.

The studying take a look at was a bit totally different: the imply studying velocity of the Dockcase Studio was 697MB/s, whereas the imply velocity of the Delkin reader was 701MB/s. This distinction is negligible and never statistically important. I’m proud of this efficiency and think about the very slight lack of write velocity worthwhile for the additional options of the Dockcase Hub.

The learn and write speeds for the Dockcase Studio and Delkin Reader had been related for the 256MB file

Sadly, I ran right into a bug with my Delkin Black CFExpress card. With longer reads and writes, learn and write speeds would drop periodically, leading to 3-4x slower velocity quickly. This merely didn’t occur with my Delkin reader, which maintained a excessive switch price whatever the complete information transferred. I observed this habits each within the AJA disk testing software program and when copying numerous Uncooked recordsdata to my laptop.

In keeping with Dockcase, this can be an issue with sure CFExpress Sort B playing cards. Not each CFExpress card will expertise the issue, but it surely was nonetheless disappointing, particularly because the Delkin Black is such a well-liked card. I hope to check extra CFExpress card fashions with the Dockcase Studio later to see if I can replicate the problem.

2. SD UHS-II Pace Check

In comparison with my Sandisk USB 3 SD card reader, the Dockcase Studio Hub did effectively studying UHS-II SD playing cards. The common imply write velocity was 216MB/S of the Dockcase, versus a imply velocity of 200MB/s for the Sandisk carried out over twelve assessments. In different phrases, the Dockcase Studio Hub was 6% quicker.

As for learn speeds, the Dockcase Studio Hub’s imply velocity was of 287MB/s, whereas the Sandisk had a imply studying velocity of 264MB/s. This was a rise of 8%.

In the case of studying SD playing cards, the Dockcase Studio in contrast effectively to my typical Sandisk USB 3 SD card reader

Subsequently, we will conclude that the Dockcase Hub did an excellent job studying UHS-II playing cards, and it even outperformed my Sandisk reader. In fact, the Dockcase may learn UHS-I playing cards as effectively.

I examined quite a lot of SD playing cards, and the periodic slowdown bug I discovered with my CFExpress card was not current with any SD playing cards.

Total Ideas

The Dockcase Studio carried out fairly effectively total, and it’s very good to have a single hub that may learn a number of sorts of playing cards. The 2 downsides I discovered in my testing was that copying recordsdata from my Delkin CFExpress Sort B card periodically slowed down considerably when copying numerous recordsdata, and that the hub was not in a position to cost the laptop computer battery however merely keep it.

The worth of the Dockcase Studio is $199.99. That is on the dear facet for sure. Nevertheless, so far as I do know, there are not any different readers in the marketplace that may learn SD, CFExpress Sort A, and CFExpress Sort B playing cards. Shopping for two separate readers so as to get all that performance would price about $130. Moreover, the Dockcase comes with an extra HDMI port, USB-A port, and energy ship port. This permits it to exchange greater than only a card reader, relying in your wants. Lastly, the function to examine the well being of your CFExpress playing cards is kind of helpful. Taking all that into consideration, I feel that the worth of the Dockcase Studio is cheap – although, on the excessive facet of affordable.

In the event you’re on this product, you may learn extra about it on their Kickstarter web page. Take warning any time that you just purchase from an organization on Kickstarter. Whereas the Dockcase Studio Hub has already been absolutely funded – and having examined a complicated copy, it’s clearly a viable product – chances are you’ll want to wait till it reveals up in shops like B&H earlier than shopping for. Merchandise on Kickstarter may be purchased at a reduction (on this case, $40 off for a complete of $160), however that’s as a result of there’s all the time some threat concerned that the challenge won’t find yourself going to market, even with a longtime firm like Dockcase. Disclosure: I used to be despatched a complicated copy of the Dockcase Studio Hub for overview, however in any other case I used to be not compensated, and Dockcase had no editorial management over this overview.

Let me know within the feedback if in case you have any query about this USB-C hub, and I’ll do my greatest to reply!

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