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Kingston FCR-HS4 Card Reader Review

Kingston FCR-HS4 SD and CF Memory Card Reader

Introduction

The Kingston USB3.0 High-Speed Media Reader FCR-HS4 is a multi-format memory card reader. It has slots for Secure Digital (SD, SDHC, SDXC), Compact Flash Type I & II (UDMA 0-7), micro SD (microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC) and Memory Stick (Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memeory Stick DUO, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick M2). It supports USB 3.0 for maximum transfer speed and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

The FCR-HS4 is similar in appearance to the Kingston FCR-HS3. The FCR-HS4 adds UHS-II SD card support as well as improved performance with CompactFlash and UHS-I SD cards.

The FCR-HS4 features white high-gloss plastic and grey brushed metal case. A honeycomb pattern on top and beveled edges add style, while two strips of rubber on the bottom prevent the read from sliding on smooth surfaces. The Kingston logo on top illuminates when a card is present. The light blinks at a stead rate when a card is accessed.

Both ComapactFlash and SD card slots operate smoothly when inserting and removing cards. The SD card slot is slightly deeper than the earlier FCR-HS3 to accommodate UHS-II cards that have an extra row of contacts. The CompactFlash card inserts to about 3/4 inch depth which should protect against bent pins.

Kingston Memory Card Reader FCR-HS4 Back

The reader has a micro USB 3 plug on the back side. A black USB 3.0 cable is included and measures about 40-inches long. It fits securely in the back of the reader and provides enough length to reach the back of most computers.

Kingston Memory Card Reader FCR-HS4 Bottom

Performance

Memory card performance was tested with CompactFlash, SD and microSD cards. The highest speeds were measured using UHS-II SD cards. The Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GB card provided 255.4 MB/s sequential read speed, while the Lexar Professional 2000X 32GB UHS-II card provided 231.1 MB/s sequential write speed. Both cards performed slightly better in the Lexar SR2 Reader. In addition to supporting UHS-II SD cards, the FCR-HS4 provided good performance with UHS-I cards: up to 97.7 MB/s read and 91.8 MB/s write speeds. The previous FCR-HS3 topped out at 89.6 MB/s read and 84.3 MB/s write speed with SD cards.

When using CompactFlash cards, the Kingston FCR-HS4 provided a notable improvement over the FCR-HS3. The fastest CompactFlash card in this reader was the Lexar Professional 1066x 32GB, reaching 160.0MB/s read and 153.5 MB/s write speeds. Compare to the FCR-HS3, where the same card measured 141.0 MB/s read and 117.6 MB/s write. Several CF cards tested reached the higher write speed in this reader compared with other readers. Write speeds were only a few MB/s slower than the fastest reader, the Lexar CFR1.

Reader: Kingston FCR-HS4 Card Reader
Benchmark: CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 x64
Program settings: 1000 MB, 5 passes, random test data
Operating system: Windows 8.1 Pro
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.40GHz
RAM: 32GB DDR3 1600

Kingston FCR-HS4 Card Reader
Card Benchmarks
TypeSequential
Read
(MB/s)
Sequential
Write
(MB/s)
Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 32GBSD255.439222.462
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 32GBSD246.029231.142
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 64GBSD245.396175.950
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II 64GBSD244.623229.825
Transcend Ultimate UHS-II U3 32GBSD243.827178.344
Delkin 1900x UHS-II 32GBSD243.82750.944
Sony M Series UHS-II 64GBSD243.51599.608
Lexar Professional 1800x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD242.081204.520
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II 275MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD239.729106.142
SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/s UHS-II 32GBSD238.367200.838
Panasonic MicroP2 UHS-II 32GBSD237.50349.849
Lexar Professional 1066x 32GBCF159.990153.458
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 256GBCF159.893141.566
Lexar Professional 800x 64GBCF159.74677.198
Lexar Professional 1066x 64GBCF159.746152.232
Komputerbay 1066x 128GBCF159.479149.540
Lexar Professional 800x 32GBCF158.82745.910
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 32GBCF158.779148.861
PixelFlash SuperSport 1000X-PRO 128GBCF158.443141.013
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 64GBCF158.323147.833
Transcend 1000x 128GBCF158.252147.396
Lexar Professional 1066x 128GBCF158.061152.056
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 32GBCF158.037111.741
Toshiba Exceria 1000x 64GBCF157.255117.778
Transcend 1000x 32GBCF157.184133.424
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 32GBCF156.925147.937
SanDisk Extreme Pro 160MB/s 128GBCF156.341141.546
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 32GBSD153.77388.160
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 64GBSD152.67684.041
Lexar Professional 1000x microSD UHS-II 32GBmicroSD151.92452.529
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II 128GBSD151.79286.717
Toshiba Exceria Pro 1066x 64GBCF151.288143.818
Kingston Ultimate 600x 32GBCF129.630110.493
SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s 32GBCF122.19768.165
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 256GBSD97.75164.891
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 64GBSD97.74249.646
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 64GBSD97.74261.138
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GBSD97.71591.819
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GBSD97.69691.459
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 V30 microSDXC 128GBmicroSD97.68763.658
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD97.63365.516
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 64GBmicroSD97.54220.570
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD97.54291.292
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD97.52491.459
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 32GBSD97.46949.449
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 128GBSD97.45191.022
SanDisk Extreme Plus 80MB/s 32GBSD97.41560.762
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s U3 32GBSD97.37990.841
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 64GBmicroSD97.26191.046
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s microSDHC 32GBmicroSD97.18048.538
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 256GBmicroSD96.98388.323
SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 256GBSD96.79590.107
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 128GBmicroSD96.79553.036
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 32GBSD96.77789.922
Kingston Class 10 UHS-I 64GBSD96.68870.855
Samsung PRO Plus 32GBSD96.53687.659
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 32GBSD96.48361.360
Panasonic Gold 95/90 64GBSD96.48387.938
Kingston U3 90/80 MB/s 64GBSD96.46584.829
Samsung PRO Plus 64GBSD96.45688.338
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s 32GBSD96.43072.351
Patriot EP Series microSDXC 64GBmicroSD96.36878.510
Toshiba Exceria Type 2 32GBSD96.30665.721
SanDisk Extreme Plus 95/90 MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD96.22690.920
Toshiba Exceria UHS-I Class 3 64GBSD96.15659.932
Toshiba Exceria Type 1 32GBSD96.14786.932
PNY Pro Elite 64GBSD96.12086.502
Delkin Black 32GBSD96.07681.709
Patriot EP PRO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD96.05078.019
PNY Pro Elite microSDXC 64GBmicroSD96.01578.118
Delkin Elite 633x 32GBSD95.89282.112
Samsung PRO U3 32GBSD95.74379.486
Samsung PRO U3 64GBSD95.69978.817
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD95.69086.781
Samsung PRO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD95.62979.072
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 64GBmicroSD95.62987.556
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 32GBSD95.43847.981
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 256GBSD95.34266.336
Kingston U3 (90/80) microSD 64GBmicroSD95.23983.194
Lexar Professional 633x U1 32GBSD95.18721.514
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 32GBSD95.10988.005
Transcend 633x microSDHC 32GBmicroSD95.08388.182
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 128GBSD95.07468.454
Lexar Professional 633x U3 256GBSD95.04069.003
Transcend 600x 128GBSD95.03169.433
PNY Turbo Performance U3 microSD 32GBmicroSD94.99758.083
PNY Turbo Performance microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.93758.070
Patriot EP Pro 128GBSD94.92842.708
Transcend 95/60 MB/s U3 64GBSD94.91166.699
Lexar Professional 633x U3 64GBSD94.88569.272
Gobe Magic 104MB/s 64GBSD94.86888.005
PNY Elite Performance U1 64GBSD94.85966.899
Lexar Professional 633x U3 128GBSD94.85168.512
Sony 94MB/s 32GBSD94.84266.976
Transcend 600x 64GBSD94.82567.485
Panasonic Gold Series 32GBSD94.81743.596
Transcend R95 W85 U3 64GBSD94.79987.134
Transcend 95/85 MB/s U3 32GBSD94.79188.420
Lexar Professional 633x U3 32GBSD94.79148.896
PNY Elite Performance U3 128GBSD94.79168.557
Transcend 600x 32GBSD94.77439.547
Sony 95MB/s U3 32GBSD94.76587.178
PNY Elite Performance U1 32GBSD94.76538.421
Lexar Professional 600x 32GBSD94.76548.166
Sony 95MB/s U3 64GBSD94.73986.281
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.73127.848
Lexar Professional 633x U1 128GBSD94.71428.600
Lexar Professional 600x 64GBSD94.71468.467
PNY Elite-X microSDHC 32GBmicroSD94.70576.920
PNY Elite Performance U3 256GBSD94.70555.185
Patriot EP Pro 90MB/s 64GBSD94.68842.076
Lexar Professional 633x U1 64GBSD94.67128.686
PNY Elite microSDXC 128GBmicroSD94.63728.169
Kingston Ultimate 32GBSD94.46646.956
PNY Elite microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.45832.415
PNY Elite-X microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.43273.225
SanDisk Extreme Plus 90MB/s 64GBSD94.42472.032
Transcend Ultimate 633x microSD 64GBmicroSD94.39086.831
Samsung PRO 32GBSD94.27982.248
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 64GBmicroSD94.13625.624
Samsung PRO 64GBSD93.82481.907
Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC 128GBmicroSD93.02584.135
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s microSDXC 64GBmicroSD92.67143.634
Samsung PRO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD92.65583.819
SanDisk Ultra 90MB/s microSD 200GBmicroSD90.82521.142
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 200GBmicroSD90.43337.004
SanDisk Extreme 90MB/s U3 128GBSD85.54978.545
SanDisk Extreme 80MB/s 128GBSD84.87780.099
Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXCmicroSD83.87323.048
Lexar Professional 633x microSDXC 128GBmicroSD83.05622.551
Samsung EVO Select microSDXC 128GBmicroSD82.83922.677
SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s microSD 32GBmicroSD82.52617.956
SanDisk Extreme 80MB/s 256GBSD81.48178.746
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 32GBSD75.35655.273
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 32GBmicroSD74.78154.288
SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s 64GBSD71.27452.565
Lexar Professional 400x 32GBSD71.06143.439
SanDisk Extreme U3 microSD 64GBmicroSD69.43355.978
SanDisk Ultra 50MB/s 32GBCF52.94531.303
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 1SD47.60644.719
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 64GBSD47.56314.931
SanDisk Ultra microSD 32GBmicroSD47.52614.670
SanDisk Ultra microSD 64GBmicroSD47.51414.601
SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s 32GBSD47.50144.535
Samsung EVO microSDXC 64GBmicroSD47.46623.729
Samsung EVO 64GBSD47.45523.945
Samsung EVO microSD 32GBmicroSD47.45324.445
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 2SD47.28420.028
SanDisk Ultra 40MB/s 32GB Card 3SD47.24219.799
Samsung EVO 32GBSD47.11021.452
Toshiba NFC 16GBSD37.77713.166
Toshiba FlashAir II 32GBSD19.08613.050

Compatibility

Operating systems supported: Windows 8.1 and Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista (SP2), Mac OSX v 10.7.x +, Linux 2.6+, Chrome OS. The Kingston memory card reader has a 2 year warranty. Assembled in China.

Conclusion

The Kingston High-Speed Media Reader FCR-HS4 is one of the few multi-card readers that supports UHS-II SD cards. While not very many cameras support UHS-II yet, the ultra-fast download speed provided by UHS-II can be enjoyed today. The reader also performs very well with UDMA7 CF cards, providing some of the fastest read speeds measured with several CF cards.

Compare prices on the Kingston FCR-HS4. The lowest prices are highlighted in the table below.

Card ReaderConnectionModel NumberPrices
AmazonB&H PhotoAdorama
Kingston FCR-HS4 Card ReaderUSB 3.0FCR-HS4$17.98$18.40$17.99