It’s genuinely amazing how much quicker and cheaper memory cards get over relatively short amounts of time. Today I have a UHS-I Class 10 SD card, with a claimed read speed of 48 MB/s, which is only a little over £15 for the 64GB capacity!
So, this is the EXCERIA N301. Like the UHS-II card I looked at a while ago, to get the best out of this you’ll need devices and card readers that are designed for UHS-I. None-the-less, it’s completely backwards compatible with older devices, you’ll just not get the same speed. EXCERIA is Toshiba’s professional range of SD cards so as well as high speeds you also get x-ray protection.
Benchmarks showed what it claimed – with a UHS-1 card reader, I got 46.99 MB/s sequential read speed. Large random blocks (512k) were read at 43 MB/s too and it was only small 4k files that dropped it down to 6.21 MB/s. The latter is a little disappointing as I’ve seen similar speeds on non-UHS cards before.
Sequential write speeds were 15.34 MB/s – a little faster than non-UHS cards but not dramatically so. 4k random file writes were just 1.004 MB/s, but this is quite fast. The big let-down, though, are those random 512k file writes – just 0.328 MB/s it a lot, lot, less than I’d expect from ANY SD card. However, cameras and other such devices are likely to write their files sequentially, so this should have little impact on their intended use.
Anyway, as I said before, these are compatible with non-UHS hardware so I benchmarked them again, this time with a card reader that does not have the appropriate compatibility. This gave sequential read speeds of 19.5 MB/s and write speeds of 11.35 MB/s – both very respectable.
Packaging, as with other Toshiba memory cards, consists of a sealed cardboard surround,with a small plastic blister inside. However, whereas other cards in their range comes with a plastic snap-container to store it in, this doesn’t. Everything is kept to a minimum, particular the plastic, which is good to see.
Costing just £2.45 for the 8GB version of this card, these are professional grade memory cards at a bargain price. The read speeds are excellent if you have UHS-1 compatible hardware, otherwise they’re pretty standard.
Disclosure of gift - I received this product at a discounted price in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.