Kingston Workflow Station Review
A fast and powerful modular card reader, the Kingston Workflow Station is ideal for anyone that works on projects that require lots of different memory cards and external storage.
- Fast transfers
- Modules can be use standalone
- UKRRP: £93.79
Pro photographers trying to manage workflow and a range of memory cards will be interested in the Kingston Workflow Station. This USB-C docking station is entirely focused on providing storage, with its modular design letting you plug in up to four expansion docks, including SD and microSD card readers, and standard USB ports on the miniHub.
Fast transfers and the option to grab a reader and travel with it makes the Kingston Workflow Station a flexible and powerful friend for those who need it.
Design and features – Plug in and go, the Kingston Workflow Station provides flexibility
- Modular design makes it easy to customise
- Modules can be used externally
Measuring 160 x 70 x 56mm, the Kingston Workflow Station looks like a large USB-C docking station, connecting to your computer via a USB-C cable, and powered via an external PSU.
Rather than providing the normal docking station layout of USB ports, video and Ethernet, the Kingston Workflow Station has four empty docking slots, each of which has a USB-C port inside.
Into these go the modules, with a miniHub included in the box, providing a single USB 3.1 Gen 1 port and a USB-C port. You can also buy memory card readers, with an option for a dual SD-card reader or a dual microSD-card reader.
Each module is small (62.87 x 16.87 x 50mm) and very light, shipping with a USB-C cable, so you can grab one and go travelling with just that. It’s a convenient and simple system that lets you easily move from desktop use to laptop mode.
The modules are all made from plastic, but they feel robust enough. They slide easily into the dock, locking neatly into place.
Performance – Extremely fast transfer speed from the Kingston Workflow Station
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds from the dock
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds from modules
- UHS-II SD support
The connection from the dock to your computer is over a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection, which offers 10Gbps of speed. That’s a lot of bandwidth, given the relative speed of SD cards and external storage.
Each module connects via a USB 3.1 Gen 1 speed, which provides 5Gbps of speed. That’s fine in practice, since the speed to your computer means that you can technically use any two modules at full speed at the same time. You can read our guide to USB-C for more information.
That can happen, since the memory card readers support the UHS-II standard, which works at up to 384MBps (2496Mbps). With two cards running in a reader at full speed, that’s your 5Gbps speed gone right there.
In practice, the Kingston Workflow Station is extremely fast. While results will depend on the cards you’re using, the Workflow Station easily outpaced my single USB-C card reader, even when using two cards and importing to Lightroom.
I also found the Workflow Station to be extremely reliable, working every time I inserted a card; no-powered card readers can often require a bit of plugging and unplugging to work.
If you regularly work with a lot of different memory cards, the Kingston Workflow Station lets you build out a dock that gives you the card reader you need to hand, operating them at high speeds reliably.
With the option to take modules on the go, you get extra flexibility. Sure, the system is expensive, but if you need what it offers then it works brilliantly.
Should you buy it?
If you work with a lot of memory cards across projects, then this bit of kit provides you with all the readers you’ll need in a handy modular form, with very fast transfer rates.
If you’re just using the occasional card reader, this is an expensive solution and perhaps overkill.
You can buy dual-SD card and dual-microSD card readers and you get a miniHub module in the box, which gives you USB-C and USB ports.