Western Digital's G-Technology brand is well-known in multimedia production circles with products ranging from portable SSDs to multi-HDD RAID enclosures. As part of its Flash Perspective event today, the company is introducing the SanDisk Professional tag for products sold earlier under the G-Technology brand. In addition to new products targeting the prosumers and production houses, existing products are also getting speed bumps with updates in the USB interface.

With increased resolutions and frame rates, content capture on location (as well as post-processing) now deals with huge amounts of data. On the capture side, we have seen multimedia-recording equipment support new card formats such as SD Express, CFast, and CFexpress. These allow capture at speeds exceeding even SATA SSDs, with CFexpress being the current card of choice for professional capture equipment. SanDisk has traditionally played in the consumer market with various memory cards. On the CFexpress side, they have been offering the Extreme PRO lineup - however, the other products in the Extreme PRO category are often meant for the consumer base too. With SanDisk Professional, the company has introduced the PRO-CINEMA CFexpress VPG400 (with a guaranteed 400MBps write speed) for multimedia production houses with the 256GB version carrying a MSRP of $450.

Card readers that integrate into optional card docks are quite popular in the industry, allowing for simultaneous ingestion of content from multiple capture devices. One of the first products in this segment was the Thunderbolt 2-equipped Lexar Professional Workflow HR2, which we reviewed back in 2017. Though Lexar dropped the ball in terms of keeping up with the latest technology, vendors such as ATech Flash Technologies carry products such as the Blackjet TX-4DS. Equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 upstream interface, the TX-4DS supports up to 4 different swappable modules to support a range of physical media (CFast / CFexpress / XQD / Sony SxS / RED MINI-MAG / SDXC / 2.5" SATA / M.2 PCIe etc.). Western Digital has also decided to play in this market - the SanDisk Professional PRO-READER series comes with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C interface (up to 10 Gbps) and supports different types of cards including CFast ($90), CFexpress ($100), RED MINI-MAG ($200), and CF / SD / microSD ($80).

These readers can also integrate into a 4-bay PRO-DOCK with a MSRP of $500. The Thunderbolt dock (with support for traditional USB-C hosts also) includes additional USB Type-C and Type-A ports.

In terms of product upgrades, the G-DRIVE ArmorLock SSD introduced last year with a 2TB SKU now comes with the SanDisk Professional branding and a 4TB SKU. The G-RAID and G-RAID SHUTTLE products with the enterprise HDDs are also getting updated interfaces to work with both Thunderbolt and USB hosts. The entire product portfolio is expected to hit shelves in June 2021.

The G-Technology brand has got significant traction in the professional market. However, SanDisk is better known to consumers moving into the prosumer category and SOHO / SMBs just starting out with video workflows. By retaining the G-Technology product names under the 'SanDisk Professional' tag, Western Digital has managed to create a unified branding for its entire portfolio of products targeting the full spectrum of content capture and post-processing markets.

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  • Chaitanya - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    Those readers are interesting..
  • Chaitanya - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    This comment section needs edit button. Anyways the Micron sold off Lexar to Chinese firm Longsys in Aug 2017 so there was a disparity in terms of product portfolio on either side of that ownership change.
  • Mday - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    And some of the former Lexar employees founded ProGrade shortly after that.
  • Samus - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    Borderline orgasmic if you ask me.
  • Chaitanya - Thursday, May 27, 2021 - link

    Indeed also at the prices for individual reader and comparing to competition(Prograde, Angelbird, Sony, etc) pricing is not outrageous. Though one nitpick - for CFexpress reader I would have liked to see it being a dual slot solution(either same or mixed).
  • Samus - Friday, May 28, 2021 - link

    True, dual slot CF can be pretty useful, I've found myself having to copy data between cards a handful of times using one reader which is a waste of time.

    I'm sure WD would LOVE for people to simply buy two of them, though XD
  • Kamen Rider Blade - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    Maybe if they made those Readers in 3½" or 5¼" bay formats, I'd be more interested
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    Modern cases dont come with those bays anymore, because everyone would rather have 15 dongles on their desk.
  • Kamen Rider Blade - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    We need to reverse that trend.

    Dongle Life is too goofy and silly IMO.
  • Chaitanya - Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - link

    Not all modern cases lack drive bays, CM and Fractal still are making cases with 5.25" drive bays.

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