Angelbird CFast 2.0 card reader is built like a tank

Anglebird CFast Card reader DarthVader V2

When it comes to card readers, not all are created equal. I learned the hard way with a Lexar CR1 USB 3.0 CFast reader that unformatted several CFast cards when used with a Mac. The issue is how the card gets ejected. After I offload a card, eject it and stick another in, it can corrupt the filesystem of the second card inserted. This is on a Mac OS system and I haven’t tested it with a Windows-based PC. I’ve had never had this happen with other card readers so the media isn’t the issue. Nevertheless, I don’t use the Lexar CR1 anymore and the problem is now gone.

Angelbird CFast Dual card reader with cards inserted
Angelbird CFast Dual card reader with cards inserted

Angelbird had a dual CFast reader that is now discontinued and is replaced with this solid built single CFast card reader. The reader comes in at 120 g or 4.2 oz. Like I mentioned, this thing is built like a tank.

What’s Included

  • CFAST 2.0 Card Reader
  • Type-C to Type-C cable (50 cm | 19.7 inch)
  • USB-A to USB-C adapter
  • Velcro for Solid Stack™ and USB cable
  • No-slip rubber pads
  • Activation code for full limited warranty
Anglebird CFast Card reader back and rubber stickers 1
Back of reader with included rubber pads that attach to the bottom.

While the build is impressive it does have a purpose. One is the weight keeps it from flopping over to its side like every card reader I’ve used. The Angelbird stays flat on your desk and doesn’t slide around when the two large rubber pads are fastened to the bottom of the reader.

Anglebird CFast Card next to SanDisk reader
Angelbird and SanDisk CFast readers side by side.

When compared to the SanDisk it’s twice as long and the build is all metal as opposed to plastic. If size and weight are an issue the Angelbird CFast card reader might not be a good choice. I personally don’t have an issue with it.

The new CFast card reader is the first released with the “Solid Stack” design. The card readers can be stacked together. The SD card reader and other models are not released yet.

card reader content solid stack lg HD
Coming soon for different media types with Solid Stack design

With a supplied velcro strap, the modules can be stacked to decrease clutter. If you are a media wrangler of DIT, this will be a nice setup.

Anglebird CFast Card reader stacking edge
Small ridges makes stacking more secure

On the bottom of the reader, it has a slight recessed edge that allows them to stack without sliding apart. When stacked, each card reader needs to be plugged in separately.

The reader includes a write lock switch near the connector to protect against accidental writing and prevents operating systems from adding files.

Angelbird CFast 2.0 Memory Card Reader

  • 1 x CFast 2.0 Card Slot
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C Interface (10 Gb/s)
  • Compatible with Thunderbolt 3
  • Backward Compatible with Other USB Hosts
  • Bus Powered
  • Shock & Temperature Proof
  • ESD & Overload Protection
  • Solid Stack & Solid Connect Design
  • Built-In Write Protect Switch
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux Compatible
  • 3-year limited warranty
card reader content solid connect lg HD
The cable connector goes inside the card reader for a more secure fit

Angelbird uses a recessed connector for their SSD drives and has added that design to the CFast 2.0 reader. I like the secure connection, however, if you lose the included cable using a generic USB type C cable might not fit. All Thunderbolt 3 cables do fit inside the CFast reader.

A longer 9′ cable is available if needed and can be ordered from Angelbird or retailer that sells their products like B&H. The Angelbird 9′ cable cost $15.99.

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Included USB-A to USB-C adapter

To ensure compatibility for computers with only USB 3.0 connectivity Angelbird includes a USB-A to USB-C adapter.

Is it fast?

I ran some tests using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and compared it to the SanDisk CFast reader.

Angelbird CFast 2.0 Reader

SanDisk Extreme 128GB CFast Card

  • WRITE 336.1 MB/s (Megabyte per second)
  • READ 406.7 MB/s

Angelbird AV Pro 256GB CFast Card

  • WRITE 388.1 MB/s
  • READ 419.1 MB/s

SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Reader

SanDisk Extreme 128GB CFast Card

  • WRITE 326.3 MB/s (Megabyte per second)
  • READ 410.1 MB/s

Angelbird AV Pro 256GB CFast Card

  • WRITE 358.1 MB/s
  • READ 422.9 MB/s

As you can see the speed isn’t much difference between the two readers however the build quality is much better with the new Angelbird CFast card reader.

gallery img CFS31PK 5 lg HD

I never thought a card reader could be a weak link in my workflow but I sure learned how important it is to use quality equipment that is dependable. Angelbird CFast and SD cards have worked flawlessly for me and the added build and stability of the new CFast reader is a nice addition for wrangling media plus a 3-year warranty is a nice bonus.

Other Options

Card readers run the gamut when it comes to pricing. I didn’t even know you can spend $169.99 for one like the Sonnet dual CFast Thunderbolt SF3 reader.

The new Angelbird CFast reader retails for $64.90 USD and is available now. Check out Angelbird’s website for other products available and updates on future versions of the Solid Stack card readers.

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