ProGrade Digital USB 4.0 CFexpress Type B memory card reader review

At last! A CFexpress card reader that actually does justice to Type B cards

ProGrade Digital PG05.6 USB 4.0 Type B card reader
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The ProGrade Digital PG05.6 USB4 card reader is the fastest card reader we've ever tested. No USB 3.2-based Type B reader will get close to the transfer speeds this ProGrade reader is capable of. If you want to realize the speed potential of a Type B memory card (and you have a USB4-capable computer), the ProGrade PG05.6 is the only Type B card reader worth buying.


  • +

    USB4 interface

  • +

    Blistering transfer speeds

  • +

    Excellent build quality


  • -

    High (but justified) price

  • -

    Could be even faster

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Even as a photography and tech journalist, I can't pretend that even the best memory card readers are the most exciting devices. Prograde Digital's PG05.6 CFexpress Type B reader is rather more special than your average card reader though. It may look pedestrian, but this is one of an extremely rare breed of readers to use the cutting-edge USB4 interface. This gives it the potential to be 4x faster than a typical CFexpress type B reader based around USB 3.2 Gen 2 technology, and therefore this could also be the fastest memory card reader in the world.

Part of my indifference towards the humble card reader is that most tend to offer essentially the same performance, being based around the now ubiquitous USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface. This means they'll all be capable of a theoretical 10Gbps transfer speed - or around 800-900MB/s in the real world. For an SD card reader, that's perfectly sufficient, but when it comes to CFexpress Type B, 800-900MB/s just isn't enough. Even the 'slowest' Type B cards are capable of over 1200MB/s, meaning a USB 3.2 Gen 2 CFexpress reader will noticeably bottleneck a Type B card.

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Supported cardsCFexpress Type B (no XQD compatibilty)
InterfaceUSB 4.0, Type C
Performance Speedup to 5 gigabytes per second
Operating Temperature 0°C ~ 70°C
Warranty2 years
Size (L x W x H)70 x 70 x 20mm
Weight113g (3.99oz)

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.