Lexar this morning announced its first Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) memory card. Part of the company's Professional line, the 4GB card carries a 133x speed rating, which Lexar translates into a minimum sustained write speed of 20MB per second. For those unfamiliar with the new SDHC standard, it was developed to let SD memory cards reach capacities larger than 2GB.
Of course, a new standard also means that SDHC cards aren't compatible with older readers or cameras that aren't SDHC compatible. Because of that fact, Lexar includes a small USB 2.0 SDHC reader with the new 4GB card. We hooked that reader up to a decidedly average PC (not a rocket ship) and were able to achieve write speeds of about 16.5MB per second. Given the fact that transfer speeds vary on different PCs, this was a good result with the system used.
As usual with Lexar's Professional series cards, the company includes some software. In addition to Lexar's Image Rescue 3, which can help you retrieve images that have been accidentally erased or lost due to card failure, you also get Corel Paint Shop Pro X image-editing software. This is a fairly good bargain, since the latest version of Paint Shop Pro (version XI) costs $100.
According to Lexar, the new 4GB SDHC cards and readers will be available in March, with a suggested price of $149.