November 28, 2022

Kingston Workflow station when first announced in CES 2021 managed to grab a lot of eyeballs. Today, we have the basic package in our hands courtesy of Kingston. Let us take a look!

Kingston Workflow Station Hub is a product mostly aimed at content creators. Its a combo of USB-C Hub and memory card reader supporting SD and MicroSD cards.

Specifications

Kingston Workflow Station Dock and USB miniHub
Interface: Dock: USB 3.2 Gen 2; USB miniHub: USB 3.2 Gen 1
Connector USB Type-C for both
Supported USB Inputs: USB miniHub: USB Type-A, USB Type-C
Dimensions: Dock: 160.27×70.27×55.77 mm; USB miniHub: 62.87 x 16.87 x 50 mm
Weight: Dock: 292 g; USB miniHub: 30 g
Operating Temperature: 0–60 °C
Storage Temperature : -25–85 °C
Compatible OS: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, Mac OS (v.10.10.x +)
Warranty: Two years with free technical support
Kingston Workflow SD Reader
Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 1
Connector: USB Type-C
Supported Cards: Supports UHS-II SD cards, backwards compatible with UHS-I SD cards
Dimensions: 62.87 x 16.87 x 50 mm
Weight: 31 g
Operating Temperature: 0–60 °C
Storage Temperature : -25–85 °C
Compatible OS: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, Mac OS (v.10.10.x +)
Warranty: Two years with free technical support
Kingston Workflow SD Reader
Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 1
Connector: USB Type-C
Supported Cards: Supports UHS-II SD cards, backwards compatible with UHS-I SD cards
Dimensions: 62.87 x 16.87 x 50 mm
Weight: 31 g
Operating Temperature: 0–60 °C
Storage Temperature : -25–85 °C
Compatible OS: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, Mac OS (v.10.10.x +)
Warranty: Two years with free technical support

Close Look at the Kingston Workflow Station

Kingston sent the Workflow station in its original retail packaging. The box is nicely designed with pictures and information written all over it. From the outset, Kingston makes it clear that this product is for content creators and photographers.

The basic package comes with the dock and a minihub. The minihub essentially gives back the USB C port the dock occupies along with a USB-A port.

Since the dock is externally powered, the package comes with a universal power adapter from Powertron which supports 100–240 V across 50–60 Hz. The adaptor is capable of providing 60 W to the station (12 V DC at 5 A), which means a fully loaded dock with all ports occupied will run properly. A set of four AC mains connectors are also provided with the adaptor which means you won’t be having any problem running this on any part of the world.

The workflow station is fairly well built with a silver and black color scheme. Even though it’s plastic, it feels pretty sturdy and solid overall. The front has a simple Kingston logo and the back has two ports for USB C and power. The top surface angles upwards for easy access to all four readers when populated. The included USB hub is pretty lightweight and comes with a full-size USB Type-A port and USB-C port. The bottom of the mini HUB consists of a single type-C port that connects with any one of the four slots in the dock.

Overall a nice package for any content creator who doesn’t want to burn a humongous hole in their pocket, yet.

Conclusion

The Workflow Station basic package comes at around INR 12800 at the time of the review, and the Micro SD readers come at around INR 3600 in Amazon at the time of the writing of this review. The SD card reader (which is the universal storage used by all photographers) is not available on Amazon or any other mainstream E-tail site. The Workflow Station is a very exciting and refreshing product if we go by the features themselves; it’s an externally powered hub with USB-C ports which is compatible with most flash-based storage formats. However, the absence of a CFExpress reader was a bit of a surpise.

Coming to the downsides, firstly, our sample did not work or wasn’t compatible with USB 2.0 products. This was a peculiar issue and we couldn’t find any information about it. We have reached out to Kingston and will update as soon as they give any replies. Pending that, while this is a not a deal breaker, this is not desirable and we are not exactly happy with it.

Secondly, the issue is product availability and price to an extent. As stated above the basic package comes at close to INR 13000 which only has the dock and mini-hub with USB-A and C ports. This package makes no sense for a content creator. Why would anyone buy which is essentially a USB-C extender at this point? My suggestion to Kingston would to either drop the mini-hub completely and replace that with an SD reader or add a reader maybe with a little or no price bump. The availability on the other hand is something Kingston really needs to work on in India at least. Anything other than core pc products are either not stocked by the distribution channel or is sold at a premium. I am not a business guy, but even I think a reshuffling of priorities are in order.

Make no mistakes, the Workflow Station is THE Ultimate Hub, but the execution in India in terms of price and availability is making it a hard sell.

As always, a video feature courtesy our friends over at Tuktak Tech will be coming. So stay tuned for that!