Sonnet Technologies says its Qio E3 professional SxS media reader is now shipping and available for purchase.

As the latest member of the Sonnet Qio series of professional universal media reader/writers, the Qio E3 offers a high-speed alternative to stand-alone card readers. The E3 is the first three-slot SxS memory card reader available, according to Sonnet Technologies.

It includes an integrated two-port 6 Gb/s eSATA interface for connecting external storage systems, and doubles as a bus expansion system for ExpressCard/34 adapter cards. Sonnet’s Qio E3 provides users with the ability to transfer data concurrently from three SxS memory cards for Sony XDCAM EX professional HD camcorders.

Users can copy files between any cards, attached storage, and the computer with aggregate bandwidth of up to 400 MB/second, with an aggregate ingest speed for three SxS cards of 300 MB/sec. Designed both for in-studio and on-location use, the E3 features a compact case with the same 5.9-inch by 6.2-inch footprint as the original Qio, but with a thinner profile.

Two eSATA connectors on the back of Qio E3 enable the user to connect two Sonnet Fusion F2QR or F3 portable two-drive hardware RAID SATA storage systems, or other SATA storage. These SATA connections are designed to accelerate card ingest when SATA is not otherwise available on a laptop.

The Qio E3’s slots also support most PCI Express-based Sonnet professional ExpressCard/34 adapter cards and most adapters from other manufacturers. Supported Sonnet cards range from CompactFlash and SDXC UHS-I card readers to FireWire 800 adapters. The Qio E3 also supports ExpressCard adapters supplied with specialty devices such as the AJA Io Express.

The Qio E3 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.8 or higher. It’s available at a suggested retail price of US$599 with either an internal PCIe 2.0 interface card or an ExpressCard/34 interface card. More info on Qio E3 is available at .