• Overview
  • Technical Specifications
  • Performance
  • Accessories
  • Reviews

Multiple Slots, Quick Input and Output

Sonnet's Qio is a multi-tasking marvel; this is the video industry's first device that supports all major HD video memory card formats in one compact, high-performance device. Qio reads from just about any memory card—SxS, P2, CompactFlash®, SDHC™ and SDXC™—and external media readers with an eSATA interface, all at high speed. Replacing multiple standalone readers, Qio's dual P2, SxS, and CF slots enable you to ingest files more efficiently, and the included SD card adapter handles SDHC and SDXC media. Qio reads files from any combination of cards with aggregate bandwidth up to 200 MB/sec., much faster than FireWire® or USB adapters are capable.

Mac and Windows Compatible

Sonnet's Qio offers Mac and PC cross-platform compatibility, extending its usefulness on location and in the studio with interface cards designed specifically to connect Qio to the platform of your choice. Whether you're using a Mac or PC desktop with PCIe slots, a MacBook Pro® with an ExpressCard slot, or any Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port, Qio fits seamlessly into the development of your projects and demanding production workflows.

For example, install or connect your computer's appropriate Qio interface card or adapter and move Qio from a PC (connected via a PCIe 2.0 interface card) to a MacBook Pro (with a ExpressCard interface). Or, move your Qio between new and legacy Mac Pro systems by connecting to the new Thunderbolt Mac Pro (through Qio's Thunderbolt adapter kit*) and to an older PCIe slot Mac Pro (with a PCIe 2.0 interface card).

Key Features

Replaces Multiple Card Readers—Comprehensive memory card compatibility with support for Sony® SxS, Panasonic® P2, CompactFlash, SDHC and SDXC cards (with included adapter); XQD cards also supported (with adapter, sold separately)

Fast—Uses PCI Express® bus interface to deliver superior performance; aggregate bandwidth of 200 MB/sec.

Choice of Interfaces—Qio package includes your choice of interface: PCI Express 2.0 card for Mac or PC desktops, ExpressCard/34 for MacBook Pros, or Thunderbolt™ interface adapter kit* for any Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port

Mac and Windows Compatible—Qio works within your workflow, regardless the platform you've chosen; simply connect Qio to the appropriate interface card for your Mac desktop or notebook or PC desktop and you're good to go

Built-in SATA Connections—Connect media readers with an eSATA interface

Small and Rugged—Strong aluminum case measures just 5.9" x 6.2" x 1.22"

Security—Slot for Kensington® and similar security locks to secure the device and deter theft


Qio Interfaces

Choice of Interface

Qio is available with your choice of a PCIe 2.0 interface card for either Mac or PC desktops, an ExpressCard/34 interface for MacBook Pros, or a Thunderbolt adapter kit* (with included Thunderbolt cable) for any Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port. With the purchase of an additional Qio PCIe 2.0 interface card (Mac), ExpressCard/34 interface card, or Thunderbolt adapter*, you can move your Qio from suite to suite, and then to location and back again without breaking a sweat. No matter where you use it, Qio will quickly become an essential tool in your workflow.

Flexible Power Options

AC Power
For desktop use, a universal 12V output AC power supply (with wall plugs for US, Japan, Europe, UK and Australia) is included.

Battery Power
For battery-powered operation during field work, Sonnet's optional XLR 4-pin adapter cable interfaces Qio with an external battery pack, such as Tekkeon myPower ALL batteries at an 8-19V setting.

FireWire Bus Power
Alternatively, you can power the Qio by connecting it to a computer with a FireWire port with Sonnet's optional FireWire 400-to-3.5mm power cable.

eSATA Connections

Qio includes four eSATA ports, perfect for connecting media readers with an eSATA interface, such as the RED STATION REDMAG 1.8" and 2.5".

Media Cards

Qio supports a full range of media cards such as (from left to right) Sony SxS, Panasonic P2, CompactFlash, SDHC, and XQD (not shown, adapter sold separately) cards.

Travel and Desktop Companion

The Qio pro media reader is small—about the size of three stacked CD cases—and takes up so little space, you can use it just about anywhere. It's rugged, too—the robust aluminum case easily withstands heavy use. This pro media reader even incorporates a slot for Kensington and similar security locks to secure the device and deter theft.


 *Qio Thunderbolt interface adapter not compatible with PCs.
Media cards, computers, and accessories shown in photos for illustration purposes; items sold separately.
Part No.  
Qio with PCIe Card Interface
QIO-PCIE (with PCIe 2.0 card interface for Mac)
QIO-PCIE-W (with PCIe 2.0 card interface for Windows)
Qio with ExpressCard/34 Card Interface
QIO-E34 (with ExpressCard/34 card interface for Mac)
Qio with Thunderbolt Interface Kit

(with Thunderbolt adapter kit for Macs with Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 ports)

Warranty 2-year
Form Factor Qio media card reader
External Connectors
(Qio Enclosure)
  • Two CompactFlash (CF)
  • Two CardBus (P2)
  • Two ExpressCard/34 (SxS)
  • Four eSATA
  • External PCIe x1 - 18
  • Three power
Host Connector
(PCIe and ExpressCard Adapter Cards)
External PCIe x1 - 18

Host Connector

(Thunderbolt Adapter)


Data Transfer Speed Up to 200 MB/s aggregate
Bus Interface PCI Express x1
Supported Media, CompactFlash Slots Type I CompactFlash
Supported Media, CardBus Slots(4) Panasonic P2, P2 E-series, microP2 card (with microP2 adapter)
Supported Media, ExpressCard/34 Slots
  • Sony SxS, SxS-1™, SxS Pro™, SxS Pro+
  • SanDisk SxS ExpressCard
  • SDHC/SDXC cards using a separate adapter
  • Sony MEAD-SD02 SD Card Adapter for XDCAM Series
  • XQD using Sony XQD ExpressCard Adapter
External Media Readers Supported Four with eSATA interface, such as RED STATION REDMAG 1.8" or 2.5"
Firmware Flash-ROM upgradeable to latest firmware version
Hot Plug Qio Supported in MacBook Pro with OS X 10.6.8+
Dimensions WxDxH: 5.9 x 6.2 x 1.2 in. (14.9 x 15.7 x 3 cm)
Power 12V@3A input
2 X 12V@ 0.5A output
Absolute Maximum Input Voltage 14V (Rev A, B, C)
20V (Rev D and later)
RoHS Compliant Yes
Universal Package Contents
  • Qio Pro Universal Media Reader
  • SD card adapter
  • Universal 12V power supply with 10-foot cable
  • 1-meter external PCIe x1 interface cable
  • Documentation
Package Contents
  • PCIe 2.0 bus extender card
Package Contents
  • PCIe 2.0 bus extender ExpressCard/34
Package Contents
  • Thunderbolt interface adapter
  • 0.5-meter Thunderbolt cable


Specifications subject to change without notice.

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Mac Compatibility

OS X® 10.6.8-10.9.4

Mac Pro® (with card slots)
Order Part No. QIO-PCIE

MacBook® Pro (with an ExpressCard/34 slot)
Order Part No. QIO-E34

Mac® with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port
Order Part No. QIO-TB

Windows Compatibility

Windows® 8,  7, Vista®

Windows Server 2008 R2, Server 2008

PC desktop (with PCIe slots; i.e. - HP Z800 or Z820)
Order Part No. QIO-PCIE-W


Mac Logo Windows Logo eSATA LogoExpressCard LogoCompactFlash Logo

SxS LogoroHS Logo


Qio Read Performance

P2 Card

50 MB/sec

CF Card

110 MB/sec

2x CF Cards

200 MB/sec

SxS Card

150 MB/sec

2x SxS Cards

200 MB/sec



Qio Accessories Part No. Description
FireWire Power Cable FireWire 400-to-3.5mm Power Cable CABLE-PWR-P200S 1-meter FireWire 400 to 3.5mm power connector cable
XLR 4-pin DC Power Adapter Cable XLR 4-pin DC Power Adapter Cable QCB-XLR4 XLR 4-pin adapter cable
Sonnet PCIe Bus Extender ExpressCard/34 Adapter PCIe 2.0 Bus Extender ExpressCard/34 PCIE-E34 Spare ExpressCard/34 interface
Sonnet PCIe Bus Extender PCIe Adapter PCIe 2.0 Bus Extender Card PCIE-E2 Spare PCIe 2.0 interface card
Qio Thunderbolt Interface Adapter Kit Qio Thunderbolt Interface Adapter Kit (Mac only) QTB-IFK Thunderbolt interface adapter with PCIe and Thunderbolt cables


Sonnet Qio Review. Very, Very, Fast Offloads.
"I had heard about the QIO some time ago, so I approached Sonnet to see if I could borrow a unit to review. I was given the loan of a Sonnet QIO at NAB. I have been playing with it since then and you know what, it’s a great device. So what exactly is it? Well it is an extension box that allows you to connect a range of peripherals and flash memory cards to your computer via the PCI bus. The reason I wanted to borrow one was because the QIO is one of the few devices (the only device?) that allows you to connect SxS, Compact Flash and P2 cards to a computer using the high speed PCI bus with hot-swappable functionality…

This is one fast device. If you have lots of media to off-load and backup it’s going to save you a lot of time. If you are a production company that works with large volumes of solid state media it will pay for itself very quickly in saved man-hours. If your working in the field with a MacBook Pro the ability to connect both the media and eSATA devices at the same time makes the QIO a very interesting proposition. It is well constructed, simple to install and use, what more could you ask for."

DV Award

In Review: Sonnet Technologies Qio
"The Sonnet Technologies Qio answers one of the most significant questions posed by editors dealing with solid-state media: how do I copy the contents of the cards to my computer? And the Qio answers the question without any uncertainty…

Who needs the Qio? Any editor who deals with a variety of solid-state media. Nothing is worse than having a client drop off a P2 card and you have no way to read it. “Er, can I plug your camera into my computer so I can copy the contents of the card?” Or, “I know I have that little USB CF card reader somewhere around here…” And it’s not just for editors needing multiple formats. A solid piece of equipment to me is far preferable to an inexpensive card reader which might be slow and much more subject to failure when you need it most. The Qio is most useful to anyone who needs to extend the bus capability of their computer to additional storage and other compatible card-based devices.

The Qio represents the only product of its kind on the market and I am pleased to recommend it with great enthusiasm."

Creative Cow Rating

Fast Enough? Data-Driven Broadcast Infrastructure
"…The single most impressive ingest product that I saw was the Sonnet Technologies Qio, pronounced Cue-Eye-Oh. Using a single PCIe slot, it gives you two P2 readers, two Sony SxS readers, and two CF Card readers.

My first reaction was, "It takes up another card slot?!? What if you need a slot for a SATA card?" The Sonnet Qio also incorporates the well known E4P eSATA card - built right into the Qio! So in addition to everything else, you get four eSATA ports, all of which support port multiplication for your eSATA drives. Amazing!"

Studio Daily Rating

Review: Sonnet Qio
"As a solid-state card reader, the Qio accepts every kind of card your cameraman may hand you: P2 cards from Panasonic cameras, CompactFlash cards from digital SLRs or Red cameras, SxS cards from Sony, JVC cameras or Arri cameras, and SDHC cards (via an adapter) from everything else. This versatility is a big deal. As many folks move from tape to solid-state, they can buy one convenient reader that handles it all.

Not only does the Qio work with all of these card formats, but it accepts two of each card at a time — two P2 cards, two SxS cards, and so on. It’s like the Noah’s Arc of card readers, and that’s helpful if you’re shooting a lot of cards during the day, and want to copy two at a time. With two cards mounted, you don’t have to hover around your computer as it copies, waiting to slip in the next card. It’s a nice convenience, and no other card reader gives you dual-slotted options for so many media formats.

…[its] a great option for production houses, editors and DITs who have to make their way in this world of endless media formats."

Awards & Case Studies
Black Diamond Award 2010
DV Award of Excellence
Quote BubbleSee what reviewers and customers have to say about other Sonnet products in our News section under Product Reviews and Case Studies.

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