• Overview
  • Tech Specs
  • 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 which supports the three major HD video memory card formats in one compact, high-performance device. Qio reads P2, SxS, and CompactFlash® memory cards—and external media readers with an eSATA interface, all at high speed. XQD memory cards are also supported with an adapter (sold separately). Replacing multiple standalone readers, Qio’s dual P2, SxS, and CF slots enable you to ingest files more efficiently. Qio reads files from any combination of cards with aggregate bandwidth up to 200 MB/sec.

Mac and Windows Compatible

Sonnet’s Qio offers Mac and PC cross-platform compatibility, extending its usefulness on location and in the studio with an interface card or adapter designed specifically to connect Qio to the platform of your choice. Whether you’re using a Mac® with Thunderbolt™ or Thunderbolt 2 ports, or a PC desktop with PCIe® slots, Qio fits seamlessly into your demanding production workflows. With the appropriate Qio interface card installed or adapter connected, you can move the Qio reader back and forth between a PC and a MacBook Air® or MacBook Pro® (or any other Mac with Thunderbolt ports). You can also migrate your Qio reader from a legacy Mac Pro to the new Mac Pro cylinder using Sonnet’s Qio Thunderbolt Interface Adapter Kit*.

Key Features

Replaces Multiple Card Readers—Comprehensive memory card compatibility with support for Sony® SxS, Panasonic® P2, and CompactFlash; XQD cards also supported (requires 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 PC desktops, or Thunderbolt interface adapter* 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 for your Mac or PC desktop and you’re good to go

Built-in eSATA Connections—Connect media readers with eSATA interfaces

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

Easy to Secure—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 PC desktops, or a Thunderbolt adapter (with included Thunderbolt cable) for any Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port.

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 fieldwork, Sonnet’s optional XLR 4-pin adapter cable interfaces Qio with an external battery pack, such as Tekkeon’s 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 eSATA interfaces, 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 (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. Qio PCIe card or ExpressCard adapter not compatible with OS X after Version 10.9.5.
Media cards, computers, and accessories shown in photos for illustration purposes; items sold separately.
Part No.  
Qio (with Thunderbolt Interface for Mac)

Sold Out & Discontinued
Qio (with PCIe Card Interface for Windows)
QIO-PCIE-W Qio (with PCIe Card Interface for Windows)
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
(PCIeAdapter Card)
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 (with microP2 adapter)
Supported Media, ExpressCard/34 Slots
  • Sony SxS, SxS-1™ G1A, SxS Pro™, SxS Pro+
  • XQD using Sony XQD ExpressCard Adapter QDAEX1/SC1
External Media Readers Supported Four with eSATA interfaces, such as RED STATION REDMAG 1.8" or 2.5"
Firmware Flash-ROM upgradeable to latest firmware version
Hot Plug Qio OS X only
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
  • Universal 12V power supply with 10-foot cable
  • 1-meter external PCIe x1 interface cable
  • Documentation
Unique Package Contents
  • PCIe 2.0 bus extender card
Unique Package Contents
  • Thunderbolt interface adapter
  • 0.5-meter Thunderbolt cable


Specifications subject to change without notice.

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Mac Compatibility

OS X 10.6.8-10.11 compatible with:

Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port
Part No. QIO-TB (sold out and discontinued)

OS X 10.6.8-10.9.5 compatible with:

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

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

Windows Compatibility

Windows® 10(1), 8, 7, Vista®

Windows Server 2012, 2008 R2, Server 2008

PC desktop (with PCIe slots; i.e. - HP Z800 or Z820)

Some manufacturer’s CompactFlash cards larger than 32GB are not compatible with Windows CompactFlash drivers


Mac Logo Windows Logo eSATA LogoExpressCard LogoCompactFlash Logo

SxS LogoroHS Logo

Technical Notes

  1. Panasonic P2 Driver not compatible with Windows 10.

Qio Read Performance

P2 Card

50 MB/sec

CF Card

160 MB/sec

2x CF Cards

200 MB/sec

SxS Card

200 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
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, 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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