So you want the best powered USB hub for hooking up that flash drive, card reader, camera, drink warmer, keyboard vacuum cleaner, speaker, webcam and what not. We’ve got no less than 8 options lined up for consideration. Go ahead, take your pick of the one that grabs your fancy the most from the candidates we’ve gathered together below –
1. Satechi 7-port premium aluminum
There’s no other contender in this array that can claim to be equally interesting in terms of design as this Satechi device. Rest your gaze upon the beautifully crafted, brushed aluminum peripheral with 7 3.0 ports and claims of up to 5Gbps speeds on 3.0. The ports are backwards compatible with 2.0 or 1.1 devices and are dressed in black or white trim options.
The plug-and-play device connects to your PC or Mac via a 3.0 port and draws its power courtesy of the included wall adapter. You can use this one with Mac OS X or later, Linux kernels 3.0 or higher and Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2003/2000/ME. It can be yours for $55.
2. Belkin 2-in-1 2.0 7-port
The 2-in-1 in the moniker stands for the unit’s ability to serve you well if you need a powered USB hub for your desktop as well as a 4-port one while on the road. There are three ports lined up along the base of the device and the white detachable part perched on it features 4 ports. Adding to its usefulness in a mundane sort of way, the base has space for storing pen drives, small notepads and so on.
You can hook up this Belkin product with Windows 98/2000/ME/XP or machines running Mac OS X 9 to 10. There’s a power cable for juicing up the gadget, of course, though the entire setup may look a bit messy when you have all 7 ports busy. Also the light build could give you a bit of a problem if you want it to stay down even with all ports choked, but $18 (on Amazon) is hardly a bad asking price.
3. Tripp Lite U222-007-R 2.0
For $26.50, Amazon will sell you Tripp Lite’s take on where you should plug in the mess of gadgets you can’t find ports for. It is compatible with 1.1 devices and promises up to 480Mbps data transfer speeds. If you were rooting for a 7-port source that could deliver up to 500mA of energy per outlet, we have a winner. A 110/220V AC adapter is provided in the bundle and you will also be able to find the manufacturer’s 1-year warranty leaflet inside.
The company has taken precautions for any over-voltage problems that may arise and the peripheral should get along fine with your Windows 98/98 SE/2000/ME/XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS X 8.6 or higher systems. It even comes with a convenient stand for placing the chassis in the upright or horizontal position.
4. D-Link DUB H7 7-port 2.0
Dubbed DUB H7, the 7-port D-Link product may appear uninviting, but it’s not vying to be the most impressive hub for its design. It supplies the ports and the energy to your mass of gadgets. But it stays unseen and maybe even hidden, courtesy of its nondescript, black housing. If peripherals were secret agents, this one would certainly ace the test for being able to stay out of sight owing to its design that inspires sheer boredom.
Why would you buy it? It costs $25 on Amazon, has 5 regular 2.0 ports (backwards compatible with 1.1) and a pair of fast charging ports. The latter can feed your iPhone, iPad, MP3 player or any other smartphone via Fast-Charge Mode2 and you can apparently add support for a maximum of 127 other devices.
5. 7-port Anker Uspeed 3.0
There are 4 versions of the Anker Uspeed that you can select from. For $32, you get 4 ports and a 5V 2.1A charging outlet. By shelling out $35, you can lay your paws on a 7-port build. For $40 or $50, Amazon will ship you the 7-port model with a 5V 2A charging port or the 7-port variant with 2 charging terminals, respectively.
The $50 device bundles in a 48W adapter and has a 1.5A and a 2.1A high speed charging port. Flaunting LEDs for all connections’ statuses, it will play nice with Windows XP/Vista/7/8 or Mac OS X 10.2 and later versions of the OS. The plug-and-play add-on works with 3.0, 2.0 as well as 1.1 and each of the 3.0 ports delivers 0.9A of electricity.
6. Kanex DualRole 3-port
If you’re actually in the market for an Ethernet adapter but think 2 or 3 extra 3.0 ports won’t hurt, enter the Kanex DualRole. It sips off the PC or Mac you’ve attached it to, though there is an option to add a 5V adapter if the gadgets hanging onto it require that extra kick.
So you have a wired internet connection as well as 2 additional (since it takes up 1) 3.0 ports to look forward to when you buy the peripheral. The device is pegged at $51.50 on Amazon, though you’ll need to pay more for that adapter we’ve mentioned. The company clearly has its eye on Mac users with this baby, but it is compatible with 3.0 enabled PCs too.
7. Plugable 7-port 3.0
The powered USB hubs list has gotten longer with this Plugable offering which shows off 7 ports and an affinity for Windows, Linux or Mac systems. It is positioned as a 3.0 host, but won’t say no to 2.0 or 1.1 devices.
There is an LED for each port on the plain, black-hued body and the 5V 4A adapter sold with it trails along a 6-foot cable. The aforesaid supply doesn’t merely accommodate 2.0 gadgets calling for 500mA energy; it will also bleed up to 900mA per 3.0 port if required. You can lay hands on this chunk of hardware which embeds a VIA VL812 chipset through Amazon for $35.
8. Satechi 10-port 3.0
Completing our powered USB hubs roundup is another one from Satechi, this time with 10 ports and a glaringly different construct. The peripheral is fitted with 9 3.0 ports and 1 iPad charging terminal. The ports are gathered into 3 lots of 3 and each group has a switch.
There is a blue LED per set of 3 and a separate one for each port when a device is connected to it. Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2003/2000/ME, Mac OS X and Linux kernels 3.0 or higher are part of the system requirements. You can plug in 3.0, 2.0 or 1.1 gadgets and the adapter packed into the box is a 5V 5A one.
Which one of these best powered USB hubs did you single out to be on your shopping list? Do you like a strong combination of design and performance as much as we do or would you prefer functionality over aesthetics? Are you currently using any of the options we’ve mentioned above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.