Apple's handheld devices are reaching the point where just about everyone has one, and I mean everyone. If everyone in your home has an iDevice, but only one computer with which to sync and manage devices, then you might need a few extra USB ports. Enter Satechi's 10-port USB hub ($59.95). Overkill? Maybe. Useful? Definitely.
I'll admit, in a world dominated by brushed aluminum finishes and slim form factors, this hub sticks out like a sore thumb. Atop this long, plastic block are nine USB 3.0 ports, divided into three groups of three. Each group features its own power switch and lights up when in use. The tenth USB port is on the side of the hub and is used solely for charging iPads or other devices that require more power. This is made possible by the inclusion of an external power supply for the hub. Mounting tape is included should you decide to keep the hub out of site for a clutter-free workplace.
Once connected to my MacBook, the hub handled everything I plugged in flawlessly. My external hard drive, keyboard, Bluetooth mouse dongle, Nook, iPhone, and iPad all functioned properly with full connectivity. My iDevices were able to sync when connected with no speed issues whatsoever.
The power switches are a nice addition, but truthfully I'm not sure what good they do. If anything, the fact that they light up is a nice way to keep track of what you have plugged in, but for the most part I haven't ever powered one off with something connected to it.
- More hubs than you'll need
- It works without any speed or power issues
- Can charge iPads and other tablets
- Fairly unattractive compared to other comparable USB hubs
- Glossy finish attracts fingerprints and dust easily
Satechi's 10-port USB 3.0 hub is a great investment if you're constantly connecting or disconnecting devices and want to save time. It's also nice just to have in case you have company over and a few people need to charge their phones. Despite its looks, it gets my recommendation. If you need something smaller, Satechi also offers hubs with less connectivity options with a look that mirrors Apple's aluminum-finished products.