Date: June 8th, 2009
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: i-Rocks
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
There are three horizontal USB ports along the outer edge for attaching your favorite devices. The ports are spaced far enough apart that using peripherals with wide plugs shouldn't be an issue.
A single USB port is on top of the hub for quickly plugging in a flash drive or iPod, for instance. It has a rubberized cover that pulls back when you're ready to use it. When this port is not being used the cover keeps things from getting inside and also gives the hub a cleaner look.
Around back is a port for plugging the hub into the PC as well as a port for the power adapter. USB bus power is sufficient if you plan on attaching things like flash drives and mp3 players, but more power-hungry devices like printers and DVD burners will require use of the AC adapter.
The bottom of the hub has a smooth coating that is presumably meant to be non-slip, although it doesn't work very well. Combine this with the already light weight of the unit and you have a formula for sliding around the desk pretty easily. I personally found this to be an annoyance, but for some people it probably won't matter.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Installation is truly a plug-and-play process. If you're using Win98SE or later, or Mac OS 8.6 or later, all you have to do is plug the hub into an open USB port on your PC and the OS will take care of the rest. There are no lights to indicate that the hub is operational, but that's not a huge deal.
It's easy to test out a USB hub because if you plug in a device and it works just as if it were plugged into the back of the PC, then it's safe to say the hub performs as it should. My first test was attaching a USB keyboard and mouse to the hub and doing some internet surfing and typing some emails. There was no noticeable lag or other issues that could be traced back to the hub. I then connected a USB flash drive to the hub and transferred some files to it – again, everything worked as it normally does when I use the ports at the back of the motherboard. With the keyboard, mouse and flash drive plugged in, I still had one open port left. I decided to attach the AC adapter and connect my Samsung ML-2510 laser printer to the hub. Printing documents, saving them to the flash drive, and using the keyboard and mouse to type and navigate around programs all worked perfectly.
Using the hub with an EEE PC 904HA netbook running Windows 7 brought equally successful results. The hub was detected and installed by the OS without a hitch, and I was on my way to plugging in devices. Everything I tried including a mouse, keyboard, and flash drive all worked great.