As part of my recent office reorganization I moved my desktop to one side of the room, with my mouse/keyboard and monitors to the other. As such I was looking for a nice USB 3 HUB to use with my USB extension cable so I can still use my USB accessories without having to make trips back and forth to my tower. To solve my issues I purchased this 4 Port USB hub from Amazon.
What’s is there to buying a USB Hub?
The answer to this question is: more than you may think. I have used a fair share of cheap hubs over the years and have always found the ones that look presentable on your desk never work right and those that are clunky and ugly usually work well. If you aren’t careful you may or may not get a 5v power adapter option, and they seem to rarely come with a wall outlet adapter and at most give you an extra USB port for power. Additionally you may find that the cords included are cheap, thin and flimsy.
So I wanted to be sure I had the option for external power (as USB extensions generally lose too much power for most of my accessories) and some kind of assurance that it would be quality. Having used a number of AmazonBasics products in the past I felt that looking to Amazon again would probably provide a good value and a sturdy product. After a few searches on Amazon I found that their brand USB hub was one of the cheaper options and included a wall adapter. With that I purchased it and waited for it to arrive.
After receiving the my new HUB it was time to get it out and use it. Below you can see the short unboxing video on our Instagram!
Thick power cable
As you can see in the video above the actual cables are thicker than most and the power cord is a more standard dual insulated wire set up. This is much more sturdy and gives the impression of durability than the cheap thin wire cables that are all to common this day and age.
Buy why use the power cable? Well, if you use all 4 ports and have high power devices, you may find some ports don’t work or you get spotty performance. I have to use the power adapter so it can work with my 10ft USB extension cable as the cable drops the voltage over such a distance.
The unit itself looks very professional and has a faux subtle metallic wood grain effect. It’s made of a very solid feeling plastic and feels very durable. Although with that it is rather light, so no worries of it making your bag heavier if you take it on the go. The USB cable itself also feels durable with no wiggle at the connection to the main HUB or at the USB connector.
The unit most definitely works and does so with incredible speed. Using a USB 3 flash drive I was able to transfer a 700+ MB file at over 100MBps(Megabytes – per second). Yes, that fast! So the USB 3 is certainly shining through when connected to one of my PC’s USB 3 ports.
Works with Windows and Mac. I haven’t tested it with Linux yet though. I will update this again once I have tested it.
Unfortunately this is where the positives end.
There are a few negatives though, and honestly most USB hubs fall to these, so this isn’t Amazon specific.
It’s almost too light. Yes, this unit is nice and light and great for travel. However that means it will be shoved around your desk by the cables plugged into it. I decided to solve the problem by using 3M Velcro Command strips to attach it to one of my monitors bases. Now it stays in place and is easily removable. So you may want to pick up something similar if it slides around too much for you.
The other issue I have is the professional finish is very easy to damage. Mine came from the factory with creases on it from it being applied. Clearly it’s just one of those thicker fancy metallic stickers to give the impression of quality.
Additionally when I opened it up out of the package the USB wire to connect to my machine was kinked! This is a HUGE No No with electronics. You should never pack, store or use cables in a way that kinks them. This is a great way to destroy the inner wire causing shorts, malfunctions and potential fire hazards(although I don’t feel USB has enough power to melt it’s casing). It’s very disappointing to have a noticeable kink in the cable and that it was packaged in the factory as such.
USB Port Quality
The ports all work as expected and hold any USB device tight enough you have to pull with mild force to free it. No cable will be falling out on it’s own or from a slight tug on the cord. However, the bad part is just how much give the ports have. Although cables are connected tight enough, you can easily wiggle them around in the hub themselves. I have found hubs and extensions that do not allow this and I was hoping that this would also be one of them. Unfortunately not. I don’t feel like it will break the ports, but it just gives the impression of it being cheaper by not having it held tighter in place.
Overall it is a solid USB hub that works as advertised and even comes with an above standard power supply. This alone is worth it’s cost. However as nice as it looks in photos online, it’s average quality is noticeable in person. However with that said, I do still think it’s worth the money. I paid around $17 (USD) when I purchased it which is about the average going rate for 4 port hubs.
If you are interested in picking one of these up for yourself you can find it on Amazon.com here: AmazonBasics 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub with 5V/2.5A power adapter
For the command strips used, you can find their Amazon product page here: Command Small Picture Hanging Strips, White, 4-Strip