When I was using a desktop, I was able to set things up just the way I liked… and leave them that way. I used one of the USB ports on my iMac for an iOS 30-pin cable, one for a printer, one for a high quality microphone and one for a USB hub. That hub connected to a scanner and other assorted devices. Now that I am back to using a laptop as my main… in fact my only… computer I don’t have the luxury of setting things up and then leaving them connected full-time. That’s why I was interested in Satechi’s UH-12P USB 2.0 Hub with Power.
This little gadget adds twelve USB 2.0 ports to any Mac or PC. But it isn’t just a simple USB hub. No, this hub adds much more, and it does so for a more-than-reasonable price.
Let’s take a look.
The UH-12P USB 2.0 Hub with Power allows you to connect USB devices such as digital cameras, external hard drives, flash drives, and printers. The hub is uniquely designed so that the two switches can control first six or second six USB ports with the blue Led indicators. Providing data rates of up to 480Mbps, this 12-port hub is the ideal solution for transferring data between your computer and external USB storage devices. Equipped with a power supply, the Satechi UH-12P USB 2.0 hub guarantees the electric current stability and the effective operation of connected USB devices. It does not require any software or complicated installation process. With the slim, strip-shape design, it saves your precious desktop space. It’s extremely portable and easy to move between systems or take on the road.
The hub features 12 individuals USB ports. That means you can connect numerous USB devices such as external hard drives, mp3 players, mice, digital cameras, printers… just about any USB device you can think of… so long as it uses USB 2.0. Yes, this hub is advertised as offering transfer rates of up to 480Mbps. That is all good and well until you realize that “transfer rates of up to 480Mbps” (and an effective throughput is 35 MB/s) is the standard speed rating for USB 2.0. Again, that is all good and well except for the fact that my MacBook Pro has USB 3.0, which is more than 10 times as fast and offers a maximum transmission speed of up to 5 Gbit/s (625 MB/s), and Thunderbolt ports which doubles THAT speed.
Not following? Here’s a graph from Apple’s website to show the speed difference from one to the next.
Put another way, in 2012 USB 2.0 is rather slow. Yes, for most things the speed of USB 2.0 will be fine but it is slow. I, for example, will use it to connect my scanner, my printer and a slow but large external backup drive. All of them are designed for USB 2.0 so it is all good. It is just important to note that anything plugged into this hub that CAN go up to faster speeds will be throttled as compared to using USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt.) It is amazing just how quickly you get used to the fast speed of Thunderbolt!)
I do appreciate the included tape which makes it simple to secure the hub in place and ensure the whole arrangement stays nice and neat.
The hub is compatible with Windows 98SE /ME /2000 /XP /Vista /7, Mac OS 9.1 or above, Linux 2.4 or above, offers the convenience of being hot swappable and hot pluggable and, best of all, you can daisy-chain hubs and connect up to 127 different USB devices.
In the box is the USB hub, a power adapter, a 3′ extension cable and tape for securing the hub in place.
One final note. When connected to a computer it WILL charge an iPod touch or an iPhone. It will not charge an iPad due to that device’s increased power requirements. When plugged into a wall outlet but not connected to a computer it will not charge the touch or iPhone either.
Here is the bottom line for me. Because of the limited speeds and the inability of the hub to serve as a charging station unless it is connected directly to a computer this is not the ideal hub for someone like me. Having said that, this hub is quite useful for anyone who needs to connect different referrals and will often be connecting and disconnecting the host computer. I WILL be using it but only to connect devices that still have USB 2.0 only. That means I’ll hook up my scanner, my printer, I will leave an iPhone sync cable attached to it and likely have two with three other USB connections made and left in place. Whenever I need to connect the peripherals, it will now simply be one USB connection to the computer and all of them will be good to go. It is far from perfect, but it is a nice convenience. Add in the fact that it is currently on sale for under $30, and this is a good deal. It is especially useful for students heading to college since their dorm rooms often have a dearth of wall outlets. This would be quite convenient for just about any student.
MSRP: $39.99 but on sale for $29.99
What I Like: Lets you connect up to 12 devices right out of the box; Lets you had half of the USB ports turned off while the other half are turned on; Includes take for securing the hub in place; Offers the ability to daisy-chain different hubs together for a total of over 120 different connected devices
What Needs Improvement: Only charges iPhones and iPod touches when connected to a computer; Slow USB 2.0 speech; No ability to charge an iPad