USB devices have become the standard for geeks and technophobes alike. If you plan on using modern technology, you are almost guaranteed to be utilizing USB ports for many devices. Of course, none of my computers come with enough hubs, so I must find other ways to plug all my gear in. I have tried many expandable USB hubs with varying success. One problem I have had is the size as well as space for plugs. I have one hub that has three spots on both sides equaling six. There are very few cords or drives that will plug in next to each other because the hubs are too close. It really annoys me when I cannot utilize all of the available hubs. Arctic Cooling has recently released the Arctic Hub 4 port unit. I had an advance copy to test out, so lets take a quick look.
- 4-port USB hub
- Supports USB 1.1 and 2.0
- Transfer speed up to 480Mbps
- Compact and lightweight
- USB cable included
The Arctic Hub sports a compact design and interesting shape. The shape turns out to be the main reason I like this hub so much. The ubrella looking shape allows to maximize space and give the Arctic Hub plenty of room to accommodate even the largest USB plug or drive. When I print my defensive scouting reports at work, I am not able to fit the printing cable and my USB drive into my MacBook Pro. I used to have to save what I wanted to print on my desktop then delete from there. Now, I am able to use the Arctic Hub to leave everything plugged in and save some time printing right from the drive. That even includes my 2Gig Yoda drive!
The hub is extremely compact and portable using the design to stay small yet very usable. As you can see, there are three ports on the front of the device and one in the top. I love having the ports on the front. So many of these hubs have ports on both sides creating an awkward set up when plugging in multiple device. Having the port on the top leaves all the space needed for large or odd shaped USB needs. The Arctic Hub only measures in at 3 1/2 inches at the widest point making it perfect to throw in a gear bag and take with you everyday.
?While super light, the hub is made of strong plastic and feels very tough. I have no worries about it breaking when I throw it into my bag when I head to work. There is no AC adapter available, so this will not work with USB devices that require high power for charging, but then again if I am on the go, I probably do not want to plug an adapter to a wall to make my hub powered. Even though I am sure most of you have plenty of USB cables lying around, the Arctic Hub does come with a 1.8m cable so it is plug and play ready to go. As you can see, the hub works great with the Arctic Breeze Mobile that I reviewed here.
If you are like me and have an ever growing collection of USB drives and devices then the Arctic Hub may be a perfect solution to use all of your devices at one time. The slick design keeps the unit small while still providing plenty of room to use virtually any size USB plug utilizing all four ports available. Small, attractive and tough describe the hub and it is quite affordable. This one will have a permanent home in my gear bag on a daily basis.
MSRP: $14.95 Find more information here.
What I like: Small, attractive, tough and affordable. I love how the design allows me to use any size USB device without sacrificing any of the ports.
What could be improved: I would prefer to have the option to make the hub powered via AC adapter.