We’ve all seen the USB hubs that look like a black or silver block with three or more USB ports on the front and a wall charger cable on the back, right? They work well enough, but they aren’t particularly organized or nice looking. Here to prove that you can have organization and good looks is the Nomad USB Hub.
Whether you buy the three or the five port version (there’s just a $10 difference between the two, so I say go big or go home), the Nomad USB Hub is a discreet charging center that will look good anywhere you decide to place it.
Included in the box are the hub, a 1.2-meter wall charger, and the USB hub directions.
The Nomad USB Hub is made of polycarbonate with a soft-touch matte black rubber top and molded TPE footing; it has steel inserts to add to the weight for stability. The hub measures 4.75″ wide and 1.3″ thick.
When you flip the hub over, you’ll see the five charging ports; three are the standard 1A each, and two are 2.4A high-output ports (though to be clear, they are not Android Quick Charge ports). The lower amp ports work well with smartwatches and most smartphones; the two higher amp ports are ideal for smartphones with larger batteries and tablets. To the right, there is a 12V DC port for the wall charger. The five port model has a max output of 27W. The three port model has one high-output 2.1A port and two standard 1A USB ports with a max output of 20W.
You can see, looking at the underside, that the cables will plug into their ports and then feed through the molded opening at the back of the hub.
Knowing what you will be charging with a particular cable will help you dictate which cable gets plugged into which port.
The cables come tidily out of the back of the USB hub.
On the front side of the five-port hub, there are five LED lights. When there is a cable plugged into a particular port that is in use, the corresponding LED will glow orange while the plugged-in item is charging and white once it has fully charged.
There’s still the matter of there being up to six cables (including the wall charger’s) coming out of the back of the hub, but if you can hang it near the back of a table, then any excess cable can drape down behind — or you can do as I’ve done and wrap each individual cable up a bit so that there isn’t a large snarl lying on your desk.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that turn out to be exactly what you need. The Nomad USB Hub is now parked on my desk using one wall charger to attractively power-up two iPads, the Moto Z2 Force (review coming soon), a Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, and the Withings Steel HR; I’d call that a win.
The Nomad USB Hub with 3 ports retails for $39.95 and the USB Hub with 5 ports retails for $49.95; it is available directly from the manufacturer and from other retailers.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Cable and charging management for up to five devices; two 2.4A high output USB ports; LED indicator lights for charging status; Flat rubber surface is convenient for laying a phone on top; Charge up to five devices with one wall plug; Attractive matte black circular design
What Needs Improvement: Nothing – it works as advertised