Product Review: Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port Portable Aluminum Hub

Product Review: Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port Portable Aluminum Hub

I've reviewed a bunch of Inateck's products over the past couple years, and except for a clear bomb (IMO) with a Surface Pro 3 sleeve (review HERE), they have all been pretty stellar. I was recently afforded the opportunity to review another one of the company's products, the USB 3.0 7-Port Portable Aluminum Hub.

You probably already know from reading my review on the Plugable 10-port hub, that I use it daily. But, the Plugable hub is not exactly the most portable, so I leave it sitting on my desk when I travel. The Plugable stays connected to my multi-monitor, Surface Pro 3 dock setup, and I never carry it with me. Instead, I travel with smaller, more portable USB hubs. I recently switched to another Inateck product for traveling, the 3 Port USB Hub with Gigabit Ethernet. Combining features into a single product is a huge plus for me. And, while I won't be replacing this hub for travel, I do have yet another Inateck USB hub to talk about.  This new one, the Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port Portable Aluminum Hub, is an awesome travel companion if you need access to multiple, full USB 3.0 expansion.

Obviously, as the name implies, the Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port Portable Aluminum Hub, provides 7 ports. It comes with a power adapter to help keep communications running at full speed. As you know, delivering enough voltage from a single USB port to an expansion hub can be limiting. This 7-port hub does fine for 2 or 3 connections, but if you intend use all 7 ports, you'll definitely want to carry the power adapter with you. Of course, doing so, cuts down on the portability, but such is the life of a gadget geek that hungers for power – and more ports.

As the product name also implies, the 7-port hub is encased in aluminum, making it very solid. I've accidentally stepped on this hub a couple times and, while I'm not a heavy individual by any means, the smartly constructed device can stand up to such abuse.

The most interesting feature of the 7-port hub is the USB cable that comes with it. The USB cable is a flat-ribbon design which makes it tough to tangle. Tangled cables are my kryptonite. You can regularly hear me utter annoyance and anger when I have to move an electronic device from one room to another. Who invented cables anyway and how do I lobby a complaint? I fully believe that cables tangle themselves while we're not watching.

But, while the USB cable design eliminates tangles, that also means that it sports a somewhat proprietary connector, which you can see in the next image. This connector is the USB, SuperSpeed, Micro-B variety, which is not considered a standard. You can find replacements on Amazon, but you'll probably want to make a concerted effort not to lose or misplace this one. However, the cable makes up for that because it's also about 5 foot long, which is great for longer distance connections.

Bottom line: The USB 3.0 7-Port Portable Aluminum Hub is another solid product from Inateck. The hub is probably one of the company's more pricey products, but if you need a multitude of ports, that's lightweight and solidly constructed, you might take a look at this one. Again, this won't be replacing the one I currently use (also from Inateck), simply because I can generally make do with just 3-ports when traveling. But, I know some of you travel with more devices than I do, so 7-ports could be spot on.

You can find the hub on Amazon for around $35.00:

Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port Portable Aluminum Hub

 

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