Product Review: Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port Powered Hub

Product Review: Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port Powered Hub

USB hubs are a dime a dozen. If I look across my office right now I could probably count about 10 sitting littered about. I've reviewed each and every one and it gets harder and harder to find something new and compelling about each new addition to my growing collection.

Recently, another Inateck product arrived at my doorstep. This one is the Inateck USB 3.0 7-port SuperSpeed Hub. So, I summarily unboxed this new hub and dug in to see if I could find something that the others didn't offer. Since I assume most of you are already familiar with how a USB hub works, I'll just dig into the basics.

In the Box

After an easy rip-and-tear session, you'll find the standard accessories inside the box. The box contains the 7-port hub, a 4 ft. USB 3.0 cable, an AC adapter, and the meekest of an instruction manual.

Interestingly enough, the AC adapter is 2/3 the size of the actual USB hub and a few ounces heavier. The hub itself is wrapped in lightweight plastic, but the construction makes it much more solid feeling than the Inateck SATA External Hard Drive dock I reviewed recently. Still, this hub is not as solidly constructed as the aluminum one I reviewed back at the beginning of February. It's not going to shatter if you drop it, but you also don't want it laying around on the floor where someone could accidentally step on it.

Port Layout

Inateck provides all 7 ports on the front of the device. There are some hubs that try to minimize the footprint by shoving a couple of the ports in the back of the unit, but in this case, all 7 are easily accessible.

Standard Connection Fare

Just like most powered hubs, the Inateck 7-porter houses both the AC and USB 3.0 connections around back. Additionally, the power button sits next to these ports. The one thing I did notice while using it is that the power button could've had a better placement. When both the AC adapter and USB 3.0 connections are made, the power button is difficult to toggle due to the cables being directly in the way.

What's Different

Obviously, if you're going to opt for this particular USB hub, there has to be a reason. There has to be some compelling motivation to choose this one over the thousands of others. And, while many other hubs offer this capability, too, the Inateck version supports device charging without a USB connection. This means that you can effectively sit this unit on a nightstand, connect AC power, and use it as a standalone gadget charging station. In fact, since I already have a favorite USB hub (see the Bottom Line section), that's exactly what I will be using this Inateck hub to do. Using it this way, I'll be able to consume only a single power outlet plug to simultaneously charge 7 different devices.

Bottom Line

The Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port SuperSpeed Hub is a worthy addition to your computing setup, but also as a standalone charging station.

You can find it on Amazon for about $37.00: Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port SuperSpeed Hub

…or by visiting the Inateck web site.

But, if I were to recommend a better Inateck hub, I'd offer up the Inateck USB 3.0 7-Port Portable Aluminum Hub because of the aluminum construction (it's more durable for traveling) and the moderately cheaper price. But, if you have greater port needs and can spend just a little bit more, the Plugable USB 3.0 10-Port Hub is still my favorite and the one I recommend every time.

Additionally, if you have some stringent travel needs, also love to combine functions into a single device like I do, and don't require a powered hub on the road, I'd suggest the Inateck 3-Port Hub with Gigabit Ethernet. This is what I travel with and the size and function make it a great travel companion.

 

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