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Hands on with Cables To Go 7-port hub

24 June 2010 2,118 views 4 Comments

When it comes to powered USB ports, I’ve never had enough. My 2007 iMac’s three ports, only one of which had the juice to “trickle” charge my iPad, plus four ports on an unpowered hub left me swapping cables a couple times a day. Enough was finally enough and I splashed out for a proper USB hub.

With two external drives, a printer, camera, iPad, multiple iPods, memory card reader, audio I/O dongle, USB headset/mic and keyboard + mouse, I never had enough powered ports. Additionally, with a steady stream of new, used and refurbished Macs and peripherals through my office, there is a constant need to test things, little USB things.

I rectified that situation by purchasing the Cables To Go 7-Port USB 2.0 Aluminum Hub (Amazon, $28.49). Although it isn’t full power device, its powered ports are enough to power all my stuff and trickle charge my iPad, which I use constantly to monitor email, RSS and watch various news and podcasts.

The build quality of the Cables To Go 7-Port hub is quite good, a mix of Aluminum and hard black plastic, and cables fit snuggly. And, yes, it’s plenty stylish and the power-on light is a nifty blue LED, which goes well with my OWC Neptune drive enclosures.

It comes bundled with an A/B USB cable, wall mount, stick on rubber feet and AC power adapter. An important point here, is the power isn’t one of those freakin’ huge wall worts — it fits nicely in the bottom wall socket or either end of a power strip.

Lastly, the Cables To Go 7-Port is small, yet heavy enough that it’s not easily bumped out of place .

Know of a better product or price? Sound off in the comments…

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  • kman said:

    You left out two of the best parts!

    1) Mix of forward-facing and back-facing ports.

    Most people have a bunch of stuff that they leave plugged in all the time… scanners, printers, external hard drives, etc. Those can face back, and stay out of the way. This has 4 back-facing ports, spaced close together, since those are for devices that you won’t anticipate taking in and out frequently, in a semi-permanent installation. Meanwhile, the three front-facing ports can be for things that will be plugged and unplugged frequently (and are conveniently spaced farther apart to facilitate big fingers trying to push/pull on plugs). The small external drive you take with you. USB sticks. Memory card readers. The charging cord for your iPod/iPhone. etc. I love this aspect of this hub!

    2) “Permanent” mount option.

    There is a base plate you can screw onto a wall, or the side of your desk, and attach the hub itself. How annoying is it when you have heavy devices plugged in that are pulling on a hub? Or when you’re trying to shove a USB stick into the hub, with on hand, and of course this pushed the hub away from you? By securing the hub in place (with a couple of small screws, or perhaps some strong double-stick tape), this is a thing of the past. Push, and BAM, it goes in. And stays in.

    I agree with your conclusion, though… this is a fantastic powered USB hub. Best I’ve used in a long time.

  • Alyssa Thompson said:

    power strips are very useful but they octopus connection is dangerous~:*

  • Digi dude said:

    sometimes power strips can overheat specially if they are poorly designed~-

  • 2010 Mac mini HDMI port: Everything you wanted to know | FairerPlatform said:

    [...] Now all I need to know is where I can get the $699 plus tax to buy one… Related stories — Refurbished Mac mini from $499, free shipping — How to: Use an external monitor with your iMac — 2010 Mac mini deals: Four vendors compared — Hands on with Cables To Go 7-port hub [...]

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