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Gift Guide - Peripherals/Accessories

Review: IOGEAR 3-Port USB 2.0 Mobile Hub

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Short Version: It’s small, it’s inexpensive, and it pulls double duty as a three-port hub and mini-USB device charger all in one.

GUH276_1

Overview and Features:

    • 2-in-1 Hub + Mini-B USB connector design
    • Tuck-away cable management for convenient storage
    • Lightweight and no power supply required (total power consumption must be less than 350mA)
    • Easy connection to cell phone or other USB devices with Mini-B connector
    • MSRP of $12.95

It’s good for…

…frequent travelers and people who can never seem to find a USB to mini-USB cord to charge their cell phones. The integrated cable management lets the three port hub shrink down to an easily stowable size and, at $12.95, it doesn’t sting nearly as much as competing travel hubs — especially since it allows you to charge your phone at the same time (if you have a phone with a mini-USB connection, that is).

Not so good for…

People who need to power bigger devices. The output tops out at 350mA, so you probably won’t be plugging three external hard drives into this thing. Also, the cords are upside down for most USB ports, forcing you to twist them 180 degrees in order to plug the one end into your computer and the other into your cell phone. It’s not a huge issue, although it seems a bit odd from a usability perspective.

Recommendation:

This is what happens when a company takes a simple product, adds a little something to differentiate it from other comparable products, and sells it for a fair price. I can already see this little hub plugged into my computer while I’m at CES this year, my cell phone charging happily while a camcorder, thumb drive, and digital camera all toss files to and fro. And for $12.95, even a cheapskate like me can get on board.

IOGEAR 3-Port USB 2.0 Mobile Hub [IOGEAR.com]

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