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Best powered usb hub 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated September 1, 2020
Best powered usb hub of 2018
However, after giving you the TOP list, I will also give you some of the benefits you stand to gains for using it. I have taken the initiative to educate you on the top three best powered usb hub that you can buy this year.
I review the three best powered usb hub on the market at the moment. If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best powered usb hub.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this powered usb hub win the first place?
I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.
Why did this powered usb hub come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office.
№3 – Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Individual Power Switches and LEDs included 5V/2.5A power adapter
Why did this powered usb hub take third place?
It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work.
powered usb hub Buyer’s Guide
Read the Fine Print for Minor but Appreciated Features
Once you get past the basics: solid (and safe) build construction, bus-powered/self-powered, and the number of ports you want, the rest of choices are largely aesthetic in nature or focused on small but appreciated details. Each of the units we showcased today features these kind of details.
Other handy features you may find on nicer USB hubs include power switches. Some, like the LOFTEK, have a small power button that offers you the ability to toggle the whole hub on and off. Others, like the Etekcity Port USB 3.0 Hub, have multiple power toggles for different individual ports or sets there of. If you have peripherals that can be powered on and off via USB signal or you just want to easily disable access to certain devices without unplugging them, the extra switches are a very handy little addition.
While USB 2.0 could be enough for most users, the fact is that prices for both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 standards aren’t so different these days. You can spend a little more and get a USB hub which offers much better transfer speeds. If you plan to use your hub for more than just some basic peripherals, than getting a USB 3.0 unit is basically a requirement.
There are two options for USB hubs in terms of power. Those that are bus-powered and self-powered. The first draws power via USB bus/port, through the connection to the host computer while the latter makes use of a separate power pack. If portability matters to you, then it’s strongly recommended to get a bus-powered USB hub but if you wish to add more demanding devices to your workstation (in terms of power), it’s better to choose a powered USB hub so you can avoid instabilities in your connections from a lack of power.
Number of ports
This is quite self-explanatory. Unless portability is critical, it’s probably better to go for hubs with more ports. This depends on some factors like how many devices do you plan to connect to a computer but going with some extra ports is recommended. You never know when you find yourself in need of adding another device in. Some premium hubs can even offer extra ports that are specifically designed for charging though these aren’t always necessary.
Now that you’re aware of what it takes to find the right USB hub for your needs, try this list of carefully selected products. There are individual reviews that go a bit more in-depth to get a better understanding of each product. Although many are similar, they can have some notable differences which can help you come to a better decision. No matter what, choosing a USB hub from this list means that you’ll certainly end up with a truly dependable USB hub that’s worth the money.
Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Data Hub
Anker is one of the leaders when it comes to the technology incorporated in USB hubs. They have lots of interesting models to look at and one of them is the 4-port Ultra Slim Data Hub which delivers USB 3.0 speeds, a durable design, and enhanced portability, all at a very fair price.
The design seems to be the main strength of this device. It’s very slim and compact, easily fitting in the palm of your hand and can slip into any pocket or computer bag. The gadget only weighs around an ounce and the impressive thinness of just 0.inches makes this one of the most portable options around.
Although the USB hub is so stylish and thin, Anker made no compromises when it comes to durability. It was built to perform, above all else. It comes with a fairly sturdy exterior and a reinforced cable. The connectors also got a nice treatment to better resist the generated heat. The manufacturer certainly paid a lot of attention to little details that can make all the difference in the long run, concerning the lifespan of the device.
If you want high data transfer speeds, you’ve come to the right place. This unit provides USB 3.0 SuperSpeed fast transfer rates, almost times faster than USB 2.0. Getting a full HD movie transferred can happen in just a matter of seconds instead of minutes.
This model will turn a single USB port from your computer into four ports which work without any issues for both data management and device charging. It won’t charge tablets or devices that require a bigger power input, such as external hard disks. Using this is very simple, even a novice user can manage as the hub is plug-and-play and is compatible with all the popular operating systems.
It’s hard to find a flaw in this slim and performant device. Considering everything, this Anker 4-port USB hub is strongly recommended for its solid blend of quality features and affordable cost. It may not have any advanced features but for most people, it offers more than enough.
Plugable USB3-HUB7-81X port Powered USB 3.0 hub
One of the best USB hubs that money can buy is the Plugable USB3-HUB7-81X which offers an expanded connectivity through USB 3.0 ports at an excellent price. It comes with support for USB Battery Charging 1.Standard and great compatibility across operating systems.
The average computer only has around to USB ports and for laptops, it can be even less than that. This device will allow you to turn a simple USB port from your machine into high-speed ports. Not only that, you can now have all your favorite high-powered devices like external hard drives connected at the same time thanks to the 25W power adapter which delivers the required energy to maintain a stable connection.
There are two edge ports (and 7) that have charging capabilities. They support the BC 1.charging standard offering a no-compromise solution to charge various compliant devices. If you want to quickly charge your smartphone, try plugging into one of these two ports as they’ll charge it at a much faster rate compared to a standard port.
This unit features two special VIA Labs VL81Bchipsets that have the latest firmware to provide flawless compatibility forward and backward between almost all USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.devices and hosts. This chipset is engineered for high performance and to maximize the energy efficiency.
With a relatively low price for a 7-port self-powered USB 3.0 hub, the Plugable USB3-HUB7-81X stands out as one of the best buys on the market. The setup is a breeze, the design is pleasant, and the performance is smooth. It truly feels like a dependable device for all your essential peripherals so that’s why it’s highly recommended.
HooToo HT-UH09-Port 60 Watts USB 3.0 Hub
The HooToo HT-UH0is a self-powered USB 3.0 hub which you shouldn’t miss if you want a reliable expansion for your USB ports on a desktop computer. It instantly adds USB 3.0 ports and two dedicated smart charging ports for a total of ports. It doesn’t have a small price tag but it packs a punch in terms of overall features.
This USB hub has a compact design and can be placed anywhere on your desk without taking too much space. You can enjoy more connectivity within arm’s reach. The device provides support for both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices though if you want to take advantage of the full speed potential when transferring data, it’s important to use USB 3.0 products with it.
The fact that this USB hub is advertised as a 9-port USB hub can be a little misleading because two of those ports aren’t used for data transfer. They are dedicated smart charging ports which will automatically detect the current needs of a connected smartphone or tablet and charges it as quickly as possible. These charging ports can keep two devices powered up at the same time.
The 60W adapter that powers this USB hub should cover all your energy needs. It can support multiple external hard drives transferring data simultaneously without issues. A user-friendly USB hub, it can be plugged in and it will start working right away without having to install any drivers. It supports hot-swap so you can safely plug in or unplug any devices while the host computer is running.
Another Anker product that’s worth a look is this 7-Port USB 3.0 Data Hub which comes with a power adapter and is ready to handle more advanced users who want a considerable expansion for their workstation.
The first thing you can notice regarding the looks of this USB hub is how surprisingly lightweight it is. At only 2.9oz, this compact device can slip in a travel bag and you won’t even feel it. It fits in your palm, but this is not all. Where this model truly shins is in terms of performance.
Boasting high-speed USB 3.0 ports, you can work with more high-powered devices at the same time. As this is a self-powered unit, it’s also able to charge your devices. To get the best speeds (of up to amps), you need to use the enhanced 7th port. This port has dual functionality meaning that it can also enable data transfer during charging.
A slight downside of this USB hub is regarding the internal portion of the unit which accepts the power adapter tip. In case you plug the USB hub in and out very often, you can experience disconnecting issues. Thankfully, Anker has a stellar customer service and can readily assist you and offer a solution if you’ll ever have problems.
Despite this slight construction flaw, the Anker 7-port USB 3.0 Data Hub is a powerful tool for anyone interested in becoming more productive and attach several high-powered devices to their computer. For the price, you can’t go wrong with this USB hub from Anker.
After 120 hours of doing research, consulting with electrical engineers, and testing hubs, we determined that the Anker 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub is the best USB hub for most people. It’s compact and reliable, and it has well-placed ports aplenty. In our tests, it rose above the competition mainly because of its usability and design: Compared with most of the hubs we tested, it’s smaller and equipped with more ports, and those ports are easy to get to. It also has three high-speed charging ports, something our readers told us they wanted.
After testing a new model and revisiting our recommendations, we’ve determined that the Anker 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub is still our top pick for most people, and that the Anker AH23remains our pick for people who need more data ports. But our new portable pick is the four-port Sabrent HB-SGAR-5V4A, and we no longer recommend the Anker 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub, which is discontinued.
Its seven USB 3.0 data ports and three high-speed charging ports face upward, so cables and plugs take up less room on your desk.
Sabrent’s HB-SGAR-5V4A is smaller than a brick of sticky notes, and though it comes with a dedicated power adapter, it’ll run just fine without one. All four ports put out up to 1.amps, meaning this model is better suited for charging phones and tablets than most hubs of its size, and the adapter provides more than enough power, which is rare. However, this square hub has one port on each face, which means it’ll take up a fair amount of space on your desk when everything is plugged in.
Who this is for
A USB 3.0 hub is for anyone who has a computer with at least one USB 3.0 port and either wants more ports or wants those ports in a more-accessible place. Many laptops have only one or two USB 3.0 ports; many desktop computers have USB ports in difficult-to-reach locations.
This guide currently focuses on traditional, rectangular USB-A connectors. But USB-C ports are becoming more common on computers, phones, and other devices. While the new standard has yet to supplant the legacy USB-A port that all of these hubs use, new USB-A hubs seem to have stopped coming, and older models are getting discontinued without replacements. If you’re looking for accessories for your USB-C device, check out our full guide to USB-C accessories.
If your computer doesn’t have enough USB 3.0 ports, or if you want a more-convenient place to plug in your USB 3.0 hard drive or flash drive, you should consider a USB 3.0 hub. If you have a computer with USB 3.0 ports but a slow USB 2.0 hub, you should consider upgrading, as you’ll see significantly faster transfer speeds across all your devices with a new hub. If you need a dedicated charging port for your smartphone or iPad—and you’d rather not use a dedicated USB wall charger—or if you’re experiencing dropped connections or other undesirable behaviors with connected devices, you should upgrade to one of our picks.
What makes a great USB hub
We surveyed more than 700 readers and added the results of our own research to come up with the criteria for choosing the best USB hubs. A great USB hub must have USB 3.0 ports and should have dedicated power. It needs to be reliable, practically designed, compact, and (for portable hubs) light. LED indicators for each port and a decent warranty are also useful.
USB 3.0 hubs tend to be more expensive than USB 2.0 hubs, and the 3.0 standard has interference issues with 2.GHz wireless devices. Still, we chose to focus on USB 3.0 hubs, because the USB 2.0 standard is ancient—it was introduced back in April 2000, while USB 3.0 debuted in November 2008—and many times slower than 3.0. For example, our favorite desktop hard drive transfers files at about 150 megabytes per second on a USB 3.0 connection, but on USB 2.0 it maxes out at just 40 MB/s—if you think you’ll ever want to plug USB 3.0–capable external hard drives or flash drives into a hub for data transfer, you’ll want the extra speed that a USB 3.0 hub provides.
Using a dedicated power cord or adapter is a smart idea if you don’t want to risk accidentally corrupting everything on your hard drive.
Dedicated power is a must-have for most hubs—but not for all of them. (More on the kind that don’t require it in a moment.) To explain why, we first need to talk about how power flows through USB hubs. According to the official USB 3.0 spec, each USB 3.0 port must provide 900 milliamps of current at volts, or 4.watts. If you have a four-port USB 3.0 hub powered solely by your computer’s USB 3.0 port (in other words, without a dedicated power cord or adapter), that means you theoretically have four devices running on the amount of power usually provided to one. This arrangement can lead to devices losing power and disconnecting improperly from the computer, which can cause drive corruption and data loss.
However, it’s important to recognize that this theoretical setup has a lot of flexibility. The 900-milliamp-current requirement for USB 3.0 ports is a minimum rather than a fixed level, and manufacturers often provide more power to their hubs’ ports. The power consumption of devices also varies wildly based on the kind of device and what you’re doing with it at a given moment. For example, in its user manual for our top-pick hub, Anker provides the following estimates of power consumption by device: A mouse consumes about 100 milliamps, a keyboard uses a maximum of 500 milliamps, and a portable USB 3.0 hard drive consumes a maximum of 900 milliamps.
Beyond minimum power, we know from our research on USB chargers that people prefer ports that can charge their phones and tablets more quickly; an informal Twitter survey of readers confirmed this. So we looked for hubs with high-speed charging ports, a feature that requires external AC power, and with the exception of portable hubs, we ended up focusing on powered models.
With those power requirements in mind, we eliminated any USB hubs without enough juice to fully power all their ports. For example, our top pick has seven USB 3.0 ports and three 2.4-amp charging ports. According to the USB 3.0 spec, that means this hub could need as much as 4watts to power all its ports at their theoretical maximums—and because it includes a 12-volt, 5-amp (60-watt) power supply, it gets enough power for all its ports at their theoretical maximums. Many hubs without adequate power aren’t significantly smaller, lighter, or less expensive to make up for that, so we ruled those models out.
Vertically stacked ports (front) make it easier to connect larger plugs and thumb drives than horizontally arranged ports (back).
A great USB hub also has to be designed with usability in mind. The ports should be spaced far enough apart that you can connect bulky thumb drives and card readers next to one another. In our tests, we found that vertically stacked ports were generally preferable to horizontally aligned ones. A hub should also be small and light, especially if you’ll use it for traveling, and it shouldn’t make the devices you plug in take up too much room on your desk: Hubs with ports on top (as opposed to around the edges) are better because the plugs you connect will stand vertically instead of fanning out around the hub and taking up even more space. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but it’s also nice if a USB hub doesn’t look like it fell out of the ’90s. And a decent warranty is useful in case you wind up with a faulty hub.
We found that an LED indicator for each port on the hub made troubleshooting much simpler when things didn’t work as intended, because we were able to tell which port was having issues.
In our reader survey, 5percent of respondents told us they wanted a USB hub with five to seven ports, while 2percent favored four or fewer ports. The remaining 20 percent said they wanted eight or more ports. Based on that feedback, we looked for picks with four, seven, and ports. Nearly a third of respondents said they were interested in a travel USB hub, and 7percent of them told us they wanted a travel hub without a dedicated power cord. So for the four-port category, we tried to find a USB hub that could work without a power cord but came with one; that way, the power cord would be available when you needed extra power but wouldn’t be a mandatory nuisance.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Despite being the best-designed hub we tested that has at least seven data ports, this Anker hub still has a couple of annoying quirks. The top plate is made from a glossy-black plastic that shows every fingerprint, smudge, and speck of dust. It’s easy to clean but just as easy to get dirty again the next time you plug in or unplug a device. (At least this model doesn’t have that glossy plastic on all sides like some of the other hubs we tested.) The upward-facing ports are great for making plugs and devices take up less room on your desk, but the port orientation means that the ports are susceptible to dust collecting inside. That said, they’re easy to clean out with a bit of compressed air.
Like most USB hubs, this Anker model comes with a chunky power supply. It’s a necessary evil, and the Anker’s is the same size as, or smaller than, the power bricks for the other seven- and 10-port hubs we tested, so it’s not a dealbreaker. This Anker hub also doesn’t have a power button, but only five of the hubs (and none of the seven-port options) we tested did, and we don’t think most people have a real need to turn off a USB hub (if you need to, you can just unplug the power cord).
If you need more than the seven data ports of our main pick (who are you?!), the Anker AH23is exactly the same size and shape as our main pick but designed with a different mix of connections: nine USB 3.0 data ports and one 2.1-amp charging port. (Unlike the 2.A ports on our top pick, which according to our measurements actually put out 2.A, this port maxed out at 2.A in our tests.) The AH23also has glossy white plastic around the sides and a different LED color than our pick, but the two models weigh the same and come with the same power brick and cables, and they worked similarly in all of our tests.
The Anker 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub (bottom) and the Anker AH23(top).
The Sabrent hub performs better than any other four-port option, but its sprawling layout isn’t great.
The four-port Sabrent HB-SGAR-5V4A is the most portable and versatile USB hub we tested. It’s quite compact, and you can use it with or without the included power supply. However, using it without its power supply carries the risk of overloading the hub, dropping connections, and corrupting data, so we recommend that you use the power cord whenever possible. That said, we tested the Sabrent hub with and without the power supply and found that file transfers were just as fast in both scenarios.
Each of the hub’s USB 3.0 data ports doubles as a higher-current charging port, capable of delivering up to 1.amps whether the hub is attached to a computer or not. For best performance, the hub requires 1W of power, and the included power adapter provides 20 W—it’s the only four-port hub we’ve found that gets enough power from its adapter. This means that you can use high-power-draw devices such as external hard drives with confidence. But the Sabrent has only one power-indicator light, rather than an individual light for each port.
The Sabrent hub measures just inches square and 0.inch thick, and it weighs only 1.ounces—it’s smaller than a brick of sticky notes. The hub’s four ports are arranged one per side. The ports are horizontally oriented, and because they’re not right next to one another, you won’t have any trouble plugging in large devices. But the layout is admittedly ugly, and it means that despite the hub’s small size, once you connect a few devices, it will take up more room on your desk than most others. This sprawling design is bad enough that we considered withholding our recommendation, but the hub’s performance is so much better than anything else in this category that we think it’s worth putting up with the mess. If you hate the design, consider the four-port Anker hub we describe in the Competition section below.
The Sabrent hub has an integrated USB cable that’s inches long; the cord on the included power brick is about 60 inches long.
Long-term test notes
One of our editors has been using our upgrade pick, the Anker AH231, since September 2014, and it has been working great, providing plenty of power for any USB device hooked up to it and allowing reliable data transfers. The charging port has also worked flawlessly.
Devices that don’t work with USB hubs
Some devices must be plugged directly into the host computer’s USB port—they don’t work at all when you plug them into a USB hub. For example, the Apple SuperDrive works only when you plug it directly into a USB port on an Apple laptop.
It’s impossible to account for every setup, scenario, and device, so our advice is to do a bit of research before you buy: A quick Google search will usually turn up common issues with the devices you’ll be plugging into your hub. We also recommend testing, right when you get a new hub, compatibility with your existing USB devices so that you can return the hub if it has a problem.
A note on wireless devices and USB 3.0
USB 3.0 ports and devices have been shown to emit radio-frequency (RF) noise that can interfere with devices using the 2.GHz wireless band; such devices include wireless mice and keyboards that use an RF dongle for wireless communication.
The RF noise can come from anywhere along the USB 3.0 connection. For example, if you have a USB 3.0 hard drive plugged into a USB 3.0 port, the interference can come from the port on your hub, the USB cord, or even the drive’s USB port. This noise isn’t always an issue, but if your wireless mouse or keyboard constantly drops its connection, or if you lose clicks or keystrokes, you should try connecting the mouse or keyboard to a USB 2.0 port and keeping RF dongles and devices away from active USB 3.0 connections. If your computer doesn’t have any USB 2.0 ports, you can use a USB 2.0 extension cable to move the RF dongle farther from the source of the interference.
The Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub’s design isn’t great for wide plugs and thumb drives.
If you hate the look of our four-port Sabrent pick, the next-best pick among a field of compromised options is Anker’s Ultra Slim 4-Port USB 3.0 Data Hub, available on its own or with a power adapter. This tiny (4¼ inches by inch by ¼ inch) stick is the smallest hub we tested, but its four data ports are arranged in a horizontal line along one edge, closely spaced, so fat plugs or thumb drives will partially block adjacent ports. In addition, our data transfers failed when we attempted to use two portable hard drives at a time, even with the hub’s optional power adapter connected, so we recommend this hub only for low-power-draw devices such as flash drives, mice, and keyboards rather than for hard drives. That said, if you’re planning to use a bus-powered drive with this hub, make sure to choose the version with the power adapter.
The Unitek Aluminum 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Smart Charging Port is appealing on paper, but in our real-world use it turned out to be rather disappointing. It has only three data ports, with the fourth port reserved for charging. Though the company claims charging at amps, we measured only amp of charging output. The power adapter’s connector also fit far too loosely into the hub, suggesting poor manufacturing and leaving us uncomfortable with how this model might hold up over the long term.
Our previous top pick, HooToo’s HT-UH010, is still solid, but it’s not quite as appealing as the Anker hub that took its spot. Aesthetically, the HT-UH0is almost identical to the Anker: It has the same body and a similar port array, including the same number of data ports. It also has charging ports, but only two instead of the three of our top pick. HooToo labels these charging ports as 1-amp and 2.1-amp, yet in our testing both supported 2.4-amp charging; on the other hand, when copying data to seven flash drives at once, we saw the transfer rate of some of the drives drop. In our long-term testing, we noticed that a bit of the soft-touch coating started flaking off the bottom surface, but that isn’t a major concern because it doesn’t impact the usability or look of the hub when it’s sitting on a desk. Again, the HT-UH0is a good hub, but it’s not as good as our top pick.
Satechi’s 10-Port Premium Aluminum USB 3.0 Hub is physically larger than any other hub we tested. Rather than the clean, side-by-side power- and data-cable ports of our top picks, it has a port on each vertical end of its horizontal layout, making for more cable clutter.
The Sabrent High Speed Port USB 3.0 Hub is larger and uglier than our 10-port pick, and it was problematic in our testing. The first time we plugged it in, the first power-indicator light took about 30 seconds to turn on. We also encountered random disconnects, heard an annoying coil whine, and saw speeds slow down during multiple-device transfers. This model doesn’t have an overall power-indicator light, and during testing this hub got warmer than others.
Recommended for IT Pro and corporate users.
This 2-in-Inateck USB Hub features high-speed USB 3.0 ports and one 10/100/1000 gigabit ethernet port. If you are a corporate staff or a network engineer, this USB hub will be a great choice for you because it allows you to connect to your corporate network via the LAN port. It also comes with a high quality feet USB 3.0 cable.
USB 3.0 Hub, HooToo Port Hub with Smart Charging Ports
This USB 3.0 Hub made by HooToo features the high-speed USB 3.0 ports and other smart charging ports (1A and 2.1A) for charging your personal devices including your smartphones and tablets including iPad and Samsung tablet. It has LED for indicating power and data transfer status for each USB port. To allow high-powered devices operation, this HooFoo USB 3.0 hub come with a premium 60W power adapter (12V 5A).
Cool Accessories To Help Organize Your Desk
Read More, but their popularity seems to have waned in recent years. Is there still a good case for using them, or have they become largely unnecessary? It depends on your situation, but there are definitely some circumstances in which they’re really useful.
LENTION 4-in-USB-C Hub
Sometimes an affordable gadget’s super-budget price is a warning. Although this hub from Lention looks like one of the better peripherals for new MacBook owners on tight budgets, (it adds two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port), its promise falls apart quickly. First, we had to make sure that the hub was resting on a surface so that it wouldn’t slowly pull itself out. Later, its USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports stopped working altogether, so its only use became as a pass-through charger, making it worthless.
Aukey USB-C Hub VGA
The Aukey USB Type-C to Type-A and VGA hub is a handy companion when you desperately need to connect standard USB devices with no compatible ports available. There’s also a VGA connection for hooking up older monitors or even projectors, all while charging your machine. The hub itself is compact and lightweight making it suitable for slinging into a bag, and its power indicator lets you know when it’s connected to your device. Unlike hubs that connect directly to your machine, the Aukey uses a cable, leaving plenty of room for hooking up other USB-C accessories.
Aukey USB-C PCI-Express Card
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome in the transition from USB-A to Type-C is the lack of ports. If you’re lucky, your desktop has a single USB 3.port whereas the rest all are standard 3.0 or even 2.0 Type-A ports. Fortunately, desktop towers are highly upgradeable pieces of kit, which means if you need an extra pair of 10Gbps-capable USB ports, it’s as easy as opening up your case and screwing Aukey’s USB-C PCI-Express card into place.
On the other hand, if you’re stuck with, say, a 12-inch MacBook, expanding your connection arsenal isn’t as straightforward a process considering – at least for right now – there aren’t any USB 3.hub solutions that forego Type-A altogether. At the very least, though, companies like Aukey have made the switch to Type-C more feasible than ever on PCs.
OWC USB-C Media Dock
If you’re using a laptop with a limited number of USB ports then a dock is an essentially accessory. OWC’s USB-C Dock Media Drive adds an SD card reader, a headphone port, Gigabit Ethernet, an HDMI port and six USB 3.GenType-C ports, two of which are high-powered charging ports for juicing up your devices’ batteries faster. The dock has its own proprietary power connection, meaning it won’t sap your laptop’s battery life while in use. Just be aware that its USB-C ports can only be used for charging and transferring data, and aren’t DisplayPort compatible – so you’ll be limited to hooking up a 1080p monitor (at 60Hz, or up to 4K at 30Hz) using the onboard HDMI port.
If you’re wondering which Mac to buy, you’ve come to the right place. Here in our Mac buying guide for 2018, you’ll find everything you need to know about Apple’s range of Macs, including the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro, with expert buying advice to help you choose the Mac that’s right for you.
Apple makes seven different types of Mac, and within each of those categories there are sub categories and variations in the specs and features, so things can get pretty complicated. That’s where this complete guide comes in, helping you make the right decision. If you’re simply looking for a great offer, visit our Mac deals page.
Mac mini specifications
There are three Mac minis available. The cheapest Mac mini has a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and Intel HD Graphics 5000.
The other two Mac minis offer Intel dual-core i2.6GHz and 2.8GHz processors with Intel Iris Graphics. These might sound like fast processors, in comparison to the processors in Apple’s newer MacBook models, but inside these laptop Macs if faster flash storage and newer generation processors, which will give these models a boost.
The Mac mini offers only Intel idual-core processor options as standard, there are iprocessors available at point of sale, but these are still only dual-core.
The Mac mini weighs 1.22kg and the dimensions are 19.7cm by 19.7cm. It’s just 3.6cm tall, so it really is mini as the name suggests.
The top of the range Mac mini has various build to order options, topping out at a 2TB Fusion Drive for an extra £90 when you buy the £94model, you can also add 16GB RAM for an extra £180. Only the top of the range model has this option.
We would recommend the Fusion Drive option as the SSD part of the storage will speed things up considerably, while the extra capacity of the hard drive is likely to come in handy.
Mac Pro specifications
There are two models of Mac Pro available. The first as a 3.5GHz 6-core Intel Xeon Eprocessor, the second has a 3.0GHz 8-core Xeon Eprocessor.
Both Mac Pro models features 16GB RAM (the discontinued quad-core model offered just 12GB RAM).
The £3,89model offers a faster graphics card, the Dual AMD FirePro D700 with 6GB GDDRVRAM each, rather than the Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB. Note that those are dual graphics cards, one of the selling points of the Mac Pro.
Both standard units also feature 256GB flash storage, with build-to-order options for 512GB (£180 extra) or 1TB of flash storage (£540 extra).
Other build-to-order options include 32GB RAM for £360, or 64GB RAM for £1,080. There is a 12-core model available for an extra £1,800.
Most people buying the Mac Pro will be choosing from the various build-to-order options, of which there are many. If you were to build the ultimate Mac Pro it would cost you £6,05- which is a lot, but before Apple dropped prices in 201all the build-to-order options added up to £7,299, so Apple’s price drop saves you £1,240, enough to buy a MacBook too.
You’ll need to invest in a separate screen, unlike the iMac which comes with its built-in 5K display. We have some 4K monitors that you could use with the Mac Pro here.
The second-generation Samsung SmartThings hub can connect to more than 200 devices — more than most other hubs — and lets you create a wide range of different scenarios for all of the gadgets in your home. However, the process to set up these automatic actions is a bit convoluted. Unlike the competition, the SmartThings also has a battery backup, which is good for when the power goes out.
Belkin WeMo Light Switches
Lutron Switches, are convenient because toggling them is as natural as hitting a normal light switch. Plus, you get the added smarts of remote control, scheduling and automation.
In-wall light switches are convenient to use, but take some work to set up.
USB port on Razer’s BlackWidow Ultimate 201Edition
TENKEYLESS MODELS. A recent trend has been toward “tenkeyless” or TKL models in a vendor’s line. These are shorter versions of a keyboard without a numeric keypad, meant mainly for gamers. TKL keyboards save space on the desktop and allow for your hands to be held closer together during gameplay. They also save the keyboard maker money (fewer of the pricey mechanical switches are needed!), and they therefore tend to be a bit cheaper, all else being equal. A TKL board is a matter of personal preference, but make sure you don’t buy one in error if that’s not exactly what you want.
Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid-i, a “tenkeyless” board.
DEDICATED SHORTCUT KEYS. These, again, are found in keyboards meant primarily for gamers. They tend to be fewer in number than on non-mechanical gaming keyboards. Also note that not all mechanical gaming keyboards use mechanical switches under every key. Shortcut or media keys tend to be the ones that don’t, if there’s a mixture.
GAMING SOFTWARE (OR NOT). As you’d expect, you’ll tend to find a dedicated macro/profile utility in gaming-focused boards, but not all gaming keyboards come with one. Logitech, Corsair, and Razer, among others, tend to include their own “overlay” utilities that can govern shortcuts, macros, game-profile settings, and lighting schemes across your whole game collection. The functionality can get quite sophisticated.
You’ll want to look at our individual reviews for details on what’s programmable and what’s not in a given keyboard’s software. Gaming-keyboard models that are more basic may lack any such software and leave you to rely only on the key-shortcut settings within each game, but that is sufficient for many players. Other models may lack a software utility but implement basic macro-recording and -playback functionality purely in hardware.
Macro creation in the Logitech Gaming Software
Which kind is best for you is your call, depending on how serious your gaming is. The models with the dedicated software utilities tend to be the most sophisticated and pricey, all else being equal. The main utilities from the major makers are Logitech’s Gaming Software, Razer’s Synapse and Chroma (the latter governs key backlighting and LED bling), and Corsair’s Utility Engine, or CUE (which was recently given a rework with the rollout of the aforementioned K9RGB Platinum.
TP-Link M7350 4G Mobile Router
The TP-Link’s 2550mAh battery should be good for up to hours of 4G connectivity, but lasts days on standby.
EE 4GEE WiFi Mini
EE’s 4GEE WiFi Mini is a good-looking MiFi that comes with three interchangeable colour bands and a cloth pouch. It lets you connect up to devices at once, and has a 1500mAh battery inside for up to 50 hours battery life on standby. A benefit of buying from EE is the decent-value data allowances and ‘double-speed 4GEE’ fast network. However, don’t be fooled by the 100MB of free EU data per month – you’ll quickly whizz through that when using the Mini abroad.
Several plans are available for the Mini, and EE recommends the £23-per-month 16GB plan for which you pay nothing up front, but it goes up as high as 64GB for £30.50 each month.
The GlocalMe Uis an Indiegogo-funded project that offers a mobile Wi-Fi router quite unlike others on the market. It’s best suited to frequent travellers who want to quickly and cheaply get online anywhere in the world, but it’s a useful device for back home too, especially for business users who are tired of dealing with flaky internet connections while commuting.
With embedded encryption the Ualso presents a safer method of getting online than connecting to potentially vulnerable public Wi-Fi hotspots.
It’s able to work as a standard Mi-Fi device, sharing the data connection of a mobile SIM (the network-unlocked Glocal Uaccepts both full-size and Micro-SIMs) with up to five devices, but what’s more interesting about the GlocalMe Uis its cloud-SIM functionality. You don’t need to insert a local SIM in this mobile router in order to get online in over 100 countries – you simply put some PAYG credit on it or buy a data pack and away you go.
GlocalMe works with multiple network operators including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Orange, China Mobile, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, China Telecom and China Unicom, and supports a wide range of connectivity bands. Because it will automatically connect to the best network wherever you are, you’ll often find – as we did – that getting online via the Uis faster than with your current SIM.
Most data packages last 30 days, and the Uitself can keep going for up to 1hours on a single charge, which should easily power you through any working day. When the 3,500mAh battery runs down charging is fast (around 3.hours) over a 3A Micro-USB connection.
Vodafone Huawei R216
R214G Mobile Wi-Fi is great value if you use a lot of data, though, with as much as 50GB of data available for just £30 per month – that’s with no upfront fee on a 24-month plan. If you don’t use a lot of data then the £1a month you’ll pay for just 2GB sounds a little steep.
Three Huawei E5330
The E5330 is a basic MiFi that supports only a 3G network, but if you can’t access 4G where you live then it might appeal. At its lowest price the E5330 starts at £per month with 2GB of data on a two-year contract, but you can get as much as 20GB for £2per month on a two-year contract. Opting for pay as you go or reducing the contract term increases the price.
This is very important if you want to correctly use your Raspberry. A too low power will cause regular crashes with risks of corruption of the file system. The power supply to the micro-USB format shall issue at least 5V / 700My but I highly recommend that you have at least has. The power supply can deliver more, a fuse has in the Raspberry will protect. At home I use a charger delivering 2A.
The SD card
The choice of the map is very important for the use of Raspberry Pi. For the ability, This will of course depend on your needs but the miniamle capacity is 2GB. Ideally, 8GB capacity allows to work on the map while still have space available. Side performance, It is the class of the card that will make the difference. The number corresponds to the minimum flow rate in mb/s. For simplicity, You can buy a pre card installed as e.g. NOOBS, available on the official website of Raspberry.
Raspberry Pi is supplied without protection. The housing is not required but is highly recommended especially if you place it on a conducting surface. Many enclosures are available depending on the model. Alternatively, you can make your on a 3D printer for example or even with plans to cut in the carton.
Careful to choose your case depending on your use : electronic or not. Some housing are not output for the GPIO connectors, the camera or display port. So you can therefore quickly be bother with it.
The HDMI cable
If you do not use your Raspberry without screen, you will need an HDMI cable to connect it to a screen or a TV. Distributions as Raspbmc or OpenElec can control your TV if it supports the CEC. You can also handle you even with the libCEC library. If your screen has no HDMI connector, You can use a composite cable.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your powered usb hub wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of powered usb hub
- №1 — AmazonBasics 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub with 5V/2.5A power adapter
- №2 — Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Data Hub for Macbook
- №3 — Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Individual Power Switches and LEDs included 5V/2.5A power adapter