Having to reach the back of my CPU every time I needed to plug into the USB port was quite a hassle. Wrestling and making my way through the cables and wires, reaching a port to find out that there is no space. The port beside is housing a thumb drive that is bigger and it eats into the space of the other USB port. This cannot go on and I proceeded to order the Anker USB Hub. Let’s see if this is worthy to be on your desk.
The Anker USB Hub packaging comes with the USB hub, a power adapter (12V 3A) and a USB 3.0 cable which connects the USB from the computer to the hub. The hub is made of plastic and the footprint isn’t big and it is slightly bigger than the palm of my hands. As Anker USB Hub needs a power adapter to power it up, you need to find a power point to plug it in. The bad is that the power plug will take up a slot on your power socket permanently. The good is that compared to unpowered USB hubs, the powered hubs can provide more power which in turn allows to connect more power hungry devices simultaneously.
USB 3.0 features a much higher transfer rate of data of up to 5 Gbps (625 MB/s) compared to the USB 2.0’s 480 Gbps (60 MB/s). It’s good to note that you have to use compatible devices for the faster transfer rate. Meaning the data cable, and both computer USB port and your device have to be USB 3.0. If your harddisk for example is USB 2.0 while your com port is USB 3.0, you will only get USB 2.0 speed, likewise for vice versa.
Using a USB 3.0 harddisk, I tested by copying a file size of 11GB~ through USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 on my computer, followed by the USB 3.0 hub.
|~11GB File Size|
|Direct USB 2.0||~39 mb/s|
|Direct USB 3.0||~81 mb/s|
|Hub USB 3.0||~79 mb/s|
You might be wondering why is it not the advertised speeds? Those are theoretical speeds and there are also many reasons that will affect the data transfer speed. One of the reasons is the harddisk SATA version. For example SATA 1 has a theoretical speed of 150 Mb/s and SATA 2 has 300 MB/s. Depending on whether you are performing read/write actions from or to these harddisks, will affect the advertised data speeds.
The USB ports are compatible with both Windows and Mac OS and the 7th port features a charging port which outputs up to 1.5A compared to the data ports which outputs up to 0.9A. According to Anker, if the hub is disconnected from the computer, or when the computer is in sleep mode or powered off, the charging port will output up to 2.0A but the data ports will not charge. It’s good to note that these are also theoretical speeds and will vary from different devices.
Below are the approximate output in A (Ampheres) of the devices I have. Devices are switched on when tested.
|Model||Data Port||Charging Port||Charging Port standalone|
|iPad Mini 1||0.45||1.15||1.21|
|iPad Mini 2||0.43||1.23||1.25|
|Galaxy Tab 7.7||0.39||0.41||0.40|
|LG Optimus G Pro||0.48||0.50||0.87|
|Redmi Note 3G||0.45||0.72||0.70|
Likewise the numbers are no where near the advertised numbers because different devices draw different power. As the Anker USB Hub is more focused as a data hub, having 1 charging port that have a higher output current was enough for me. One thing to note is that these ports are data ports, so compared to dedicated charging ports, their output will be lesser. (As the Galaxy Tab 7.7 requires at least 2A to charge, you can only use this hub to transfer data and not charge the Galaxy Tab 7.7)
I used a device called Charger Doctor which can measure the approximate voltage and current of the USB port.
The Anker USB hub allows connected devices with a combined current of 6A. Anything more than that the output current may disconnect or become unstable. So far I have tried plugging in the following :
The Anker USB Hub cost SGD$84 after shipping. Despite the high price, the hub has proven itself well. Although the charging and data transfer speeds are no where near the advertised numbers, it was still better than USB 2.0 ports. Having 7 USB 3.0 ports at the reach of my hands whenever I needed it was great and the extra charging port was like icing on the cake. Spaces between USB ports are also generous which allow slightly thicker cables or thumb-drives to be used.
For travel, I wouldn’t recommend using this as the power adapter will be quite a hassle to bring around. Fortunately, Anker do have hubs that are powered by USB only, which are more portable without the power adapter. Lastly, if you have many devices that you might somehow want to plug in all at once, the Anker USB Hub is for you.