Who can argue with having more USB ports? This question rings especially true in an age where folks typically have more USB-enabled devices than available USB ports on our PCs. The Satechi 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub ($69.99 list) aims to address this imbalance by serving up a hub that adds a net gain of nine additional USB 3.0 ports and can charge tablet devices like the Apple iPad. Although it’s somewhat pricey and requires an external power supply, it nonetheless succeeds in multiplying your connectivity options more than any of the ports that we’ve seen thus far. If you have a bunch of peripherals or are simply tired of constantly swapping devices in your system’s USB ports, it’s worth checking out.
The 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub’s plastic chassis measures 1.06 by 1.75 by 8.69 inches (HWD), resulting in a long thin strip that looks a lot like a surge protector. While its glossy black finish is easy on the eyes and complements its array of blue USB 3.0 ports and LED lights, it also attracts a considerable amount of smudges and fingerprints much like the Satechi Slim Surge Protector. Although, the 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub itself is slim enough to slip into your laptop bag or place on your desk without occupying too much space, its power supply adds some bulk.
As its name suggests, there’s a total of ten USB 3.0 ports on the 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub. It connects to your system via the included USB 3.0 cable, and the net gain of nine USB 3.0 ports yields far more connectivity options than either the Satechi Ultra Portable 4 Port USB Pocket Hub or the Targus Ultralife USB Hub with Ethernet Port.
Nine of the 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub’s USB 3.0 ports are housed on the face of the hub. These nine ports are divided into groups of three, and three corresponding switches on the front panel’s left side control the power supply for each group. When switched on, a blue LED accordingly illuminates the corresponding trio of ports. Thanks to the 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub’s strip-shape design, there’s enough space to prevent neighboring ports from overcrowding one another. The 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub’s tenth and final USB port, meanwhile, sits alone on the right panel alongside its own dedicated on/off switch. Unlike the 0.9 amp of power found in the other nine ports, this particular port provides 2.1 amps, and its increased amperage allows it to charge iPads and other similarly-sized tablets.
During testing, the 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub worked just as one would expect, and I experienced no difference in performance when transferring a 1.22GB test folder from a flash drive plugged directly into my computer and when it was plugged into the 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub. The 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub is compatible with Windows (98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7/8) and Mac (OS 9.1 or later), and since it’s a plug-and-play device, setting it up requires little beyond plugging it into one of your system’s USB ports and a power outlet. Like the Satechi 3.0 4-Port USB Hub, it relies on an external power source. While I typically prefer bus-powered hubs for their unfettered portability, this shortcoming is more forgivable in the case of the 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub since it requires more electric current stability for its considerable amount of ports and tablet-charging capability.
All said, the Satechi 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub is an efficient way to multiply your USB 3.0 connectivity options. Although it costs a bit more than the competitors and requires an external power supply, these shortcomings are understandable considering its net gain of nine USB 3.0 ports and compact size. If you find yourself juggling a bunch of peripherals or have simply grown tired of constantly swapping peripherals out of your USB ports, it’s worth checking out.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc