Many USB 3.0 hubs, released by TUAW Labs, share two basic features: they can be used only as USB 3.0 hubs and they are generally good sized. However, Inateck – a well-known quality low-cost accessory and peripherals manufacturer – has recently released a new Portable USB 3.0 hub – specifically the HB4008 model – that presents a few interesting differences: it can be used with gadgets that are able to support the OTG (i.e. USB On-The-Go) spec, and features an incorporated SD card reader.
Usually, the design of most USB hubs is often less than satisfactory, as they usually are basic slabs with incorporated USB ports. Inateck strived to make this new hub attractive, with an aluminium enclosure on top and a black matte plastic structure. The three USB ports are located on top of the device, while the single SD card reader slot can be found on the unit’s end.
Since no Apple device supports the USB OTG capability, the vast majority of iPad and iPhone owners will probably never use this feature. However, they may need to make use of this capability to transfer data from other gadgets that do have OTG. The USB to micro-USB connection is handled with a manageable adapter. A small lanyard always keeps the adapter attached to the cable.
The Portable USB 3.0 Hub can successfully support transfer rates of 5 Gbps. The USB 3.0 ports are perfectly compatible with USB 2.0 drives and devices, while the SD card reader can be used with both SDXC and SDHC cards.
The OTG feature allows you to connect USB peripherals – such as external hard drives, keyboards, flash drives etc. – directly via the micro-USB port. These features significantly simplify the music, videos, and photos storing process.
Pros and Cons
Among the main advantages this product offers, we can point out:
– Allows you to simultaneously connect more than one peripheral
– Successfully allows you to connect external hard drives too
– Since it is bus-powered, it never requires external power sources
As far as the disadvantages are concerned, it is worth pointing out that:
– The OTG adapter is attached by a thin ribbon, which might prove to be easily breakable
– Since it is bus-powered, the device can quickly drain the batteries of those devices it gets connected to
All in all, this new Inateck Portable USB 3.0 hub is an impressive device that allows you to easily and simultaneously connect multiple drives. Due to its SD card reader, this device might prove extremely useful when you less expect it, especially if you travel consistently. With its performance, great build quality, and attractive design, this Portable USB 3.0 hub is the ideal accessory for iOS devices and Macs.