By August 28, 2012

Syba 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub with Extra Charging Port Review

My work laptop has USB 3.0 ports. I was happy to find the faster version of the ubiquitous connection, as we sometimes transfer larger files back and forth via external hard drives or thumb drives. The downside: my laptop (an Asus ultrabook) only has two USB ports — one a boring old 2.0 port, and one the delicious 3.0 port. Even worse, I need one port for my Logitech wireless mouse receiver.

I needed a USB hub for my desk at work, and the prices for USB 3.0 hubs were two to four times the cost of a 2.0 hub of equivalent capacity. I wanted the most affordable hub I could find, and as such landed on Syba’s SD-HUB20092

On paper, Syba’s four-plus-one hub sounded good. The hub comes with a fifth “extra charging” port, which is supposed to be used for charging your devices.

However, despite being listed as providing one amp, the charging port makes little difference in practical usage. It doesn’t charge things any faster than the normal port. Also, the charging port doesn’t always work for every device. The Syba doesn’t charge my Google Nexus 7 tablet or my GoPro Hero2 HD camera. For some reason these devices work on the four data ports, but not the SPECIAL CHARGING PORRRRRT™. Bleh.

Speaking of not working, the hub will just stop working from time to time. My mechanical keyboard will go dead, and I have to hit the power switch on the hub and then turn it on again. I don’t know what the fix would be if I chose to mount the Syba hub inside a desktop computer, as unplugging its power would be a major pain in the ass.

I regret buying the Syba SD-HUB20092. Even though it wasn’t horribly expensive at $28, any speed gains from its USB 3.0 ports is outweighed by the uselessness of the “charging port” and the sporadic hub crashes. USB 3.0 hubs are still pricey, but I encourage you to look elsewhere.

Not recommended

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