Ok, I'll admit it...I'm a USB hub's worst nightmare! In the space of about 6 months I've winged through 4 hubs - for some odd reason at least one port will fail. I believe it has nothing to do with the hubs but everything to do with the laptop they are being attached to - but inevitably, I continue to purchase new hubs in the hopes that one of them will eventually work longer than a few months before something happens to them.
This particular hub was more or less an impulse buy - it is very compact and sits very nicely at the side of the laptop and thus far has worked flawlessly - but then I've had it in operation all of a week! There are no cords - the hub plugs in from a small USB port arm that slides into place very much like a Flash drive - very rigid and seems to give better connectivity.
In just under 4 weeks my last hub lost functionality on two ports - the one before that continuously dropped the ports and the one prior to that just simply died. Hopefully, this hub's compact nature will mean that it will be sturdier as a result, less stress on the port it's attached to and thus a little more longevity. This hub is approximately 1 inch wide by 1/2 inch tall and has a small arm that swings away from the body of the hub to be inserted into the computer's USB port. Currently I'm using only two ports - one for one of my external hard drives, the other for my tethered mouse. So far there has been no failure and I'm hoping that it will remain that way for some time as purchasing new hubs is starting to get boring.
The speed seems to be quite adequate and it's portability is such that I don't have to be plugged in anywhere to use it which I like. It's reasonably solid for being a mini hub and seems to take the addition of plug-ins quite well with no indication of stress or failure to date.
For $12.97 I think this will be a great little travel hub which will pack easily into my laptop case and be easy to take on the road. Now if I can locate a mini-hard drive that is as easy to transport and offers me the size I need - I'll be just about set for portability again.
I'll report on the hub in a few months - if it's still operating without problems I'll be very pleased and will have finally discovered that for once perhaps I shouldn't have been blaming the laptop :).