My husband can't figure out why I've gone through so many Hubs - frankly I don't know why either but I have to believe that my "thrifty" attitude sometimes gets me less than satisfactory results at times.
Currently my husband and his business partner are on a spending spree - they've purchased all new office equipment including computers and network stations and from the purchase, I've actually benefited as well. I have two hubs that I have been trying to work with lately that both have issues and there is something terribly frustrating about dealing with a defective laptop and defective hubs that well... just bothers me! Obviously, it bothered my husband as well and he surprised me on Sunday with a little gift.
This Staples brand 4 port hub which plugs into an AC outlet was one of the things he no longer required at the office after the new equipment installations were completed and so I became the new owner of it. He purchased it a few months ago for $50 and it was used by his Accountant for all of 3 minutes so it's basically a new hub with very little mileage.
When the cover is closed it measures about 2 inches in width, when open, about 4 inches. It's silver in color and has the Staples logo on the front of it. I plugged it into the power bar, hooked it up to the laptop and immediately it recognized my external drives and my flash drive and quickly had them connected without any issues. Normally, with the other hubs I've used I have to go into the desktop and cancel out the recognition screen which pops up telling me the hub is searching for and locating the external equipment. This time however, all of that was completed and no pop-up windows existed to annoy me. A nice little surprise.
All is not perfect with this hub however. The cord to plug into the laptop's USB port is very short so it dangles precariously at the side of the laptop which eventually will likely add stress. The laptop currently is delicate enough as it is so I do expect I will have a problem when the laptop USB port decides it doesn't like the hub hanging off of it. The AC Adapter cord is fairly long so that is fine, but I really did like the idea of having a portable hub that wasn't powered. Now, if I wish to use this hub I will always have to ensure I'm near a power source. However, the power aspect seems to make this hub much faster than the portable solutions have done in the past.
The cover which protects the 4 port hub connections is a little finicky, you have to apply a bit of pressure to pull the unit apart enough to reveal all four ports at the same time but once you have completed this, it stays put quite well and so far I haven't had any problems with it misbehaving as far as the cover goes. With extended use, if I were to continually have to close and open the cover I may run into problems, but as it will be open most of the time, I don't think it will cause me too many, if any, issues.
For now, I'm back in business where all of my external drives and flash drives are concerned and as long as the laptop's USB ports remain functional (I've had issues there) this hub will work for my purpose and by all indications, will work quickly. Transferring information from my computer to the external peripherals or vice versa has proven to be quick and effortless making transferring files painless for a change.
Overall, although it's free to me, I think my husband made a good purchase with this particular unit - but I know my hub history so I'll keep my expectations for longevity lower this time around. I'll report any issues if they crop up and if I make it past the two month mark without any problems I'll update and then, perhaps I'll concede that my husband is a better Hub shopper than I am.