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Old 11 February 2018, 14:27
Jim1348 Jim1348 is offline
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Powered USB Hubs

Long time desktop PC user here, but I just switched to a laptop computer. I am looking around for a suitable powered USB hub and I am finding that there are a lot of choices these days. I have been perusing the following:

https://www.anker.com/

http://www.belkin.com

https://www.kensington.com

https://www.logitech.com

http://www.targus.com

For those here that use these, what features do you find to be "must have" features? For example, one of the Anker hubs has a built in Ethernet converter. It sounds nice, but I don't know if I need it. Wifi seems fine, for now. I suppose if Ethernet was my only option, then I would need it.

I noticed that Belkin has some USB-C versions. Is that the coming standard or will that vanish like fire-wire did?

Kensington has a laptop keypad/calculator with USB Hub. It looks nice, but probably unnecessary for me.

Logitech seems to have fewer choices.

Targus even has a chill mat with a four port USB hub built into it.

Anyway, lets hear it from you guys. Am I overthinking this?
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Old 12 February 2018, 08:38
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Polypro Polypro is offline
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USB-C will probably be ubiquitous in a few years, but if you don't have any devices now, doesn't really matter. They also make adapter/conversion cables, see Monoprice.com

I have an Anker 2 Port USB3 Hub - un-powered, works fine. You only need power if you are plugging a ton of devices into it, or high-draw devices. $15 vs $30. Big fan of Anker anything.
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Old 12 February 2018, 19:46
Paul85 Paul85 is offline
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What do you need to plug in that you need a powered hub for? Or are you just being cautious/future proof? Powered hubs have a plus in that they take the power load off the computer hardware and that, in some cases I had, made seemingly unworkable devices operate properly.
What type of ports does your laptop have? They vary in the amount of supplied power.
Also, the power capabilities of USB ports and possible loads might be described in tech specs of your laptop. You might have one USB charging (powered USB) port with the rest being low power.

Generally your choice should be determined by your real, not perceived needs. I'd buy a simple, robust hub with detachable power adapter if I planned to plug lots of devices that might need additional power into it. USB hubs are relatively cheap and I personally would skip all sorts of AIO gimmicks.
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Old 4 March 2018, 11:44
Jim1348 Jim1348 is offline
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Powered USB Hubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul85 View Post
What do you need to plug in that you need a powered hub for? Or are you just being cautious/future proof? Powered hubs have a plus in that they take the power load off the computer hardware and that, in some cases I had, made seemingly unworkable devices operate properly.
What type of ports does your laptop have?...
I am still trying to get a feel for how I will use this. For years I have had desktop computers. I have certainly used laptop computers, but this is the first one that I have owned personally. I am trying to determine how easy it will be to pick up and take this somewhere. (it is a Dell Inspiron 13 5379.)

It has an HDMI port and I have it connected to an external monitor. Typically, I will have some video source in the laptop, which I have keyboard down with the screen flipped up, like a second monitor.

It does have an external jack for speakers, so I am using the speakers from my old desktop computer.

It has one USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.1 ports. One is in use for the receiver for the wireless keyboard mouse. Another has a USB memory stick connected.

So, if I do, or would, take this somewhere, I have a bunch of things to disconnect. While it is certainly doable, I am considering if I can reduce the number of things that I have to connect and disconnect.

Also, I have no Ethernet port on this. I always used network cable on my desktop computers. I have noticed that some of the hubs have an Ethernet port. How valuable would it be to connect via CAT 5?

It does look like some of the docking stations that have the following might be a good choice:

HDMI

3.5mm Combo Jack (Audio/Microphone)

Ethernet (RJ45)

Additional USB Ports

I have seem some docking stations that seem to be designed specifically for a particular device, but if "universal" docking stations work well, it is a bit more acceptable to me to know that it could be used for other laptops in the future.
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Old 6 March 2018, 07:18
Paul85 Paul85 is offline
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OK. So you don't have an Eth port and would like to use an adaptor for that.

I'd go with USB 3.0 to ethernet adapter if using it solo. Because old (older than 3.0) USB works in a slightly different way than soldered-in Ethernet port. USB pools the requests instead of generating interrupts. USB3.0 and 3.1 work on an interrupt-driven basis. It's faster and more future-proof.

I'd generally skip all no-names and try to get something made by a reputable producer.

Quote:
I am considering if I can reduce the number of things that I have to connect and disconnect.
Maybe a docking station is the way to go. Look up D3100 station from Dell.

Last edited by Paul85; 6 March 2018 at 07:28.
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