Micro Innovations USB Hub
Most computers only come with 2 USB ports, often placed out of the way in the back of the computer.
Seems like computer designers seem to forget that many users, like me, have printers, scanners, digital cameras, camcorders, web cams and these days even external hard drives. All of these gadgets rely on the USB port. This means you have to get on your knees and bow down to the great God computer design engineer, kiss the ground and whack the back of your head on some wooden ledge in order to unplug one device and plug in another.
I went shopping for a hub and stopped at the one from Micro Innovations largely because it was less than half the price of most other hubs. Thatís right! Under $10 I say! Under $10, indeed!
It plugs into one of my two USB ports, allowing me to leave one device, such as my printer, plugged into the other free port. Now I have four new free ports on top of my box, up front, where I can simply reach over from my chair and do all the plugging and unplugging I need to do, except in most instances I wonít have to!
I have a digital camera, a web cam and in the near future I expect to get an external hard drive box which uses a USB port. That still leaves me with one free USB port.
While the cable of the Micro Innovations device isnít very long (about 12Ē) it does let me put the hub right smack in the middle of the top area on my tower. Had they given me 2 feet I would have put it on my desk just behind the mouse, which would really make plugging things easy! But, for $9.95 Iím not going to complain!
If you have a USB port shortage at under $10 the Micro Innovations 4 Port Hub is a life saver! Iíve been using it for months without any complaints. (They also make USB products for laptops, plus USB to serial, PS/2 and other styles of connectivity ports.)
Most of the other hubs I looked at were in the $20 to $30 ranger or required a valuable PCI slot on my mother board.
While the Micro Innovations Hub makes use of the standard USB power supply (which means some devices might drain the system, Iím assuming some of the other more expensive hubs may offer some additional power, requiring a transformer to be plugged into to your power strip, which, if itís like mine, is already in a open receptacle crisis) but this has not proved to be much of a problem for my work with USB devices...
At $10 you canít really go wrong!