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Customer Review

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely designed and lightning quick!, April 10, 2013
By 
This review is from: Anker AH400 USB 3.0 4-Port Compact Hub with a Built-in 1ft USB 3.0 Cable (Personal Computers)
Well, it was only in 2012 that I jumped on the USB 3.0 bandwagon. Despite being VERY technologically inclined, my budget never seems to allow for cutting-edge upgrades. The one upside to this predicament is that by the time I upgrade there are plenty of solid accessories on the market. This is my fourth USB 3.0 hub, the first two were unsatisfactory in their design and the third is in use with my test bench PC. I tried this on my main desktop using both Windows 7 and OS X (works great on both), using two Mushkin SSDs and a Sandisk Extreme Pro CF as my benchmarking drives. I would like to thank Anker for sending me this product in exchange for an honest review.

GENERAL SPECS
- The hub itself is 2.5" on each side, and just under 0.5" thick.
- The hub has four female USB 3.0 expansion port, one on each side.
- It has a USB 3.0 cable attached - it measure 6" in length. The cable has built-in strain relief on both sides

DESIGN/QUALITY
Overall I was very pleased with the design and quality of the hub. It is a glossy, piano-black, that looks good but definitely attracts fingerprints. It seems sturdy enough, held together by four screws that will do the job much better than internal clips (pretty common). As mentioned above, the USB cable has built-in strain relief (the rubber coverings you see on USB cables), definitely important for a device that travels around with your laptop and is constantly being pulled out/plugged in. One really nice feature is that the USB ports are all on completely different sides - there's nothing worse than having to unplug a device to fit another in as seen on hubs with all the ports lined up in a row! I have a rather wide CF card reader, and an SD card reader where the card itself sticks out the side, and there is absolutely no way for me to use the aforementioned "aligned" USB hubs. Bonus points for that!

PERFORMANCE
Well as with any USB 3.0 device, it must work synergistically with your other components. My motherboard has built-in USB 3.0 (check), my peripherals are USB 3.0 (check) and finally both the drives I was using are SSDs with high read/write speeds on SATA III (triple check). Keeping in mind that speed specifications are (a) partly marketing and (b) theoretical outputs, you still should be able to achieve some really impressive speeds with this hub!

Test 1: 95/90MBs CF Card using USB 3.0 Card Reader
Well, this was pretty much a given, and my benchmarking software reported my fastest read speed at 91MB/s and my fastest write speed at 88MB/s. No surprises that with relatively low max speeds, the hub/chipset would have no problem handling the CF card

Test 2: SSD to SSD File transfer
With one SSD in my PC and the other in an IcyDock Docking Station, I fired up the benchmarking software once more. I was VERY pleased to see that both maximum rates were less than 10% off of the drives' rated speeds (550MB/s read 515MB/s write). To ensure fairness, I performed the same test with the docking station plugged directly into the USB 3.0 port on my motherboard, with very close results.

OVERALL
I was very pleased to see that this hub did not bottleneck speeds whatsoever, and managed to keep up with everything very nicely. I am particularly fond of the design of this device, that allows me to keep whatever I want plugged in without things getting cramped between ports. With the built-in cable, this is ideal for desktop and laptop use, and reduces clutter by not having a lengthy cable that you have to run behind your computer. So far, I can highly recommend this hub, and will update this review if there are any issues with quality over time.
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