Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good USB 3.0 Hub with more ports than all the others., July 30, 2012
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This review is from: Anker® AH121 USB 3.0 7-Port Hub with 36W Power Adapter [12V 3A High-Capacity Power Supply and VIA VL812 Chipset] (Electronics)
{Update 11/16/2012}

I was contacted by LapMate and offered the opportunity to test for free (full disclosure here) their new model hub.

I'm going to cut/paste from the reviewer "Noname" as they described the upgraded hardware better than I could.

Noname - "1) The power adapter was changed from 12V 2A to 12V 3A. What this means is it's better for charging high power devices."

However, using Apple's own charging wire, not a knockoff copy, I can sync my "New iPad" model to my PC, but it will still not charge through the hub. It does charge off the USB 3 port in my desktop PC.

Noname - "2) It includes the latest VIA VL812 chip. The manufacturer claims it runs cooler, more efficiently and has broader compatibility. It's definitely cool to the touch...."

I agree with "Noname's" information. It is cooler to the touch.

Also the power block is now inline with the power cord. It is not at the end where it plugs in to the outlet. This makes it much easier to plug into a power strip and not take up two outlets.

I have not experienced any dropout problems since I started using this new model. It is solid and reliable. Note: See my initial review below. I've disabled write caching on all the port definitions. I haven't restored that capability in testing this newer unit.

I will also add that over the past couple of weeks I've upgraded my PC from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 8 Pro. This was not without a lot of hiccups and Blue Screen reboots. I did for a while think it was possibly because of the hub as the reboots seemed to come during the overnight hours when I wasn't using the PC except for my automated backups through the hub.

After a week of trial and error, which included just cutting out the backups and disconnecting the hub overnight, I ultimately determined that it was the latest / greatest NVidia video driver that was the culprit. My video card is the GeForce GTX 690 and the problematic version was 306.97. I've rolled back to NVidia's 306.23 driver and my system is stable and the nightly backups occur w/o a problem using 6 USB drives (4-USB3 and 2USB2) through the Uspeed hub connected to a single USB3 hub on my desktop PC.

I continue to believe if you are looking for a multiport USB 3.0 hub that works reliably and gives you a way to support multiple USB sources using one port on the PC and one electrical outlet, give this product a try.

{Update 09/30/2012}

It has now been 60 days since I made the updates to the Windows 7 configuration and each night my backups have run without one single dropout. I no longer am concerned that the device has a problem. In the past I had a 6 port USB 2.0 port that would occasionaly drop out and now I'm suspecting that it is the Windoze setting that was the problem all along with that one too. I don't know where I read this tip about setting the device to Quick Removal, but it is a tip that I'll be remembering for the future.

{Update 08/15/2012}

It's now been over two weeks since I made the changes to the Windows 7 configuration. I've not had one single drop-out of the drives. Every night the backups work as expected.

/*************************************/

I purchased this product with some trepidation. There seems to be a mixed bag of results with this product. So far I too have had mixed results, I have experienced the drop outs that other reviewers have mentioned. But I'm reserving the 5 star rating because I believe that some or all of the problem may be Windows 7 Professional related.

To explain, I have 3 internal hard drives that I back up each night to two external USB drives. I duplicate each internal drive twice. I have two older 500gb USB-2 drives that I started with a couple of years ago. I also have 4 2tb USB-3 drives that I purchased within the past 6 months. I've now matched each of my internal drives with two like sized external drives. I use the EMC Retrospect backup software that comes with the Iomega drives, which all of the drives are. Each night the software executes at the same time to backup each internal drive two times. Once to each external partner pair. So six backups. With my prior multiport USB-2 hub I never had a problem with backups due to the drive dropping out.

Two weeks ago I received my new Maingear custom built PC which has native USB 3 ports. I purchased this 7 port USB-3 hub because it fit my needs to cover 6 drives and no other vendor had anything larger than 4 ports. I did not want to have two hubs plugged in and consuming an additional power outlet and USB port on my PC.

So last week I experienced the drop outs on two nights. I woke up in the AM to find that the backups errored out because the softare could not access the drives. But, I'm a 30 year software developer and have been through many technology changes in my career. I've learned that it isn't always the obvious culprit that causes the problem. So I Googled around a bit and found that there might be a solution to this via configuration in Windows 7. I went to the external drive in Windows Explorer, right clicked on the drive and selected "Properties". In the properties dialog box I selected "Hardware" which broght up a list of all the hardware, not just the external drive. Scrolling down I found the external drive and again, after selecting the drive, I clicked the new "properties" button that appeared. In the new dialog box there is a tab for "Policies". I changed the policy from "Better Performance" to "Quick Removal". This disables write caching, but also allows the device to be disconnected without using the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon. Disabling write caching doesn't bother me because the USB-3 through put is so excellent and I'm just doing backups while sleeping anyway.

As of now I've executed many manually invoked backups with complete success. I've also gone two nights without any problems with the backups. Since the drop out may be from extended dormancy surrounding the drive, I will wait to see what happens down the road.

I'll follow up here with an update when enough time passes that my confidence is supported by the product, or dashed by the product and I'll let you know how it goes.
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Location: Southbury, Connecticut USA

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