Transcend TS-HUB3 USB 3.0 Hub Review

HUB3 Official Image of Retail Package
Honestly, I've never thought that I would ever need a USB hub. In case you don't know what a USB Hub is, it's an accessory that allows you to 'multiply' one of your USB ports to more than one (usually 4 ports). Anyway, I thought that way because my old Dell Inspiron has 4 USB ports. That's more than enough for me. In fact, I was surprised that there are only a handful of laptops that actually have 4 USB ports, regardless which version of USB it has. Now, I have two additional computers: a MacBook Pro and an Acer Iconia W510 tablet. Both of them have limited USB ports; in fact, I have to use an OTG cable for the latter. That fact forces me to finally turn to USB Hub.

Yesterday, on Christmas day, I came across this little product. It's pretty rare to see a hub that uses USB 3.0 ports, so I decided to take a look. It was a little bit pricey, but I thought it was going to be worth it in the coming years. USB 3.0 devices may still be limited in number, but it would eventually replace the remaining USB 2.0 devices in the coming years. So, can I justify my purchase of this little fella? Hit the break and I'll try to explain everything in-depth! :D

Packaging

A rather complete package
Okay, first thing's first. The retail package is exactly the same as the first image, except it's quite glossier in the real world. Opening it, you'll find a transparent piece of plastic housing the hub, a USB 3.0 SS cable, and the power adapter. Miscellaneous includes a pair of product brochure and a warranty card. This is the packaging in Indonesia, so you folks from other countries might get a slightly different package. I can't comment on this one, since you shouldn't expect anything from this kind of accessory. All I can say is that it's complete, and it's ready to go.

The Look

The Hub's Front
The star of this package, the hub itself, is actually pretty small. Measuring at 78.6mm in width, 49.5mm in length, and 15mm in height, it's smaller than even a credit card (minus the height). Therefore, it'll easily fit into your pocket, or your laptop bag. The included USB cable has the length of approximately 45.5cm. Its length is perfect, I think, since it won't need to stay that far from your laptop.

The back. Left side is for the AC adapter, the right is for the USB SS Cable
Moving on to the hub. It's actually a 1-to-4 hub. 3 ports in the front, and one on the right side. The lonely port on the right is quite special, actually. It's claimed that it supports fast charging, meaning that if combined with the included AC adapter, it could provide 2.0A output to the connected device. That means, this thing can fast-charge one of your gadgets on the go. All USB ports are fully compatible to USB 2.0 devices, like always.

The Usage

Four ports. All used.
Well, I literally waste no time to put this thing to a test. I connected 4 devices to my Acer Iconia consequently: Apple iPad2, BlackBerry Q10, Acer external DVD Burner, and a HP Flash Drive. The AC adapter is also plugged in, as you can see from the picture above (sorry for the messy background :p). At first I was afraid that it would crash, but Boy, my Acer could withstand it, despite its Atom processor. When I first handled an Atom netbook, I was so annoyed like heck that I thought Atom processors are total failures. However, with Intel's latest Z2760, it's quite an improvement. It still can't game but heck, who would run Crysis on a tablet that's aimed for office and productivity use? Anyway, I was quite impressed with the performance. Each port has a LED indicator as seen in the picture to indicate that the port has a device attached to it, and the computer detects it. Unfortunately, I can't test the USB 3.0 speed, since I don't have but one USB 3.0 device. It uses the same SS cable, so I think it'll run the same speed. Besides, I doubt that my Acer Iconia's micro-USB supports USB 3.0. 

All detected.
Now, we know that plugging the AC adapter will make sure that the hub works. It even provides power for my external DVD burner (it has a separate cable that needs to be connected to a power outlet in order to work). The question is, what would happen if I let go of the AC port? That's the first question that popped into my mind before I sealed the purchase deal. Are you curious? Well, let's just take a look at this picture.

Bam!
Funny, once I unplugged the AC adapter, three of four LEDs are shut off suddenly. What surprises me the most is the warning like the picture above. It says "Not enough power on the USB hub". It's the first time I saw that announcement, so yeah... that's new to me. Well, let's just be realistic. The Acer Iconia W510 isn't aimed to be a powerhouse. In fact, Atom processors are created for power-saving purposes. Therefore, it's just normal that the tablet can't provide enough power for all four devices. Oh, and have I already mentioned that three out of four devices are leeching a considerable amount of power off either the hub or the tablet? Either way, I haven't tested it on my laptops yet. But one thing for sure: if you're connecting devices that require excessive power, it's best to use the AC adapter. Otherwise, you'll be fine without it. Last, but not least, this product is certainly compatible with Mac OSX or Linux operating systems, aside from Windows. Of course, a USB 3.0-compatible port is needed for USB3.0 performance. Otherwise, as long as your system has a USB port, it will also work, just not as fast.

Oh, and about the port that provides fast charging. Maybe I should remind you that the maximum output according to Transcend is 2.0A. In the other hand, iPad's original charger provides 2.1A of output, which is read by the device as 'Charging'. Less than 2.1A, the battery will show 'Not Charging'. The same case occurs when an iPad is connected via normal USB ports. So, not to worry. Your port's fine.
This, in some cases, may freak some people out.

The Conclusion

This is the future computer system :p
Okay, that's it, the end of the review. There's actually not much to cover for a single hub, actually. In my opinion, the USB 3.0 connectivity, fast-charging port, as well as the AC adapter are what make this product unique. To be honest, I haven't seen any USB 3.0 hub here in Indonesia, and if there is, chances are it doesn't come with an AC adapter or a specific fast-charge port. The latter might not be that useful, but the former will sure bring peace into our minds.

Anyway, I bought this little toy for Rp340,000.00 or approximately U$28.00 (with the rate of Rp12,145.00 / 1U$). I know it's a little bit pricey since I could get a good USB 2.0 Hub for around Rp100,000.00 but I think it's a rather good long-term investment. We all know that USB2.0's days are already numbered and soon people will be moving to either 3.0 or 3.1 (don't bother with Thunderbolt; its support is minimal and its prices are insane). With that fact right in front of our eyes, is it wrong to prepare for its coming? I think not. So in the end, yes... I think I can justify my purchase. Not because I've already bought it, but because of the technology it's carrying.

Okay, I guess that's all, Folks. I know this review is kind of... bad and lacking, since it's been quite a long time since I last wrote in English. Therefore, if there are any mistakes or offensive items in this review, I terribly and sincerely apologize. You're welcome to criticize me in the comments, as long as your critics are polite, and most importantly, make sense. Finally, thanks for reading and coming by. I'm looking forward to seeing you guys again! :D

Merry Christmas, once again!

Comments

  1. IDsonix® USB 3.0 10 Port Hub from Bizarkdeal.

    I have had so much trouble with the powered hubs that I have purchased over the years that I decided to wait before writing a review on this one. We use this hub on a repair bench in an Apple authorized service shop and I have to say that I have been VERY pleased with it. There are 3 banks of USB ports that are all powered separately. I use one bank for my own system and the other two for troubleshooting client equipment ranging from computers and hard drives to iPads & iPhones. There is sufficient power to all three banks to run multiple devices without problems. It is also sufficiently fast to handle multiple external hard drive which can book a computer through the hub. Very pleased with this unit and I highly recommend it for someone in need of lots of extension ports that are separately powered. It also sits nicely on the desk / bench and doesn't all tangled in other equipment.

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  5. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article.

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