Pocket Hub

The advent of USB was supposed to cut down on the number of heavy cables needed to connect peripherals. In fact, my desk has become more cluttered due to a seven-port USB hub – every port is used. Even people on the move are likely to have enough devices to overload the two USB connections on a PowerBook or iBook. Belkin now has the perfect solution – the Pocket Hub. First of all, the Pocket Hub is actually pocket-sized, unlike so many devices that have pocket in their names. It is a little bigger than a mouse, and the design hides the cable until it’s in use. It has four ports and comes with a choice of three translucent covers – all the colours of the iBooks except Key Lime. It works fine with external mice, keyboards and non-powered devices. If you use something that takes power from the USB bus, you’ll need to use the provided power supply. Unfortunately, the power supply is bigger than the hub itself, and to make things worse, the wires are tricky to wrap up – making the power supply an inelegant partner to a beautifully designed hub. It isn’t really the fault of Belkin: the UK power-plug must be the biggest and ugliest in Europe. It’s just a shame that there isn’t a better solution to the problem. Min specs: USB.

OUR VERDICT

If you need a USB hub while travelling, there’s no better answer – though the ugly, but optional, power supply spoils it a bit. But if you can get away with an non-powered hub, it is just the ticket.

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