As my desktop PC has only two USB input sockets, I use a hub to allow more devices to be connected to the computer at once. Trust's 420a is a four port hub which has a current amazon.co.uk price of £7.99 - although i'm sure I paid a couple of quid less than that when I bought mine a couple of years ago.
Design & Appearance
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The hub isn't the smallest device of its kind that I've used, but at 4.2 x 7.4 x 1.1 cms it's by no means huge. In terms of its design, the product is solidly built with a metal construction (aluminium I believe), and it looks the part too with a silver finish. One of the main benefits of this particular hub is the fact that it's self-powered - i.e it doesn't need a mains connection to work. The hub comes with its own USB cable to allow it to be attached to the computer, although it is a little short at just under 30cms.
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The product is compliant with USB2.0 speeds and has a data transfer rate of 480 Mbps - i've found that this is perfectly quick enough for fast data transferral, and my devices (scanner, printer etc) are kept running smoothly. So what else can I say about the product? - well, it's compatible with Mac as well as PC, as should work straight from the box without any drivers to download.
Performance & Final Word
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In terms of the hub's performance, all of the peripherals that I've used with the device have operated efficiently and without any issues. Because of this (in combination with the 420a's build quality and looks) I would highly recommend this particular hub - the only downside being the slightly short USB cable that ships with the product.
Once upon a time, back when terabyte hard drives and quad core processors were things of the imagination, USB ports offered an easy and quick method of connecting devices to your computer. Back in these days having a small number of these ports used to be sufficient as they would typically be used only by your printer, scanner, and perhaps web-camera. But now there are a vast number of devices all of which require connection via a USB port. Everything from your keyboard and mouse, card reader, joystick, flash-drives, Bluetooth adaptors, digital cameras, some speaker systems, external hard drives, to more unusual items such as coffee warmers, USB rocket launchers and disco-balls (the list goes on and on.) Whatever number or variety of devices you use, you may find that your computer doesn't have enough USB ports to accommodate them all, and since it's not ideal to have to unplug and plug in cables every time you want to use something different, this hub in the ideal solution.
This Trust hub supports USB2.0 devices (which are faster devices), and offers an additional four ports for your use. It can be purchased from various retails such as PC World and eBay typically costing around six pounds.
Built quality is excellent considering the price and its construction seems very robust. While at the same time the device is very light in weight, I had to anchor it down on to my desk with a piece of blue-tack to stop it moving around. Its small size means you can carry it with you if needed or include it in your laptop case for use there. All things considered it's also a decent looking piece of equipment, and not something that you would be ashamed to have on your desk.
Thanks to the technology behind USB, installing the hub on my computer, and actually using it couldn't have been easier, you simply plug and play. An driver disc was included in the packaging on a mini-CD, and has been included for use in the event that your operating system is before Microsoft Windows XP.
The only real problem I've came across is that the cable on the hub is too short (only around 30 cm in length). In my case for use on my computer desk it wouldn't reach between the back of the computer and the desk's surface. I needed to buy an USB expansion cable which cost an additional four pounds from my local computer shop.
There are other solutions such as installing an PCI USB expansion card inside your system which will expand your USB capacity. But many people may not feel confident about opening and upgrading their own computers, and this wouldn't help in the case of laptops. This hub seems to offer a simple and effective (if no thrills) solution.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)