Gadget Review: HooToo 8-port USB 3.0 Charging Hub

This gadget isn't glamorous, but it's well designed and has some features you won't find on other hubs.

By , Columnist
There are plenty of USB hubs available these days, but you don’t find many that have USB 3.0 ports and a charging port for a tablet or smartphone. That’s where HooToo’s HT-UH004 8-port USB 3.0 hub has an advantage.

The hub is rectangular in shape and about 5.5 inches long to accommodate seven USB 3.0 ports and one 5v/2A  charging port. Four ports are evenly space along each side and are far enough apart to allow even chubby flash drives to sit in adjacent sockets.
 
As far as build quality is concerned, the unit is made of plastic and is lightweight, but feels solid and the case has no obvious weak points. Devices feel secure when plugged into the ports, too, because the connectors are properly aligned with the spaces in the case into which USB plugs should be inserted.
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There should be little to say about the functioning of a USB hub except that it works. We tried this one with hard drives, printers, scanners, flash drives and, of course, an iPad and had no problems. As expected, plugging the iPad into a standard USB port on the hub or a computer produced the 'Not Charging' warning, whereas the lightning bolt battery charging indicator came up when it was plugged into the hub’s charging port.

To be able to feed enough power through the charging port, this hub needs to be plugged into a mains power supply. Accordingly, it comes with a mains adapter and the USB cable that you need to connect it to a computer.

USB hubs are not the most exciting gadgets we buy, but we’d be hard pressed to do without them. This one did everything that was expected of it and considering the features it includes, it comes at a good price. If you have more USB devices than you have free sockets, HooToo's hub will solve your problem and give you somewhere to plug in your tablet to boot.

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Michael Simpson is a freelance writer, editor, presenter, researcher, instructor, gadget freak and sci-tech consultant based in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Formerly from the UK, he’s converted from tea to coffee and written and presented on film, TV, science, nature, technology,…

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