Plugable Launches New Aluminum SuperSpeed Hub

USB gets used for everything. Today’s tablets and ultrabooks just don’t have enough ports. You don’t want to be stressing the few ports you have with constant plugs & unplugs every time you want to use a different device.

And these same USB ports are needed for charging all your mobile devices — but charging on USB is not well standardized, and there are many devices out there (like Apple’s) that won’t charge on a “normal” USB port .. at least not while the computer is sleeping.

We designed our new USB 3.0 hub to solve both of these issues. Built in solid brushed aluminum, the Plugable USB3-HUB4AC1 provides 4 standard USB 3.0 ports with the latest chipset and firmware (VL812 firmware 9081). Plus it provides a single dedicated charging port, that will charge most devices at fast rates, even when your computer is off.

Using Aluminum for the body looks great, dissipates heat better, and is arguably more recyclable: the plastic ends can be removed, and the PCB slid out, leaving only aluminum to recycle. This new 4 port model rounds out our Aluminum USB hub line, which also includes an existing 7 port model.

Power Details

Unlike its larger 7 port predecessor, the USB3-HUB4AC1 has a 5th port dedicated to charging. This port stands out from the rest with a bold red connector. No data communication will happen here but for charging, it’s got you covered. This port replicates the Apple 2.1A charging signal. What that means is that it is fully compatible with iPhones, iPads, iPods, etc. Most Android devices will also recognize this signal.  The best feature of having a dedicated charge only port is when compared to other hubs that support charging and data, most charge functions only occur when the host computer is either off, in sleep mode, or not present. This port charges independent of a host PC regardless. Charging rates are device dependent, see the USB3-HUB4AC1 product page for details.

Compatibility

USB3-HUB4AC1 units have been tested to work well with both Windows 8.1, and OS X 10.9.x, as well as older systems running Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and OS X systems with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. Older USB 1.1 devices connected to USB 2.0 systems via the hub are also supported.

Convenience

For desktop PCs where USB 3.0 ports may be hard to reach, the HUB4AC1’s design with top-facing angled ports can make connecting devices easier. The extra ports on a USB hub can also help avoid damaging built-in ports when frequently swapping devices. The built-in power button on the hub also makes for a convenient way to quickly disable all attached devices with the press of a single button, to make sure attached USB devices are off and saving power.

Power

With the included robust 12 volt 2.5 amp power supply, more than enough power to operate several power-hungry devices is available, 30 watts to be exact. Even when charging a 2 amp tablet, there is a full 20 watts left over to power all four data ports at the full USB 3.0 900mA per port specification.

One exception of note is the Apple “SuperDrive” which requires a direct connection to a supported Mac. From http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2801

The SuperDrive is designed exclusively for use with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini’s that do not have a built-in optical drive. The SuperDrive must be directly plugged into the computer’s USB port, and cannot be used if connected to a USB hub.”

Any questions? Feel free to comment below or just email support@plugable.com. We’re happy to help. Thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

2 comments on “Plugable Launches New Aluminum SuperSpeed Hub”

  1. Tzu-Fan Reply

    This is really exciting. When will it come to the UK? I can’t wait to get my hands on one!

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