Review: gHub

This powered hub offers OCP and portable functionality for a premium (April 14th, 2002)

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Product Manufacturer: Dr. Bott

Price: $44.00

The Good

  • Over Current Protection, powered, durable and light.

The Bad

  • Ports on front, cables feel loose, price.

A Macintosh user can never have too many ports, or so the principle behind Dr. Bott's gHub would be. It's a reality that no matter what Mac you own, sooner or later you'll end up unable to connect all your devices simultaneously. That's where a USB hub comes in - with a hub, a Mac user can connect several more devices to the same port. Unfortunately, they're often plagued with problems.

Power plug

Some of the most notorious problems with USB relate to its ability to power devices using electricity supplied to the computer's USB bus. Often, multiple devices that draw power from USB can conflict with each other by exceeding the computer's output ability. This often results in the failure of some devices. The problem is especially common with external drives like ZIP or CD-R devices. The gHub is a powered hub providing 2.5A of electricity, enough for a multitudeof devices. It also sports Over Current Protection (OCP) so if one device draws too much power, the offending device is disabled -- allowing other devices to continue to function. It can also run without the power adapter a plus for laptop owners.

Flyboy

Although the gHub can be powered externally, it is more suited to laptop users. It offers a light and durable design that matches the iBook. On the desk, its flair soon becomes superficial as forward-facing ports leave cables awkwardly on a desk. The gHub's relatively low power output doesn't satisfy the power-guzzling tendencies of desktop devices.

Final word

Although it is satisfactory on a desk, the gHub doesn't have much on the completion when comparing it to cheaper offerings. For laptop users, it has a perfect combination of features and size to appease the traveling worker. However, we did notice that the connectors are a little looser than the desk-less would be comfortable.

This is an excellent hub for the money, but desktop users might want to think twice before hooking up.

by Matt Stoton


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