Review: USB 2.0 and FireWire Combo hub (HUB-UF)

Petite and versatilve hub (April 25th, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: Macally Peripherals

Price: $79.00 US

The Good

  • Light weight. Mount it vertically, horizontally, or magnetically. Excellent travel accessory.

The Bad

  • Provide power for up to 3 devices. Only 2 FireWire ports, but one must be connected to the computer. Could use another FireWire port.

Just as my desktop started to resemble a nest of snakes with its tangled mass of USB and FireWire cables, I discovered Macally Peripherals' USB 2.0 FireWire Hi-Speed Combo Hub. The hub expands the number of USB 1.1 or 2.0 and FireWire ports available. This compact hub can be mounted vertically, horizontally, or even magnetically, so you can locate the hub at that reachable magic spot, that is visible, and within proximity of the computer. It helps manage your nest of cables without using up valuable space. Once you install your hub, you should invest in some shorter FireWire and USB cables to neaten things up. Shorter cables result in better connections, because the cables are less likely to be tugged out accidentally. The hub is so light, you want to make sure to secure it to your desk or table, otherwise it may find its way to the floor if you yank on a cable by accident.

Crisp White, Petite, and Portable

The petite white plastic hub is 4" wide x 2.3" long. It includes 1 uplink port, 4 Hi-Speed USB ports, with up to 480 Mbit/s data transfer rate, and 2 FireWire ports, with up to 400 Mbit/s data transfer rate. You need to connect the hub to both the USB and FireWire ports on your computer in order for it to work. This is a powered hub so it should furnish enough power to run most devices, including your iPod. Weighing a scant .2 lbs, you can easily carry one of these in your laptop bag.

Mac and Windows Compatible

The Macally USB 2.0 and FireWire Hi-Speed Combo hub is compatible with all Macs running 8.6 and above, but you must use Mac OS X 10.1 or later to take advantage of the USB 2.0 speed. It is also Windows compatible. If you only have a standard USB 1.1 port, this hub will not upgrade your system to USB 2.0 or add FireWire to a computer that does not already have it. Macally stands behind its product with an impressive limited 3-year warranty.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by P.A.M. Borys


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