Review: Belkin 7-port USB 2.0 Plus Hub

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 in Featured, Mac, Reviews

Belkin7porthubplus03Belkin’s latest version of their popular 7-port hub has been redesigned and adds cable management features. This review will take a look at the changes, design and performance of Belkin’s latest offering for USB junkies.

Design

The first thing you’ll notice is the design Belkin has chosen for this hub: Its rectangular shape means it’ll take up less space on your desk than previous versions, while retaining the two top ports –  useful for USB memory sticks and similar devices. The top ports are also spaced out a bit, so you should be able to connect larger USB devices without any problem as well. The device features an attractive white & blue color scheme – quite a departure from the usual gray, black and silver. Belkin also offer a brown edition of the hub, if white’s not your thing.

Cable Management

At the end of the device Belkin have included a cable loop made out of firm but rubbery plastic The loop can be adjusted slightly, making it easier to cram all your cables inside. The loop allows you to reduce cable clutter, makes for a tidier look and is useful if you need to route one or two of your USB cables to the front of your desk (e.g. for your keyboard). I’m forever losing the business end of my camera’s USB cable behind my desk, so this feature should prove to be very useful.

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Build quality

As expected of a device with this price tag, the build quality is great:  the materials feel very solid and smooth and even the power brick feels less cheap than other generic power adapters. The cable loop material is thick enough to be reass  The only slight issue I encountered: The top USB ports were a little ‘stiff’ at first, making it quite difficult to plug in a regular Apple USB cable. After a few times it did become significantly easier though.

Performance

USB 2.0 obviously has performance rates and limits imposed by the standard itself, so you ask whether performance is an issue at all. Often though, you’ll see reduced throughput if you connect a lot of high-speed devices to a single hub. The 7-port Hub Plus performed tremendously though, even with 2 external harddrives, iPhone, digital camera, Logitech wireless mouse, iMic audio interface and printer connected.

The hub also comes with a power supply. Whilst you can use the hub without power, you’ll need it to use (and charge) devices such as iPhones, iPods or USB-powered harddrives.

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Support & Warranty

Belkin offer a lifetime warranty of this device and I was pleased to find a single folded piece of paper with all their technical support numbers in the box. Whilst this may seem like a given, a lot of manufacturers will bury that kind of information of their websites. I don’t expect needing a lot of support with a hub, but it’s still nice to know it’s available.

Conclusion

The hub performs very well and will also help you to reduce some of the cable clutter on your desk. If you have a MacBook, it’s great to be able to just plug in a single USB plug and have access to all of your devices. Whilst more expensive than generic hubs on the market, it’s thought-out form, design and functionality are well worth it.

Recommended

The Belkin 7-port USB 2.0 Plus Hub: RRP $49.95

Support Jetplane Journal and buy the Belkin 7-port USB Hub Plus at Amazon. (Brown edition)

4 Comments

  1. Very nice and detailed review!
    I bought the previous edition of this USB hub, the cable management feature seems like a nice in this one.

  2. I bought this Hub last week because I was tired of all the different cables that were cluttering my desk. So far all I can say is that the hub works as promised, it is really an amazing device.

  3. I bought two of these hubs about 2 1/2 years ago, and both of them worked fine, until last week. Both over-heated, and both failed within a few days of each other. Also, the surfaces which they were on, are now slightly warped, due to the excessive heat from each device over-heating. I did make extensive use of both devices, so that might have caused both to over-heat, but personally I think it is just planned product failure…

  4. I bought two of these hubs about 2 1/2 years ago, and both of them worked fine, until last week. Both over-heated, and both failed within a few days of each other. Also, the surfaces which they were on, are now slightly warped, due to the excessive heat from each device over-heating. I did make extensive use of both devices, so that might have caused both to over-heat, but personally I think it is just planned product failure…