USB Type-C may be the latest rave, but until that port becomes mainstream, most ultrabooks still rely on USB 3.0 for transferring data. Inateck’s 3-port USB 3.0 hub adds a bit of flexibility, not to mention that it also comes with a Gigabit Ethernet port.
To earn the ultrabook status, a notebook needs to ditch some of the things that would otherwise make it bulky. Ethernet and VGA ports are the usual suspects here, so anyone requiring these would have to buy adapters. In addition to that, ultrabooks never seem to have enough USB 3.0 ports, and with the number of devices using these rising quickly, buying a hub makes perfect sense. Inateck’s 3-port USB 3.0 hub with Gigabit Ethernet seems to be an affordable solution to all of these problems.
Contents of the Box
Inateck is fully aware that users are more interested about functionality rather than fancy packaging, and designs its product boxes accordingly, while also helping people to save some money in the process.
As seen on the box, the hub is compliant with FCC and CE standards, and can be recycled if it is no longer useful or functional.
The contents of the plain cardboard box pictured above are everything a user needs to add more ports to his or her ultrabook: the hub itself, a CD with drivers and instructions, as well as a paper version of the user manual.
Even though the CD contains the drivers for the Ethernet port, I would recommend downloading the latest version from the manufacturer’s website.
However, if no Internet connection is available, the included CD can come in handy, as it includes drivers for multiple operating systems, a User’s Manual in English, and the option to view the MAC address of the network interface card.
Bear in mind that the USB ports don’t require drivers and are, in fact, plug-and-play, the Gigabit Ethernet port being the only component that needs drivers to function properly.
Compatibility and Technical Specs
The hub should perform as advertised as long as your computer is running Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 (both 32 and 64-bit versions) and MacOS.
When it comes to portability, Inateck’s 3-port USB 3.0 hub will barely be noticeable, as it only measures 110 x 32 x 20mm / 4.33 x 1.26 x 0.79in and tops the scale at 59 grams or 2.09 ounces.
USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet ports provide theoretical speeds of up to 5Gbps and 1Gbps, respectively, but the results will depend a lot on the flash drives and network equipment that you’re using.
The test bench used for assessing the performance of the hub was the same as here, and the overall results were comparable.
Price & Availability
As all the other Inateck products, the 3-port USB 3.0 hub with Gigabit Ethernet is available on Amazon and can be currently purchased in the following countries: United States ($22.99), UK (£19.99), Germany (€24.99), France (€30.99), Italy (€29.99), Spain (€27.99), Japan (?3,854), and Canada (CDN$ 30.99).
The 3-port USB 3.0 hub made by Inateck adds functionality to ultrabooks at a convenient cost. The build quality is high, but that is something I’ve come to expect from this company, as this is not the first Inateck product I’m testing. I could’ve said that Inateck does not emphasize enough the OTG options of this hub, but come to think of it, the company already has an USB 3.0 hub with normal and OTG USB cable, so that is covered by another product, in case your tablet does not feature a regular USB port.
I would like to thank Inateck for sending me a product sample and for making this hands-on review possible.