This simple accessory will make your laptop more useful
The ever-increasing thinness of today’s laptops may be good on your back, but it can make life a bit more difficult for the workhorses among us. There’s simply less room for ports on an Ultrabook, so it’s not uncommon for anyone hoping to hook up an external hard drive, flash drive, keyboard, mouse, or any other accessory to settle for something chunkier.
One way around this, though, is by picking up a USB hub. Hooking a brick full of USB ports up to your laptop will make your setup less portable, but you’ll still be able to use a thin and light machine when you’re away from a desk.
If your computer could use this kind of boost, consider the Anker 10-Port 60W USB 3.0 Hub. It adds seven additional USB 3.0 ports to your device, allowing you to bypass the slower USB 2.0 ports that are still built into many machines. It has three 2.1A charging ports on top of that, so you can quickly refill a smartphone or tablet right from your station. It all works fine. The brick itself isn’t particularly huge, either, so it shouldn’t chew up too much room on your desk.
Now, ten ports is probably overkill. Ideally we’d recommend a hub with fewer, but finding a 7-port model that plays nice with newer operating systems, has 2.1A ports, uses USB 3.0, and has consistently positive feedback has proved tricky for now. It’s unlikely you’ll use all of the Anker’s ports, but it doesn’t cost that much extra, it’s not that much bigger than some 7-port alternatives, and its family of hubs has a 4.4 rating after 1,810 user reviews on Amazon.
With USB-C slowly but surely becoming more ubiquitous, a hub like this isn’t the most futureproof option. But if your current laptop doesn’t have enough room to support all your USB 3.0 devices, it’s a useful workaround.