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ATPM 16.10
October 2010


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Hardware Review

by Christopher Turner,

NewerTech 7 Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub


Function: Powered USB 2.0 Hub.

Developer: NewerTechnology

Price: $28

Requirements: Mac with USB.

Trial: None

Once upon a time, there was a USB 2.0 hard drive plugged into a black MacBook. With the aid of SuperDuper!, this little drive merrily kept the contents of the MacBook backed up on a regular basis.

Then, one day, what should appear on the horizon but a newcomer to this USB land of the MacBook. And lo! The newcomer did not, through no fault of his own, play nice with the well-established backup drive already plugged in. For the newcomer’s shape, bestowed upon him by his creator, a shape which gave the newcomer his utter uniqueness, meant that two USB devices could not be plugged in to the MacBook side-by-side.


Kind of hard to use that fancy-looking flash drive when you can’t plug it in with your other devices.

One might make the argument that the newcomer and well-established backup drive could come to an agreement, where one would give up his space for the other as each was needed in turn. This, however, defeated the point of having more than one USB slot on the MacBook in the first place. Was there any hope of the two living in mutual harmony? Could anyone in the MacBook’s USB land be of assistance?

Alas, it was yet another newcomer riding to their aid. Clad in silver steel and black, diminutive in stature but grand in power, the NewerTech 7 Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub stepped boldly into the fray. (OK, OK, so the hub is actually encased in aluminum, with plastic, but that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue like “silver steel.” And we’re going for something here. Just play along, k?)


My only complaint with this product is the packaging.

Surely there were other knights, er, hubs, who would have performed as gallantly as the NewerTech. Yet none could match it in its compact size while still providing seven USB ports and 3.5 Amps of electrical power, thanks to its external AC adapter.


Everything that was encased in the plastic above.

And with five ports on on side of the device, and two upon the other, the Mimobot newcomer and the well-established backup drive could reside on the MacBook in harmony, while still leaving a free port on the fruit-crested portable.


Harmonious external device mounting.

Not only that, but one would be able to attach one’s iPod, iPhone, and card reader as well, each device drawing 500 mA of power from its respective port. The MacBook had never known such rapture, at having five devices connected to it all at once. What’s that? More? A full-size USB keyboard? An external mouse? There was great rejoicing throughout the land.


Sure, it’s a lot of wires. But it’s nice to know you can do it if you need to. (And you can hide the wires better on a desktop setup.)

It was so noted that, weighing slightly over eleven ounces, including its power supply, the NewerTech 7 Port hub was an ideal USB hub for a knight errant to pack in his saddlebags. It takes up little space, and doesn’t weigh one down, while providing great benefit for those travelers perhaps stuck at an inn who wish to get lots of work (and/or play) accomplished.

One might find many USB hubs amongst the Kingdom of Mac, yet NewerTech’s 7-port offering stands out, offering lots of advantages in a tiny package.


Reader Comments (3)

Mr. Reeee · October 3, 2010 - 14:17 EST #1
Yes, but can it charge an iPad?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 3, 2010 - 22:38 EST #2
Mr. Reeee - Chris doesn't have an iPad and wouldn't be able to say for sure. However, here's what I can tell you from my own experience.

I have not encountered any USB hub that provides more juice to a device than if you plug the device directly into a computer. With that in mind, if the device won't charge while attached directly to the host USB port, chances are it won't charge when a hub is in between the host port and the device, either.

The 10W power supply that ships with iPads does give more juice than a traditional USB port. You may have noted the iPad says "Not Charging" when you attach it to your computer (or virtually any USB hub) for syncing.

*BUT* - what I've discovered is that the iPad can, indeed, charge while attached to the computer with two caveats: 1) the display must be off, and 2) a full charge takes much more time than using the 10W charger.
Michael Tsai (ATPM Staff) · October 14, 2010 - 12:08 EST #3
For several years I've been looking for a USB hub that could handle more than one bus-powered hard drive. With my other hubs, plugging in a second drive would always unmount the first drive (due to there not being sufficient power) and produce a scary dialog about unexpectedly disconnecting devices. With this hub, I currently have four bus-powered hard drives plugged in, plus an iPhone and an iPad, and everything seems to be working.

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