This USB hub from ICZI is a simple way to convert a single USB 3.0 port into four USB 3.0 ports, which is super useful if you’re using a laptop or another device that has fewer ports than you have peripherals. ICZI has sent us a sample to review, so let’s get started!
- Four USB 3.0 ports
- Ultra-slim size for easy portability
- Supports up to 5Gb/s (USB Super-Speed)
- Backwards-compatible with USB 1.1 / USB 2.0
- No drivers needed, plug and play
- Includes over-current protection
- 30 day free returns and 2 year limited warranty
- 90 x 40 x 22mm (3.7 x 1.57 x 0.87 inches)
The ICZI USB Hub is formed of a small rectangular prism (about the size of a large pack of gum) connected to a USB cable. The four USB 3.0 ports face up, and have significant space between them to allow even bulky cables, adapters and flash drives to be plugged in easily. The whole package feels well built, despite the all-plastic construction. A blue power LED is in the lower right hand corner, and its light provides dim backlighting to the two closer USB ports.
It’s important to remember that this USB Hub (and others like it) provide more physical places to connect USB devices, but they’re still limited by the USB port that they connect to a computer with. That means problems may arise when connecting multiple devices which draw a lot of power or consume a lot of bandwidth. ICZI specifically mention USB hard drives in this category. They also caution that 2.4GHz wireless devices, MIDI devices and some USB 3.0 devices may not work. With that in mind, let’s begin our testing.
We connected a USB drive — the Kingston Technology 32 GB DataTraveler SE9 G2 USB 3.1 Gen 1/USB 3.0 Flash Drive — and tested its speeds using the CrystalDiskMark benchmark.
We ran three tests:
- Direct: USB drive connected to the PC’s USB port
- USB Hub: connected through the ICZI USB Hub
- Full USB Hub: as before, but the other three ports are filled (with a headset amplifier, USB microphone and keyboard)
Here are the results.
As you can see, there was little difference in using the USB Hub, even with multiple peripherals connected at the same time. That’s a good sign, and should ensure that a single high-speed device can be connected through the hub without difficulties.
The ICZI USB Hub does exactly what it says on the tin, providing extra USB ports in a small and portable package. This is particularly helpful for laptops and other devices with a limited number of USB ports.
However, for optimum speeds (and to ensure compatibility with some devices), connecting directly to your PC is the way to go. That makes this USB Hub most useful for connecting low-bandwidth devices, like mice, keyboards, printers, gamepads, etc.
If you need more USB ports on your laptop, tablet or desktop PC, then this example from UCZI should fit the bill.