Top critical review
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Mac users beware
on 5 June 2014
When I unpacked this I was pleased with the robust feel and look; it seemed to be ideal for what I wanted - extending the USB slots on a new iMac.
I've a number of Apple devices (SuperDrive, iPadAir, iPhone, etc), and this hub won't power them all (see addendum below).
When I plugged it in and moved my keyboard (not Apple!) it worked fine. Plugging in the other three devices mentioned above, I got a warning message on my iMac to say the device wasn't charging.
So I tried it out with the iPhone and SuperDrive, the former wouldn't charge either, whilst the latter wouldn't accept a CD or DVD.
I then unplugged everything from the USB hub and put it all back into the iMac, and, lo and behold, everything worked as expected.
The upshoot of this is that this device doesn't work, at least for a Mac. OK, on the box it says "Laptop, Ultrabook, Tablet PC and PC", so maybe having a Mac I shouldn't expect it to work. However, on the blurb on Amazon's site it does say that it'll work with OS 10.8.4 (I'm using 10.9.3 - is that a problem? I guessed they meant "at least 10.8.4, but maybe not).
It also says it'll work with a "MACBOOK" so there's no real reason why it shouldn't work with an iMac. Is there?
I'm sending this back, and will go into my local Mac store and get something that works - at least with my Mac stuff.
Inateck contacted me about my negative review, appologising, but saying this device isn't meant to power many peripherals at the same time - hence, they say, that's why my iPad and iPhone didn't work, and why the SuperDrive didn't work at all. For completeness, using this unpowered USB hub, I did a relative test, with equipment many a computer user is likely to have, with results shown below:
- The keyboard works on its own and with any other device plugged in. Test result: pass.
- With or without the keyboard plugged in, the iPhone 5C and iPhone 3 take a charge, are recognised by iTunes and will Sync. Test result: pass.
- With or without the keyboard plugged in the SuperDrive does NOT work. Test result: fail.
- With or without the keyboard plugged in, the iPadAir and the iPad 1 will NOT take a charge, but are recognised by iTunes and will Sync. Test result: partial pass and fail.
(I've some camera equipment but didn't bother testing this.)
Overall, I consider this test to show a sufficient degree of unreliability, where two pieces of equipment passed, another partially passed and the last failed.
In defence of my review, I refer the reader to the line in the description on Amazon's page which says: "High Performance with VIA VL812 Chipset; Slim Size - Easy Carrying and Experience; Powered via USB - No Additional Power Adapter and Driver is needed".
In close, Imateck suggested that I could use one of their powered USB hubs for my purposes, but this is getting away from the idea I had to just use this simple unpowered hub for my peripherals. The jury's is out on this suggestion.
Today I took my Mac equipment to a Mac store and tried it out with a powered USB 3 hub.
Initially, the iPadAir wouldn't charge, but after trying three or four power sockets (like you would!) it showed it was taking a charge. Pretty unsatisfactory, especially as the iPhone was no problems.
Regardless, and the main reason for this second test, I asked the Mac personnel if a powered USB 3 hub would charge the SuperDrive: I got a jolly and confident "yes". So I got mine out to try it. It failed hopelessly, as it would still not take a charge; iMac users will have to content themselves with using an iMac USB port.
Word to the wise; I'd guess none of the powered USB 3 hubs will be any good for a SuperDrive.
I'm tempted to buy Inateck's powewred USB 3 5 port hub - see below:
If nothing else, all my equipment, other than the SuperDrive, would likely work. It looks a much more robust bit of kit than the piece of flimsy plastic I used in the Mac shop.