Kanex DualRole USB 3.0 Hub

By Norman Chan

I could so use one of these.

One thing we all could use more of: USB ports. Especially if you're working off of a thin laptop like a MacBook Air. Even most Ultrabooks don't have more than three USB ports, and the ones that have USB 3.0 typically only have one of those. In my case, the MacBook Air I use as my primary computer at the office is always tethered to a USB hub for my keyboard, mouse, external hard drive, mini USB cable, micro USB cable, second wireless mouse, and USB-to-Ethernet adapter (because my Thunderbolt port is connected to a monitor). Oh yeah, and one extra USB port is always open for USB keys.

But I never take my mega USB hub with me for travelling, so I'm always on the lookout for accessories to stuff in my travel shoulder bag. Kanex's DualRole may be worthy of a slot in that bag. It's the first USB 3.0 hub I've seen with a built-in Gigabit Ethernet adapter. Other similar adapters I've seen either don't have Ethernet built-in, or only support USB 2.0. Three ports isn't enough for use as the sole hub for office work, but it's enough for travel. The USB ports are powered, but you can also plug a 5V power adapter (not included) for more juice to your accessories. $70 is steep for three ports, but here's hoping that we'll see similar products pop up from competitors on Amazon soon.