The Inatech HBU3VL3-4 is a little (110 x 32 x 20mm) 3 port USB 3.0 hub that incorporates an RJ45 socket for Gigabit Ethernet.
Aimed squarely at the ultrabook user the short 30cm cable is a welcomed way to keep on-dek clutter to a minimum, although you’ll probably need a USB extension lead to use with a desktop machine.
The unit does not require a driver to use its USB ports but you will need one for the built-in Gigibit Ethernet adaptor.
There’s a CD in the box but if you’re ‘post-optical’ then you can download drivers from the Inateck support site for Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 (32/64 bit), Mac OSX and Linux.
The maximum output current of the USB ports is 5V/900 mA, so don’t expect to use them for charging.
With our usual un-scientific test we copied files from our MacBook to our NAS several times and averaged out the results. The Inateck’s USB 3 to Gigabit Ethernet bridge took 1 min 29 seconds to copy over our files.
In comparison our Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter took 1 minute 21 seconds making the Thunderbolt unit around 9% faster.
The Apple bridge is currently £25 while you can pick up the Inateck unit for for around £20, which is almost as fast, cheaper and includes those handy extra USB 3.0 ports.
Available from amazon
Inateck [4-in-1 3 Ports USB 3.0 Hub and RJ45 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Hub Converter LAN Wired Network Adapter with a Built-in 1ft USB 3.0 cable
turn one of your computer’s USB ports into three USB 3.0 ports and one RJ45 Gigabit ethernet port, especially as flexible solution for Ultrabooks, notebooks and tablets featuring USB interfaces
1 gigabit ethernet port gives access to superfast network speeds, backward compatible with 10/100 ethernet; support IPv4/IPv6 protocols, dual channel transfer mode, automatic transfer and data stream reversing regulation
USB 3.0 superspeed up to 5Gbps (The actual transmission speed is limited by the setting of the device connected), backward compatible with USB 2.0/1.1/1.0
buy on Amazon
Last update on 2021-10-04 / affiliate links / images from Amazon product advertising API