Fans of ultra-thin laptops, be it an Ultrabook or a MacBook Air, accept the fact that they're getting the ultra lightweight and slim machine with trade-offs on limited ports and expansion options. For those people, the Inateck HB4005 USB3.0 Hub and Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter offers both networking and expansion possibilities. The Inateck HB4005 has three high-speed USB 3.0 bus-powered ports and an RJ45 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet converter. So not only you get the convenience of having additional UBS memory sticks and other USB peripherals, you no longer need to hunt down an electronic store to buy an Ethernet adapter just because you forgot to bring it with you on the trip.
The Inateck USB3.0 Hub and Gigbit Ethernet adapter comes in a narrow stick that measures 4.4 x 1.3 x 1 inches. The USB cable is about 10" long. Three USB 3.0 ports live on the top of the hub and the Gigabit Ethernet jack lives on the tip of the hub. The Inateck HB4005 USB3.0 Hub has ABS plastic construction and should withstand the wear and tear in your gear bag during travel or daily commute. The USB 3.0 plug has sturdy housing and the cable looks robust. All USB 3.0 ports have blue color-coding.
The Inateck USB3.0 Hub and Gigbit Ethernet adapter can expand one USB port on your Ultrabook or MacBook Air into three. The super high-speed USB 3.0 ports offer up to 5Gbps transfer speed and have power pass-through so that you can charge your smartphones, cameras and other gadgets. The USB hub should support combined power current of 5V 900mAh output. It's not recommended to connect two high power consuming HDDs to the hub simultaneously. The USB ports support Hot Swap and Plug & Play and they're backward compatible with USB 2.0 and older. They work with external hard drives, mice, keyboard and other peripherals. We tested these functions on both Windows and Mac laptops, and found they worked smoothly.
The Inateck HB4005 USB3.0 Hub and Gigbit Ethernet adapter supports IPv4/IPv6 protocols and security features. It offers full duplex operation with IEEE 802.3x flow control and half duplex operation with back-pressure flow control. It also supports Gigabit network power automatic adjustment, remote wake-up and power management features. The Ethernet adapter works with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 32 bit and 64 bit versions. We tested it on the Levono ThinkPad X1 Carbon running Windows 8.1. The Ethernet adapter automatically connected to our LAN and all features worked properly. The Ethernet adapter also works with Mac OS X, but you'll need to install the driver that comes on the CD. The speed of the network was super fast in our Speedtest.net tests.
The Inateck HB4005 USB3.0 Hub and Gigbit Ethernet adapter is a very useful accessory for those who travel with hard drives, USB memory sticks and have access to secure Ethernet networks. We like the convenience of charging a smartphone or a camera while using storage devices and connecting to the network. It's well made and small enough to fit in any gear bag.
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5 What's Hot: High speed USB3.0 supports, Gigbit Ethernet support with security features, and has power pass-through. What's Not: To use the Ethernet on the Mac, you must install the driver from the CD. Price: $39.99 Web site:Inateck