Satechi 12-Port USB Hub: $30 (sale price as of this posting)
Where would home theater systems and office setups be without power strips? Heck, nowadays only having six outlets on a strip seems more and more inadequate. So we’ve created bigger and better power strips. Similarly, USB hubs of the past with only a handful of ports have become insufficient. Enter Satechi’s 12-Port USB 2.0 Hub.
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Its male USB jack plugs into your computer for communication, but (for when you’ve got more than just a few devices plugged in) it gets most of its power through an AC adapter. It employs a pair of switches that individually control two separate six-port banks. So you can save some energy, if you’ve got fewer gadgets plugged in. Conversely, if you’re teeming with devices, you can daisy chain additional strips to have up to 127 ports!
In our tests, the strip did fine for a portable external monitor (that normally hogs two of our laptop’s four USB ports), a wireless mouse (dongle), charging and synching a smartphone, printing, plus loading songs onto a PaperJamz Pro guitar and stations onto a Q2 radio. The automatic backup software of our Clickfree drive didn’t make it through the strip, although our laptop was able to detect other flash drives just fine.