We recently got a chance to take a peek at a new Kanex USB 3.0 hub, which promises to be a feature-filled accessory.
Retailing for $59, this 4-port powered hub offers adapters to switch from US power to most standard international types, which in this case appear to be Type C, Type G and what we think is Type I -- essentially support for the UK, EU and AU.
The unit itself is extremely lightweight. In comparison, its power adapter is pretty massive -- not unusual for many of the USB hubs we test. You connect the hub to your Mac through a port in the back using a standard USB 3.0 cable with its large crimped-looking connector.
The first of the four ports on the hub is, according to marketing text on their website, a 10W recharging port:
"Did you know? Port 1 provides 10W of power to recharge tablets or other devices when host computer is powered down or disconnected from hub."
I initially tested the hub with an iPad 2 but was unable to charge properly from any of the four ports. So I gave their the Kanex marketing contact a call and she explained that the PC had to be powered off or disconnected in order to allow this feature to work for the first port. Sure enough, I disconnected the hub from my Mac and my iPad successfully started charging.
I'm not entirely sure how useful this "feature" is for most users. I know that the Newer Technology hub I reviewed a few months ago doesn't require you to disconnect for charging. If you want to sync and charge at the same time, the Kanex hub is probably not the device for you.
The unit is backwards compatible, so if you connect a 2.0 device, it will connect to an internal 2.0 hub.