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The UNITEK USB 3.0 3 Hub (Y-3048A) is unique because it comes bundled with an OTG microUSB Adaptor; which allows the hub to be directly plugged into compatible mobile smartphones (Android, Windows Phones) and tablets. This means files such as movies, photos, and music (USB drives, Hard Drives, SD cards)- can all be easily transferred without the need for an actual laptop computer. All in all, the high functionality, fast transfer speeds, and modest price tag, makes the UNITEK adapter a great deal.
Extended Full Review:
Price: MRSP of $30, street price around $22
Purchase exclusively at: Amazon.com
What's included in the box-
The packaging for the UNITEK adapter is small and petite. A QR code can be found on the back for more information on the item. Contents will include the device itself, a SanDisk SD to microSD card adapter, and a warranty guide. Note that UNITEK also offers a second version of this USB Hub, which is almost identical, except it features an ethernet port instead of a SD card reader.
The adapter itself is constructed out of a durable plastic material, with a brushed aluminum finish on the upper USB ports; it's small, easy to carry around, and seems quite durable (the USB ports are also reinforced with a layer of metal). USB devices can be plugged-in and will stay in place nicely. The side of the adapter also houses the SDHC/SDXC/SD card reader. Note that the SD card, when inserted, protrudes from the unit a little too far for our liking, but at least the SD card is very easy to plug-in and remove. One minor critique we did have was with the lightness of the product. As such, it often slides around the table surface, instead of staying put.
Performance- When coupled with a PC running Windows 8, we found the USB 3.0 transfer speeds to perform as advertised (slightly less than 5Gbp per second depending on PC performance). Transferring files and copying files onto both flash drives and SD/micro cards (SDHC, SDXC, SD) were a breeze. The unit read all of the various brands and types of USB drives we tested out (both USB 2.0 and 3.0 formats). The HUB also powered various Hard Drives and USB charging cables (iPhone, Samsung )very well.
The spacing between the USB slots are also quite good. We could easily plug in three standard sized USB devices without an issue. However, if you do have a thicker than normal thumb drive (such as the Patriot Snowman)- you will only have access to two of the ports simultaneously. No additional power supply (its plug and play) is needed to run the unit. Depending on your preference, the absence of a distinct LED notification light can be a pro (no distractions) or a con. However, we're glad to say the unit remains generally cool in temperature during performance!
As far as the OTG performance, it definitely works as advertised. Supported devices (check with your specific tablet/phone's manufacturer spec sheet for details) like the Archos 101, Moto Atrix 4G, Galaxy Note, or LG Nexus 5, read files from their respective file managers without a hiccup. If your Android smartphone lacks a native file manager, many free options are available from the Google Play store for download. Using the OTG, transfer speeds were on par with USB 2.0 devices (not as fast as 3.0), but still very handy for reading images/videos on a SD/USB drive; especially when a full-blown computer is not available! Files read over the adapter can then be copied onto the phone's memory, sent out, or vice versa (content can be stored form the phone/tablet onto the memory device inserted). We found that using the Hub also did not have too significant of a detrimental effect on our mobile devices' battery life- a plus!
If you are looking for a easy-to-use USB Hub with some advanced functionality (Hard Drive Support, 3.0 transfer speed, SD reader, OTG performance), then this one won't disappoint. the price is right, and the design is a practice in minimalism.