Last week I received three Sabrent 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub – Bus-Powered, Flexible Liberator Cables. As with most of my recent tech purchases, I ordered them from Amazon. I bought one to use with my ASUS EeeBox PC, one to keep in my backpack, and another to give to my wife to use with her MacBook Pro.
So far, I’m not very impressed. However, I don’t have much to complain about. They were only about $5 each. Even if they completely failed tomorrow I’d only be out the cost of a meal at Arby’s for two. Sometime in the week since I ordered them the price even dropped to $1.25 each. Having worked with computer tech for many years I’ve learned that one cannot expect high quality from cheap components.
These self-powered hubs may work great on some systems, in certain situations, with some low-power devices. When I purchased them I knew they probably couldn’t be used to operate high-draw devices, but that was never my intention. The reason I purchased them was to put one on the ASUS EeeBox PC to extend the two ports in the back.
This didn’t work out. At first, I had the Insteon 2413U, the ASUS wireless keyboard/mouse adapter, the Rii mini adapter, and an IR receiver hooked up through one device. It didn’t take long to figure out that the 2413U wasn’t working so I moved it off the hub and to its own USB port.
A couple of days ago I had a problem booting the ASUS and needed to use the keyboard and mouse, but it wasn’t responding at boot. I had to unplug the hub, plug the adapter into the USB port, handle the boot issues, and then plug the hub back in as Windows started.
Today I wasn’t able to get the Rii mini to work while plugged into the hub. I also noticed the hub itself was warm. I decided to take the hub completely out of line and just plug in the Rii mini and the 2413U. I may re-connect the IR receiver later, using one of the front USB ports.
I’m not going to toss the hubs. They may yet prove useful. However, the primary reason I purchased them doesn’t seem to have worked out.