Getting a passive USB hub was a godsend for me as a Surface user. The worst (only) painful issue with the device is having to choose which USB device should be plugged in at a given time. While the stylus and touch features give you a lot of power and control, sometimes, USB is still necessary. And one port is not enough. It touts a hefty 5gbps (that’s gigabytes per second) transfer rate.

The colors they use make me feel like this plastic is somehow eco-friendly. It's not. It's plastic :D

The colors they use make me feel like this plastic is somehow eco-friendly. It’s not. It’s plastic :D

That’s where the Coocheer USB 3.0 Hub comes in. It boasts several features which I tested as specifically as possible.

  1. Special design for compatibility with Ultrabook/Tablet/other tiny devices
  2. USB 3.0 ports are compatible with previous USB firmwares
  3. Low power consumption and stable power supply to all devices
  4. Voltage and current overload protection
  5. Plug-and-Play, Hot plugging compatible

 

So, where did it stand on all of these claims? Let’s find out!

 

Claim #1: Specially designed for small devices

Tucked out of the way rather nicely!

Tucked out of the way rather nicely!

The goal of this hub is to specifically “reduce occupation to the desktop”, essentially saying you don’t need much space to use it. Well, the device measures in 280mm long (~2/3 of the length comes from the cable), 98mm wide, and a mere 28mm tall. For those of you who don’t know metric very well, that’s 11 inches with cable. The device itself is light and compact and I can even tuck it under the Surface’s kickstand. Definitely a good design!

 

Claim #2: Compatible with all USB firmware

Well, this one is easy to test. My old presentation mouse (a handheld roller-ball plus two triggers) runs on USB 1.1 and never worked in the 3.0 port in my old Acer laptop (which made the same claim). While the roller-ball had come loose over time, the mouse worked fine when the ball connects to the sensor. The Coocheer Hub is true to its claim! Cracking the thing open and re-kajiggering the housing alignment allowed the ball to sit still against the sensor and no further issues arose!

A variety of hardware using different USB firmware. All worked great!

A variety of hardware using different USB firmware. All worked great!

 

Claim 3: Lower Power consumption and stable power supply

While I don’t yet have a voltmeter to gauge power output, I can say at the very least that none of three devices is overheating or glitching out after a week of never unplugging. The hub itself never seems to heat up. And, it’s passive, powered only by the charge coming through the computer’s USB port. While I can’t say with certainty, I’d be willing to bet the device delivers on this claim by numbers.

It looks chaotic, but it's actually rather controlled. Nothing heats up even when tucked away this way

It looks chaotic, but it’s actually rather controlled. Nothing heats up even when tucked away this way

Claim #4: Voltage and Current Overload Protection

Again, I don’t have the necessary technology to measure this and I didn’t really feel confident using my ghetto method of just jamming it full of high-consumption devices. Here’s what I can say here though. I plugged in my Fender Mustang to the hub (it records through USB 3.0) and jammed out heavy. My recording software gave me a check and showed true Zero-Latency (plugging directly in usually produces .2 milisecond delay) but the sound still comes from the guitar before coming through on the display. I this means there is no added latency going through the hub. Given the size of some of these sounds, I think 5gbps is an accurate number. And, recording for a full 3 hours, the hub never shut down or overheated and the amp never had any problems either. Unfortunately, I don’t have numbers, but I do have heavy-duty testing to suggest that this product can stand the heat it claims!

 

Claim #5: Plug-and-play, hotplugging compatibility

Not much to say here. Nothing I plugged in required additional downloads to run and nothing came up with an error when installing. It does what it says.

 

The Verdict:

This gets the JPA seal of approval!

This gets the JPA seal of approval!

The Coocheer USB 3.0 4-port Hub exceeded my expectations on all accounts! I’ve learned a new spell in my quest to become a technomancer! 10/10!

Disclaimer: Coocheer provided us with the USB 3 4 Port Hub so we could do a showcase and share thoughts on the product. All opinions are 100% authors and authors alone.

J Patrick Avery
'Trick is a linguistics major with an emphasis on culturalism. He hopes to bring accurate and thoughtful content to his followers and inspire others to create with his fiction. Downtime spent playing one of many instruments, training in Aikido, or geeking out to the latest Marvel/DC/Any Entertainment media!