If you’re looking to replace an aging USB 2.0 hub with USB 3.0 in order to take advantage of the higher speed connection, or if you’re just looking for a new hub to add some more ports to your desktop or laptop, let me introduce you to the ORICO P10-U3. This is a full-featured hub at a budget price, with very few compromises.
First off, let’s address the price. Available on both Amazon.com (10% off with promo code SUGZGXS9, valid till 05/04/2016)and Newegg, this hub is currently selling for around $40 – less if you buy in bulk. This is less than half the price of some competitor’s 10-port hubs, and many of those don’t even include the same features as the P10-U3. There are times when I need a hub that fits a special niche, but those instances are few and far between. More often, I’m looking for a reliable product, and good value, which the P10-U3 fits perfectly.
As for features, when considering a 10-port hub, the first thing to look for is generally an external power supply. 10 ports will do you no good if they aren’t receiving sufficient power to function. The low-power USB 3.0 specification allows each device to draw 150 mA, meaning 10 ports, each with a low-power USB 3.0 device attached would require a total of 1.5 amps. The ORICO P10-U3 comes with a 3-amp power supply, meaning you’ll have plenty of juice to spare. This comes in handy if you’re mixing in high-power devices, which can draw up to 900 mA, however – keep in mind that this device is a USB hub, not a USB charger, so if you’re looking to charge 10 devices simultaneously, you’ll have to find a device specifically designed for that purpose. In my own tests, I had no trouble powering four USB thumb-drives, three external hard drives, and two Raspberry Pi’s.
That alone would be sufficient for me to say this is a good device, and a solid competitor in the market, but there are a few more features worth mentioning. The case for the device itself is nothing exotic, but it does have a modest footprint, meaning it won’t be tipping over or falling on its side every time you plug a device in. It also has a power button, which controls all 10 of the ports simultaneously, allowing you to enable or disable a large number of devices with the press of a button. The button itself doesn’t feel particularly sturdy, so I wouldn’t recommend using this in an application where you will frequently be toggling the power, but I did press the button approximately 500 times without noticing any aberrant behavior, so the common user shouldn’t need to worry.
Additionally, each port has a small LED light accompanying it, which will light up if a data connection has been established. This could be helpful in troubleshooting a faulty device, but I appreciate it as a simple status indicator, letting me know everything is operating as expected.
These days, with USB 3.0 being the de facto standard, we all have more and more USB devices, and more and more uses for USB. If you’re finding yourself in need of more USB ports, or simply want to replace your existing USB 2.0 hub to take advantage of the high speed of SuperSpeedUSB 3.0, I recommend giving the ORICO P10-U3 a shot. Pick one up today!