Ideal Netbook USB Hub!
Every one of the Netbooks I have owned so far (4, but who is counting? 2 Asus, 1 Acer, 1 HP) have had the same USB problem. 3 ports, two on the right and one on the left. 3 is often just not enough. If you use a mouse, there goes one. If you have a portable external drive, there goes another. If you then want to transfer files to or from a USB flash drive, or attach an external optical drive, or a card reader, or your ipod…or all of them at once…
And, so far, on every machine I have owned the two ports on the right are simply too close together. There is no way you can plug two flash drives in there at the same time, and even one flash drive and anything else is a problem, unless the USB cable on the second device is much more dainty than usual.
And worse, anything you plug into the right side USB ports sticks out into your mouse space and is forever in the way when you are mousing around. Invariably you run into the USB cable or flash drive just short of being able to drop the file you are dragging into the destination folder. Hassle!
Therefore an external USB hub is a really attractive accessory for the Netbook. I recently stumbled on what may be the best USB hub for a Netbook. It is certainly the best I have yet found.
It is from igogear, and its obvious attraction is that the ports are in the top of the device, well spaced, so you can plug almost anything in there without issue. Not so obvious, but even better, is the built in mini-USB connector tucked away in the side of the unit. The packaging says it is for charging devices with mini-USB charging ports, but in fact, checking the more complete description on the igogear website reveals that it is a fully functioning USB mini port, capable of both charging and data transfer. That means if, as I do, you regularly use a portable drive to extend the drive space of your Netbook (my current HP Mini has a generous 250 gig HD, but that fills up fast when working with photos, video, and music), you can plug the hub into a single USB port, uncoil the mini-USB cord and plug, and attach the HD directly to the hub. That leaves you with all three USB hub ports still open. Plus you eliminate one USB cord from your workspace. How cool is that?
This is harder to describe than it is to see…take a close look at the pic. That’s my wireless mouse receiver sticking up, and you can see the protable Seagate FreeAgent drive attached directly to the hub. No mess. No fuss. Elegant.
The price is right too. Check it out on the igogear site. I got mine for $10 on sale at Target. What a deal!