If there's one axiom serious computer users can agree on, it's that there are never enough ports. More than ever, we depend on the USB for charging devices as well as connecting them to download and transfer information. While there are some fun-shaped USB ports like Hubman, more serious users need a USB hub that provides reliable charging and high-speed data transfer for both iOS and PC systems.

VisionTek Charge & Sync 3.0 seven-port hub fits the bill nicely for both needs. It has four 3.0 USB ports that lets you transfer up to 5GB of data. These ports offer 900mA bus power so the device charges as you use it. For faster charging, there are two 1.0A-charging ports and one 2.0A-charging port. We found the 2.0A charger took about half the time than the 900mA needed for charging a high-end smartphone.

This USB hub is heavy duty, with an anodized aluminum housing rather than cheap plastic. Despite the metal housing, it does not heat up noticeably even when multiple items are plugged into the device and active. You can connect the VisionTek Charge & Sync to your computer for charging and data transfer or use the charging cord to plug it into a wall socket to use as a charging station.

You should be able to use all the ports simultaneously and still charge all your devices. We did find, however, that our Bamboo Spark did not charge when plugged into the 3.0 USB port. It did fine with the charging port, however, so this may be a preference of the device rather than a problem with the hub.

The hub made quick work of transferring files, even a seven-minute video file of a concert. Moving photos and files took just a few seconds before we were able to select the next file to transfer. Documents and photos transferred in a fraction of a second, faster than we could keep up with.

Measuring .9 inches x 4.3 inches x 1.8 inches, this device is a convenient size and shape for tucking behind your computer or on the floor, or for dropping into your laptop bag to take on the road. It comes with two cords: a 100V-240V/50Hz-60Hz power cord that can handle power in America or Europe with the right adaptor and a USB A/USB B cord for connecting to your computer to allow quick, high throughput of data.

This version of the VisionTek hub is compatible with Window XP through Windows 8, but not Windows 10. It can also work with Mac OS X 10.8.2 and higher, Linux 9, Kindles, Nooks and eReaders, game consoles, POS scanners, 3D glasses and other USB-connectable devices. It comes with an 18-month limited warranty.

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