Mac USB & FireWire

Pertec USB Hub Master

Dan Knight - 1999.12.15

Bob Moriarty of MacCPU call this The Ugliest USB Hub in the World. I can't verify that, but the Pertec USB Hub Master isn't one of the prettified, candy-colored hubs with translucent plasticsHub Master USB.

No, this hub is beige and strictly business. It's designed as a working hub, not a desktop ornament.

I've been using the Hub Master for months, ever since I got my USB card installed. I haven't reviewed it because, well, there's not a lot to say about it. It works. And it doesn't draw attention to itself.

In the process of testing different USB mice and keyboards, it's nice to have all those ports in a row right next to my beige Umax SuperMac S900. It's very easy to plug and unplug peripherals, which is what a hub should do best. After all, the concept behind USB is plug-and-play.

The Hub Master is self-contained; there's no power module on the floor. You plug the power cord into the wall, surge strip, or UPS, then connect the 6' USB cable between your computer and the seven port Hub Master. Then plug in your USB devices.

Lights on the Hub Master indicate power to the hub, USB bus power, and which ports are active.

Four of the seven ports are powered; three are not. I don't know why that is, nor do I have enough USB devices to worry about it. The three unpowered ports would be used by devices which have their own power supply, such as printers and other hubs.

Until the iMac came along, anyone looking at the Hub Master would call it a well designed product. Form follows function, not vice versa. Post-iMac, the Hub Master remains a well designed product, albeit not as colorful or plasticy as most USB hubs.

I see that as a good thing. If you're looking for a well-built USB hub that simply does the job well and makes using the USB ports easy, the Hub Master merits consideration.

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