I have been sent through the Inateck card reader and hub with USB on the go support, for review. Lets start with the good and bad points.
- Small lightweight form factor.
- Soft plastic feel.
- loads of ports giving versatility.
- Powered/None Powered option.
- Attached USB on the go cable, a little exposed.
- Proprietary power cable.
- No support for Apple devices.
Measuring in at 65 x 60 x 10 mm this little hub that also has USB on the go support has more ports and options available than you can shake a stick at.
Coated in a soft feel plastic that is very similar to the rear of the nexus 5, the hub has the following ports 3 x USB 2.0 ports, a standard size SD card port a Micro SD card port and MS card port and M2 card port, and a USB on the go cable fitted with a micro USB plug, and it’s has the option of a power in supply to turn the hub into a powered one.
You may be thinking what use have I for this hub with my smartphone/tablet but as manufacturers move towards sealed devices with no SD card expansion, space is at a premium. If your smartphone/tablet supports the USB on the go standard ( which the majority today’s modern mid to high end device’s do). You can load your files on the storage media of your choice, (in my case it was old SD cards, as I had loads of them lying around) either SD card or USB flash drive, pop it in the relevant port in the hub, connect the hub to your device and using a file browser access the content of choice.
I used the hub majority of the time with my Nexus 5, with it only being the 16 GB version, I loaded a whole TV series and a couple of films on my SanDisk 32 GB USB drive, plugged the hub into my phone and watched them direct from the USB drive. I could also move my recovery backups from my phones internal memory by copying it over using the hub again freeing up valuable space.
I then started to get a bit clever, using the hub I connected the power supply to my Powergen portable powerpack, (to give the hub some power) I then connected a full size USB keyboard and mouse, placed flashdrive in the other USB port and a couple of memory cards to boot, and there I was happily accessing my files from any of the cards or drives, moving files from either the phone of the attached storage options, all done with a full size mouse and keyboard, ( home made android laptop anyone )
There were a couple of small drawbacks with the hub these being :- the cable that acts as the USB on the go cable is sealed inside the hub its self, and as we know constant bending of such cables can cause the cable to break down where it joins the device.
Secondly the power lead to the hub appears to be a proprietary power cable, so worryingly if it becomes lost, you would have to spend time, hunting for anotherI I would have preferred to see the hub powered by the micro USB which is now becoming the standard.
The Inateck Hub is currently available for £12.99 from Amazon UK