Qicent has produced a 3-port USB 3 hub/1000mbit Ethernet combo device that is great if you’re out of USB ports, or need an ethernet port.
It’s a no-frills USB 3 Hub that works out of the box, unfortunately the ethernet port requires additional drivers from the net. While not a huge problem, if you’re without a network connection due to a faulty ethernet port in your laptop you’ll need to jump through some more hoops as this does not ship with install media.
Performance wise it’s working as expected. A 5Gbps backplane means you can theoretically communicate at 625MBytes per sec shared across all devices. I was able to achieve a little over 3GBps, but I believe that’s my drives and not a limitation of this.
What’s that you said?
The user manual is just about the worst I’ve seen to date, examples being that the hub doesn’t need a driver followed by directing you to where to download the driver (the hub portion may not require a driver, but the ethernet portion does.) Then incorrectly naming the area you download it from (they say Service and support, related downloads, it’s actually support, software and manual).
The manual then goes into instructions for a charger (this isn’t a charger, although I guess it could be used as a charging hub.)
The driver download is not a zip file, it’s a RAR file, which means you’ll need to head over to the world’s least reassuring archiver download site, get Winrar, de-rar the files into a folder, go into your device manager, and update the driver with one of the ones you just downloaded. Easy for a tech savvy person, but assuming you’re having connectivity issues (why you might have gotten an ethernet USB port,) might be a headache.
Anyway, I’ve dogged on the manual long enough – this is an inexpensive working way to get two additional USB 3 ports and a USB-3 1 Gigabit Ethernet port.
The other reviews
It appears on Amazon the advertised length of the cable used to be 3.3 feet. It’s actually about a foot, which is now the advertised length. This is what every 1 & 2 star rating is about.
The rest of the reviews, worst thing I can locate is it didn’t work reliably on someone’s Macbook pro.
Should be noted the Amazon reviews appear to be glopped together for some of their other products as well so take that with a grain of salt.
Should I get it?
It’s inexpensive, it works, you’ll need to install a driver to get the ethernet to work which is relatively simple.