Jan 20, 2015
Okay. So the HUB-IT Sync & Charge Station looks to charge several mobile units at once. And?
Not so fast. Seriously.
The review unit sent to us packs the main unit, four cartridges (more on this later), power cable and a lot of paperwork. We also got a curious extra qi-enabled cartridge which was an enigma at first. It has an interestingly classic look: ebony, glossy black, and it looks like the base of a four-sided pyramid (with most of the top cleanly shorn off).
Out of each side, there is a charging cable which, in the stock state, barely extends past beyond the main unit. The review unit sent to us showcased a typical set up of the system: micro-USB piece, macro-USB, Apple-centric lightning cable and legacy charging cable too. The cables are retractable; one can pull at a cable to make use of the cable, and then pull it again to make it retract. Beneath three of the cables, there is one USB port each; the fourth has a port for power input, and one for micro-USB 3.0. It sports 7 LED lights as well. Size-wise it’s 6.69 x 6.69 x 1.34 inches and weighs just under 9 oz.
On its own, based on this feature set, the Hub-it works well. It intuitively can be plugged into a wall socket and provide up to 4A of current to several mobile devices.
It’s the component system that really makes this unit stand apart.
The included documentation encourages one to pop the removable top of the unit. Doing so reveals the interior and the creative aspect of the dock. Each charging cable is an independent piece evaded in a plastic, spring-loaded “cartridge; each one can be be moved around, swapped out and replaced with another if need be. Thus, one only can install only required cartridges he/she wants. As such, the dock is quite customizable. The true utility is in these cartridges; one can even add cartridges for handheld gaming units. There are “power” slots too, which allow one to add qi-wireless functionality, or even a power pack to create a power bank.
In practice, the components we used worked fabulously, and I came away pleasantly surprised.
This unit is one of those that sells itself to you very quickly. It isn’t the cheapest solution (at $72.89 on Amazon), but the whole thing is not too hard to justify, and the extra cartridges are fairly affordable at under $8.00. I do harbor preemptive concerns with regards to the long term efficacy of the cable retraction, and the top feels a bit delicate.
The true testament is that in a short time, the Hub-It has elbowed it way into my workflow. For me, that is truth enough.