Have a think for a second. Sit back, relax, and count how many devices you think you own that require constant recharging? Now, how many individual chargers do you have in order to facilitate said recharging? I’d wager the answer is lots. The HUB IT Sync and Charge Station looks to help in this regard. Let’s a take a look in our full review.
The HUB IT Sync and Charge Station is the brainchild of Eggtronic, a technology start-up from Modena, Italy. You won’t have heard of them for anything else as yet as this is their primary product and is currently on sale via Clove Technology.
Overview & Unboxing
So what is the HUB IT Sync and Charge Station? Put simply it’s a charging station for mobile devices such as smartphones, wearables, tablets and more, as well as being a USB 3.0 hub for your PC/MAC/Laptop/. That’s not really doing it justice, and we’ll delve into exactly why shortly. For now, let’s see what we get in the box.
The box is is quite compact and is adequately packaged to protect the device inside. As the device itself is plastic unless you have a particularly ‘robust’ courier, the device should arrive to you in one piece.
Within the box itself is:
- The HUB IT station
- An AC Adapter
- A USB 3.0 cable (approx. 1m)
- 5 individual cartridges
- A user guide for charging
- A user guide for Hub operation
- A multi-language operation manual
- A warranty sheet
The device has a square base and then extends upwards into a trapezoidal prism. That is to say it looks like a pyramid with the top cut off! The HUB IT has a black glossy plastic finish, with a subtle “HUB IT” logo displayed atop the lid.
A gentle push outwards and up from the side removes the top covering and unveils the inner workings of the HUB IT Sync and Charge Station. There sits the 5 bundled cartridges. The centre cartridge is a power cartridge (more on that later) and the other four are evenly placed around it on each side. Each cartridge’s cable is retractable, pulling out to a length of approximately 10″. These cartridges provide connectivity in the form of:
- Lightning cable
- Mini USB cable
- Micro USB cable
- Regular Apple 30pin cable
On one edge of the device is the AC adapter port as well as the USB 3.0 Micro B connector. On the three remaining sides are USB 3.0 female ports with LED charging/connection notification lights.
There are nine individual cartridge locations. These are split into 4 x USB 3.0 cartridge slots and 5 x Power cartridge slots. The power slots can be used to deliver functionality even when there is no AC adapter connected. They can also be used to allow Qi Wireless Charging functionality with a specific cartridge. Very nice!
The remaining 4 slots are interchangeable with many, many other adapters. They provide Nintendo DS chargers, additional USB micro and mini cables, as well as specific digital camera options. All of these are available as additional extras and enhance the unit’s appeal, for us, substantially. Eggtronic have also stated that they are continuing to develop this product and hope to bring more cartridges to the device in time.
As with all of these types of devices, performance and throughput is of paramount importance. It’s absolutely fine to have a device that combines many device requirements into one, but if performance is poor there seems little reason. Thankfully, in our tests the HUB IT Sync and Charge Station performed admirably.
Firstly we connected the device to the AC Adapter as well as a USB 3.0 port on a Windows 7 machine and ran a couple of throughput tests to check the read/write speed and we were pleasantly surprised with what we got to/from our Samsung Galaxy S6 when connected.
Next we tried a Samsung Evo Class 10 micro SD card, and a Kingston DataTraveler SE9 USB Drive. Whilst much slower, they both came close to the top speed specifications given by the manufacturer.
In terms of charging devices, each one of the charging cartridges provided is capable of up to 2.5A output. For most Android devices, 1.5A are pumped through to get them charging speedily. Some tablets take 2 or 2.5A however. In any case, we had 2 tablets, and 3 phones charging from this device without any issues. Obviously not all devices will be charging at the full speed with that many connected, but we didn’t notice any perceivable slow charging issues.
We would be keen to get some of the battery cartridges to test the unplugged, battery life This is a feature that could well prove to be the unique selling point that swings users towards this particular device over other similar hubs.
The key to this product is versatility. The ability to plug-in multiple devices, charge them, and have them act as a hub for USB connectivity firmly puts this device out in front with a very small amount of products.
The ability to expand and change out the internal cartridges is something that is unique in our experience and adds to the longevity of the device. An optional Qi Wireless Charging cartridge is a brilliant addition also.
More cartridges are planned and we expect some weird and wonderful implementations going forward.
It’s not all rosey however. The HUB IT Sync and Charge Station’s glossy finish, whilst nice to look at, is a finger print magnet and we’d much prefer a matte finish. Similarly we’d personally have preferred to see a tower approach so that it took up less desk space and perhaps stacked cartridges that slide in via an alcove, rather than having to “lift the lid” on the device.
With these minor nitpicks out of the way, the device does what it says on the tin. It delivers the expected performance from the USB 3.0 ports and similarly from the charging cables.
There are many USB hubs. Likewise, there are many multiple device charging stations. This combines both functions and does so well. If you’re in the market for one or the other, this device is well worth a look, especially at a price of £62.99 which is nearer what you’d expect to pay for a multi-device charging station alone. Take a look over at Clove Technology to pick one up and see more information.
Thanks to our friends at Clove Technology for device.
Links: Clove Technology – HUB IT Sync and Charge Station by EggTronic