Our second product in this USB hub comparison is the product manufactured by Tripp Lite, a company founded in 1922. Originally, this company mainly produced automotive accessories like headlights. Today, theyâ€™ve broadened their product offerings to include everything from their Isobarâ€”a premium surge protectorâ€”to the powered USB hub we selected for this review. The quality of this USB hub is evident through its immaculate feature set, solid construction and customer support options. It has all of the features we looked for in these devices and all but one of the customer service avenues. It is also one of the most durable devices we were able to identify; itâ€™s the closest to â€œheavy dutyâ€ you can get with a USB hub.
Tripp Liteâ€™s USB hub fell behind our number one product, Belkin, because of its lack of one feature in customer support: an informative FAQs section. It ranked ahead of Cables To Go because of its near industrial-strength construction; in Help & Support and Hub Features, however, they are near identical.
Every feature that we looked for in this category was present in the Tripp Lite USB hub. It includes the usual total of seven USB ports, greatly expanding the capabilities of your personal desktop computer or laptop. Each port can support up to the maximum transfer rate of 480Mbps, though this number can decrease if you have multiple peripheral devices that require more bandwidth. It also functions as a sort of miniature surge suppressor for your external devices, utilizing its 500mA overcurrent protection. This prevents moderate surges of electricity and feedback caused by lightning strikes or power fluctuations. However, this should not be used as a replacement for a standard surge protector.
The ports made available by Tripp Liteâ€™s USB hub are compatible with both dominant USB technologies. There are no ports that function with USB 3.0, however, limiting the usability of the device slightly. The hub comes with a USB cable to connect to your computer, though it does not require one of the seven available ports to do so. A power adapter is also included, allowing you to connect multiple energy-hungry devices to the hub without losing power.
As mentioned above, the Tripp Lite powered USB hub is one of the most durable devices we were able to identify in this category. Its construction is solid and compact, though it is slightly larger than most of the other devices on our lineup. Like many of the products on our lineup, this device is made out of plastic, though the material is thicker than the others. Included with the hub is a small plastic stand that allows the user to place the device on its side, orienting it vertically. This accessory allows the hub to be more economical with the available desk space, making the USB ports easily accessible and convenient.
This USB hub handles multiple peripheral devices with little difficulty; it rarely fails, even with multiple demanding electronics using its power. If the devices you connect via this hub are relatively economical on their own, you may not need the included power adapter. As mentioned above, Tripp Liteâ€™s USB hub includes the useful overcurrent protection feature. This capability provides this device with an additional measure of durability, improving the life of both the hub itself and any device connected to it.
Tripp Lite provides several of the key customer service features that we looked for, missing only an applicable FAQs section. Several general questions about navigating the website and concerns about the warranty are answered in this limited knowledgebase, though no questions deal directly with the USB hub. While the package does include a user manual with enough information to get you started, a larger body of useful documentation would help this product. However, they do provide a one-year warranty that insures your hub against defects in manufacture and faults in the materials.
This company provides the rare Live Chat method of customer support, granting you near-instant access to a representative at almost any time. A â€œLive Chatâ€ button is included on every product page on Tripp Liteâ€™s website should you desire to chat with a representative. Clicking this button opens up a pop-up window that asks you for some basic information to more efficiently process your request, including your name, email and initial question. After submitting this information, you are taken to a chat room with a dedicated customer service employee if youâ€™ve submitted your question during normal business hours. Our questions were answered promptly and courteously. If you desire, you can also contact customer service via telephone or email with questions about your Tripp Lite USB hub.
The Tripp Lite USB hub performed admirably in our review, being beaten out by Belkin only in the Help & Support category. This device is significantly more durable than the average hub, with a respectable amount of customer service backing it. It has all of the features we looked for in this review, including the standard seven ports and USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 compatibility.
Help & Support