The Inatech HBU3VL3-4 is a little (110 x 32 x 20mm) 3 port USB 3.0 hub that incorporates an RJ45 socket for Gigabit Ethernet.
Aimed squarely at the ultrabook user the short 30cm cable is a welcomed way to keep on-dek clutter to a minimum, although you’ll probably need a USB extension lead to use with a desktop machine.
The unit does not require a driver to use its USB ports but you will need one for the built-in Gigibit Ethernet adaptor.
There’s a CD in the box but if you’re ‘post-optical’ then you can download drivers from the Inateck support site for Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 (32/64 bit), Mac OSX and Linux.
The maximum output current of the USB ports is 5V/900 mA, so don’t expect to use them for charging.
With our usual un-scientific test we copied files from our MacBook to our NAS several times and averaged out the results. The Inateck’s USB 3 to Gigabit Ethernet bridge took 1 min 29 seconds to copy over our files.
In comparison our Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter took 1 minute 21 seconds making the Thunderbolt unit around 9% faster.
The Apple bridge is currently £25 while you can pick up the Inateck unit for for around £20, which is almost as fast, cheaper and includes those handy extra USB 3.0 ports.