StarTech USB 3.0 Media Hub FCREADU3HC
A lightweight and compact multi-media card reader with USB fast charging and two built in USB 3.0 ports.
Fully compatible with CompactFlash®, SecureDigital® and MemoryStick® flash cards. The StarTech Hub makes transferring media from multiple devices a fast and simple process.
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 1 X USB 2.0 Fast Charge port
- Micro SD, SD, CF, MS card ports
- Universal Power Adapter (UK,US,EU)
As I gradually age, there are certain things I’m more reluctant to do. One of them is having to drop down on my hands and knees and root around the back of my PC. Shamefully my system has only two USB 3.0 ports and they are both on the back. I often choose to sacrifice time and connect to the slower 2.0 ports on the front. After using the StarTech Multi Media card reader, I’m left wondering why I made transferring data so difficult for myself.
2Design and Build Quality
The StarTech multi media card reader measures 111mm x 60mm x 26mm and weighs just over 100grams. The build quality of the housing feels good, its put together well and feels relatively sturdy.
Despite the metallic finish to the sides, the entire hub is made from plastic. The top and bottom surfaces are highly glossy. Not ideal for dust and fingerprints, but visually appealing when clean.
Its rounded edges and the combination of black and grey work well together and it sits well on the desk.
With the exception of the Micro SD, all other card slots are found on the front of the device. There are two USB 3.0 transfer ports and a USB 2.0 fast charging port on the rear. The StarTech hub connects to the PC via a USB 3.0 cable, and there’s a DC output for the mains adapter.
The mains adapter that comes with this device is seriously handy for anyone that travels. There’s a three pin UK plug and two pin connectors suitable for Europe and US sockets.
The device will function without the mains adapter connected. However, for optimal transfer and charging speeds it needs to be powered.
3Features and Specs
Memory card reading
The StarTech hub is a highly versatile device, compatible with a dozen types of memory cards. Thankfully these days I only tend to use two types. SD cards for digital photography with my DSLR and Micro SD for phones, tablets and small devices.
I did manage to dig out an old Compact Flash Card and test that too. Its tiny capacity may be a bit of a give away as to its age – 128mb’s!
The difference in transfer speeds compared to a direct connection to my Canon DSLR were huge!
- SD/MMC (Secure Digital/Multimedia Card)
- SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity)
- SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity)
- CF (Compact Flash I/II Card)
- M2 (Memory Stick Micro)
- Micro-SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity)
- Mini-SD, Micro-SD (Mini/Micro Secure Digital)
- MS Duo, MS Pro Duo, MS Pro-HG Duo
- MS MG (Memory Stick w/ MagicGate)
- MS/MS Pro (Memory Stick/Pro)
- MSXC (Memory Stick eXtended Capacity)
- RS-MMC (Reduced Size Multimedia Card)
Each time you plug in an additional memory card, stick or external hard, they are instantly detected and added as a removable drive.
This allows you to rapidly exchange files from one card to another. Very useful when managing files on your Phone or Tablet’s micro SD cards.
The fast charge port has a 2A output, which will happily charge tablets as fast as a regular mains charger. I successfully charged an iPad using fast charge, while charging my phone from one of the USB 3.0 ports.
I’ve been hugely impressed by the StarTech hub. It’s made transferring files easier and faster, and the two additional USB 3.0 ports were sorely needed.
The added bonus of being able to fast charge my devices from the comfort of my desktop is yet another great feature.
My only criticisms are based on aesthetics. I tend to favour matte surfaces and brushed metal finishes. As for functionality, this device worked flawlessly and is great value for money.
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