Inateck 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Magic Port

An accessory that is not just a simple three-port USB hub but also and above all a device for transferring data between Macs, PCs, Android smartphones and tablets. Also works as a switch KM for USB keyboard & mouse allowing you to control two computers with one keyboard and one independent displays with mouse/trackpad.

In a world where the USB hubs make them by now everyone, few manage to put this common accessory a touch of originality and innovation, yet with the USB ports you can do many things, some very useful as evidenced by theHB4009, a Inateck device that integrates a USB 3.0 hub according to EDUCATIONVV. Magic Port which, as we shall see, is one of the reasons why we review this accessory.

HB4009 is a little box light (67 grams) and not excessive in size (108 x 31 x 22 mm), made of grey plastic good quality, easy to carry in your bag. Its most common purpose is to multiply the two USB ports on the computer, by increasing resources (since it has three USB ports) but the secondary purpose, which becomes the primary since there are many other similar products in circulation, is the ability to transfer files from a Mac to a PC without using any driver, share keyboard and mouse between the two environments or between two machines, whatever they may be.

Operation
The use of the USB hub is of course trivial: just plug one end into a USB port on your Mac and connect USB devices to one of three new ports available. Function as a hub is not obviously requires no drivers and the accessory can be connected and disconnected on the fly without problems, having the foresight to “dismantle” devices such as disks and USB memory sticks, as you do with these accessories. But there is something more in the hub it is perceived when the first shortcut on your Mac appear two tiny walls (3.69 MB and 1.38 MMB) integrated into a device’s internal storage, with specific software for OS X and Windows. On OS X the device requires your permission to change the settings for the lit of assistive devices (we will see shortly why).On Windows are automatically installed on your system a number of driver as soon as the device is connected to the USB port; Double click on the virtual drive in my computer on the Microsoft operating system “Mac KM Link” icon will appear at the bottom right of the taskbar; a click on the icon in question allows you to change various settings and indicate, for example, the physical location of the other computer (right, left, up, down), fundamental to the peculiar mode of operation that is enabled by the device. As soon as you plug one end of the accessory cable to your Mac and the head protruding from your device to your PC, the operating system notifies you that your connection was run and you are now ready to use.

Transferring files from Mac to PC
The first interesting aspect, which we have mentioned, is the ability to transfer files from one operating system to another. Just click on the icon in the taskbar in Windows (at the bottom right of your screen) and choose the option “GO! Bridge “. A window appears showing the list of files and folders on the desktop and you can navigate in the tree of the connected computer and drag files from one place to another by drag & drop by controlling the mouse of Macs and PCs from a single location. In our case the MacBook Air was to the left of the PC, the PC was right and with the trackpad on Mac we dragged easily folders and files from one place to another. The PC (or rather, the screen of the latter) becomes a kind of secondary monitor, making it easy to transfer. Copying a file about 800 MB took about 40 seconds (the used PC has USB 2.0, MacBook Air USB 3.0); higher speeds are reached of course if both the Mac and the PC, integrated USB ports 3. An option called “open dock” opens a window to the right of the application “Go! Bridge “indicate all files to transfer, select them and transfer them finally to the desired position, all together.

the PC seen from Mac

Transfer from PC to Mac
Even the opposite situation (transfer files and folders from Mac to PC) is obviously straightforward. Just start the application “Mac” on the Mac, choose the Links KM “Go! Bridge “from the” File “menu; Similarly to the saw before transferring PC, a window appears with the desktop PC with Windows; from here you can navigate in folders and subfolders different and drag and drop files where you need them. From the application menu Mac you can temporarily disable mouse and keyboard control, disable the Clipboard, change various Preferences, change in various ways the main transfer window display options.

Use as a KVM switch
Being a KVM device, the device allows you to control two independent computers with a monitor and a mouse. Connect Macs and PCs (but also two Macs or two PCs), you specify the first time the physical location of each other device, and at this point we can, for example, use your Mac with Safari, Mail, Photophop and so on; by dragging the mouse cursor to the right (the PC screen) you enter in the Windows area and from here you can start Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other programs; even the keyboard is shared, as well as the notebook, making it trivial to transfer data from one side to the other.

Use with Android devices
For use with Android smartphones and tablets just use the USB adapter Micro-B/A (included). On Android devices you have to activate the option OTG (On The Go “), very convenient to use mouse and keyboard, copy and paste items and more. Some Android devices allow you to hide the virtual keyboard, allowing (especially with smaller screens) to write more comfortably. All smartphones and tablets not fully support some features (some only support swapping of keyboard, others only the transfer); generally the device with Android 4.04 and later support both functions. A QR code can be called from the application “Go! Bridge “allows at any time to download the free app Windroid” Linker “from the Play Store by activating specific features of transfer and control.

Conclusions
Is an interesting and easy to use. It is so convenient to transfer files and folders between Macs and PCs on the fly without the need to create an ad hoc network, without exploiting network connections (wireless or wired) and also convenient for those who need to use Mac and PC simultaneously controlling everything with a single keyboard and mouse. Very convenient is the ability to swap Clipboard between Mac and PC, by this way to communicate between the two seemingly irreconcilable applications systems. We exploited for example to generate invoices and shipping documents to an application dedicated to PC, copy files and paste them in Mail on a Mac the documents generated on the fly on Windows. The possibilities are so endless. Even the control of Android devices is useful, convenient not only to transfer files but also and above all to copy and paste the Clipboard between the two systems and take advantage of USB keyboards.

Name: HB4009

Produced by: Inateck

Minimum requirements on Mac OS X 10.6 or higher processor and USB port

PC minimum requirements: Windows XP or higher processor and USB port

Minimum requirements for use with Android devices: Android 2.2, 3.0, 3.1 or newer

Price: 52.99 euros but Amazon is on offer at 30.99 Euros