With every new USB device I acquire, my desire for my Dell XPS M1330 laptop to have more than just two USB ports grows stronger. Perhaps now I can finally get my wish.
Tuesday, LaCie introduced two stylish USB 2.0 hubs, the Core4 and Core7, which seem like they will work well with laptops. Designed by Sam Hecht--an award-winning, U.K.-based, industrial designer--these two hubs offer functionality, portability, and style. Both come in a compact form factor, with cables tucked away when not in use.
The Core4 supports up to four USB devices, while the Core7 can handle up to seven. Both come with a Mini-USB male connector, which is the most popular connector for portable USB devices and will come in handy if you forget a USB cable.
The two hubs are also bus-powered, meaning they will work without a power adapter. However, you will need a power adapter if you use multiple bus-powered USB devices with the hubs; this is because a computer's USB port has only enough juice to power so many devices at a time.
The Core7 ships with a power adapter, but the Core4 doesn't; you can purchase one separately if need be. The Core4 comes in three different colors: warm gray, blue, and orange. The Core7 comes in warm gray only.
LaCie's Core4 and Core7 USB hubs are available now and cost $10 and $20, respectively.