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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:07 PM   #1
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Macworld/iWorld 2013: Kanex DualRole Hub Features Gigabit Ethernet and Three USB 3.0 Ports




Kanex's DualRole is an Ethernet hub that comes equipped with three USB 3.0 ports, a useful accessory for newer MacBooks which require an adapter to connect to a wired network.


The DualRole is USB bus powered with an included 3-inch cable, but it also supports an additional 5V power adapter (not included) to provide extra power for intensive tasks like charging the iPad and the iPhone or powering hard drives.

While DualRole supports plug and play for its USB 3.0 ports, it does require drivers*to access the Gigabit Ethernet port.

Kanex's DualRole is available immediately for $69 from the Kanex website.

Article Link: Macworld/iWorld 2013: Kanex DualRole Hub Features Gigabit Ethernet and Three USB 3.0 Ports
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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Nice looking hub... But pretty damn expensive!
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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All I want is a powered USB3 Hub at a good price, is that too much to ask? 4-6 ports no need for Ethernet but having one with an SD reader would be a bonus given where Apple has hid it on the latest iMac.

Here in Australia they are hard to come by, USB2 still rules in retail. And when you do find one it's way too expensive, no wonder many turn to eBay.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 07:01 PM   #4
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All I want is a powered USB3 Hub at a good price, is that too much to ask? 4-6 ports no need for Ethernet but having one with an SD reader would be a bonus given where Apple has hid it on the latest iMac.

Here in Australia they are hard to come by, USB2 still rules in retail. And when you do find one it's way too expensive, no wonder many turn to eBay.
I'm also from Australia, I saw a USB 3.0 hub + card reader at Woolworths the other day. I think it was $20

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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:53 PM   #5
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I'm also from Australia, I saw a USB 3.0 hub + card reader at Woolworths the other day. I think it was $20

I never thought of checking there, thanks for the heads up. I think DickSmith had some but not sure of the price and last I checked they were sold out.

Currently I have a nice Belkin USB2 7 port one. 5 on the back for HDDs and stuff you'd keep plugged in and 2 on the front. Ideal for thumb drives or a USB to SD card reader you might take in and out a lot.

Is it amazing how much Mac users care about design of their products, even a simple USB Hub?
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 04:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ConCat View Post
Because with a thunderbolt port you could operate all three of those USB3 ports and at full 5Gbit speeds and the gigabit ethernet port. You can't do 3x USB3 speeds on a USB3 port.
No you couldn't, at least not concurrently. 16Gbps won't go into 10Gbps. Current TB only has twice the bandwidth of USB3 before any overheads are factored in.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Great now make that a Thunderbolt port and they will finally have something!
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:28 PM   #8
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Only 3 USB 3.0 ports? Since the hub will use one of the USB ports on the Mac, it is only adding 2 USB ports and gigabit ethernet (which requires awkward 3rd party driver and I am probably better off using Apple's $29 Thunderbolt-to-Gigabit adapter).
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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Only 3 USB 3.0 ports? Since the hub will use one of the USB ports on the Mac, it is only adding 2 USB ports and gigabit ethernet (which requires awkward 3rd party driver and I am probably better off using Apple's $29 Thunderbolt-to-Gigabit adapter).
Whiner !!!
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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Whiner !!!
Considering the hub costs whopping $69 and requires a driver for gigabit ethernet (which may not be supported in the future or newer OS X), I don't think I am whining when criticizing the hub for adding only 2 additional USB ports. Belkin's $49 4 USB 3.0 hubs adds 3 additional ports) and has optional AC just like Kanex's. No gigabit ethernet of course.

Last edited by nutmac; Feb 4, 2013 at 03:14 PM.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:34 PM   #11
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Great now make that a Thunderbolt port and they will finally have something!
And then watch it quintuple in price...
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:39 PM   #12
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Is it normal to require drivers to use ethernet on a device like this? Shouldn't this just be plug-n-play?

My concern with this device is driver support: how long / how many operating systems will be supported before the device needs to be replaced.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:39 PM   #13
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Great now make that a Thunderbolt port and they will finally have something!
Why would you need it to be a Thunderbolt port? USB 3 is far cheaper to implement and faster than both Gigabit ethernet and all but the highest-end external RAID enclosures.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 03:58 PM   #14
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Why would you need it to be a Thunderbolt port? USB 3 is far cheaper to implement and faster than both Gigabit ethernet and all but the highest-end external RAID enclosures.
Because with a thunderbolt port you could operate all three of those USB3 ports and at full 5Gbit speeds and the gigabit ethernet port. You can't do 3x USB3 speeds on a USB3 port.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 04:23 PM   #15
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This looks good, I agree a little expensive. I read that the MBP downclocks the port to USB2 standards if the first peripheral plugged in is USB2. Does this mean that if I have my amazing logitech mouse which is USB2, but plug it into a USB3 port, but the USB3 hub is the first device plugged into my computer that the whole mess is at 2 or 3 speeds? My usb hard drive is at around 90mb/s for usb3 but only about 45 at usb2.

My head hurts, and I am not willing to invest in this until I know
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 10:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ConCat View Post
Because with a thunderbolt port you could operate all three of those USB3 ports and at full 5Gbit speeds and the gigabit ethernet port. You can't do 3x USB3 speeds on a USB3 port.
Without a lot of cost, without Thunderbolt you aren't likely going to get that anyway. Even on many computers, not each port gets it's own controller. There are often internal hubs and the like. More than likely, any USB hub with it's own controller (like a thunderbolt dock) is going to have just one controller and thus just one 5gbps connection.

Besides, there really aren't a lot of use cases for that much bandwidth. A FAST spinning hard drive will hit maybe 120MB/s (960mbit). Even an SSD won't saturate 5gbps. The only time you'll saturate even one 5gbps connection, or even come close to thunderbolt, is moving tons and tons of files through a large RAID enclosure. I don't think people realize just how fast USB 3.0 is. I think it's part of why Thunderbolt hasn't taken off yet (though I'm not going to call it 'dead' like everyone else who apparently got their very first computer in 2009. Ever major new standard, even USB, took several years to really take off.) is that there really aren't a lot of uses for it yet. USB 3.0 is fast enough for external storage in far more applications. An array of SSD's or a huge array of fast spinning disks, perhaps. Otherwise, with just about any single disk, USB 3.0 is fast enough.

However, USB has always been notoriously over-represented. USB 2.0, for example, had a 'signaling speed' of 480mbit/s. but could only actually transfer data at 280mbit/s. It's all marketing. That's why FW400 was far faster than USB 2.0 (despite USB 2.0 being '480' vs '400'). So I'm not sure how much ACTUAL bandwidth you'll get. But I know I'm able to get full saturated speeds with my external drives.

EDIT: The ACTUAL speed of USB 3.0 is 3.2gbit/s, and it's maximum payload throughput is 4gbit/s using a certain type of encoding (just looked it up!). Even that's plenty fast enough though for a couple hard drives, given that most use cases aren't pulling down large files from multiple drives at the same time. Though, I still hate that something that can't hit about 3ish gbps and, only with special encoding in a synthetic environment can hit 4gbps, but be marketed as 5gbps. What if cars were marketed as getting 'up to 100mpg' because, in a vacuum tube at 19mph they can get that?

Makes me wonder if Apple would have been more successful with FireWire if THEY lied about the bandwidth (or used the maximum electrical theoretical throughput, which the hardware could never actually achieved). On paper, FireWire always seemed slower. But in the real world it's much faster, as it nearly hits it's advertised speeds.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
So you dont really know what the problem is then

I was talking about using a USB 3.0 hub, with USB 3.0 devices plugged in - none of them work correctly on the rMBP. The second you plug in any additional devices that are USB 2.0 the whole thing falls back to USB 2.0.

Apple's implementation of the USB 3.0 standard is flawed.
That's really really odd, for two reasons.

1, the 'standard' for USB 3.0 includes 2.0 backward compatibility. Though it might make sense if Apple is only using ONE controller that perhaps that's happening.

And 2, I'm 99% positive my non-retina doesn't do that. Just the other day I had one USB 2.0 connection to my cinema display, and another to a USB 3.0 hard drive and was transferring a big batch of files.

Edit: Yep, no issues here on a mid-2012 non retina. USB 2.0 works alongside USB 3.0 with no speed decrease. Although it's worth noting that I'm getting 650mbps to an external 2.5" drive, wheras I can reference my NAS at about 900-950mbps over ethernet. Further reason why I really think USB 3.0 is an over-hyped standard! Maybe I'll take back what I said before, I assumed that it would run about half of it's advertised speed like USB 2.0 did, which puts it as fast as eSATA. But that's not the case, at least from what I'm experiencing and others have reported on the 'internets'.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 04:44 PM   #17
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Nice looking hub... But pretty damn expensive!
Compared to the proposed (yet seemingly non-existent) Thunderbolt hubs, it's darn cheap. Figure in the cost of an Apple Ethernet adapter for a Macbook Pro Retina and I don't think it's really that bad if you have a need for both more USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet port (like many Macbook Pro Retina users do). Sadly, you only gain 2 ports here and that's a real problem. I simply don't get why hub makers (and even Apple on their notebooks even) offer so few ports. One external mouse and keyboard (wired) and you're DONE on a MBP Retina. It's ridiculous. My 2008 MBP has SO many more ports in total AND an upgrade slot to boot. The Retina model wastes space on the side where more ports could be added with a better design. Personally, under those conditions I'd rather have just a Mini-Display Port instead of Thunderbolt and have 4-6 USB 3.0 ports instead (utilizing all that internal space that the TB chip takes up if needed to create space near the edges of the motherboard for more ports).

What I need (for my Mac Mini which has 4-ports already) is a reliable 7-port USB3 hub and thus far the best reports for compatibility I've been able to find are 4-port hubs which would only give me 3 extra ports in total. I've already got a 7-port USB 2.0 hub MAXED OUT here (which uses one USB 3.0 port to connect) and I only have one USB 3.0 port still open as a result for any USB drives, etc. and have two more USB 3.0 3TB backup drives to connect during backups. So one more permanent type device and I have no more ports without unplugging something.

My Mac Mini doesn't need a second Gigabit port so this product doesn't interest me regardless of the number of USB 3.0 ports (i.e. no point paying for something you're not going to use unless it's the only product available), but I can see why a MBP Retina user would be interested.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 04:32 PM   #18
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The wording on this article is extremely confusing.

Quote:
Kanex's DualRole is an Ethernet hub that comes equipped with three USB 3.0 ports

It's a 3 port USB 3.0 hub that's equipped with an Ethernet connection, not the other way around. By no means is this an Ethernet hub.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 04:39 PM   #19
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It's not quite confusion as it is misleading. It's not an ethernet hub in any sense at all. It doesn't form the center of multiple ethernet connections in a standalone configuration (an argument could be made for a chain/tree of these connected to the USB ports).

So, exactly what yg17 said.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 05:09 PM   #20
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Wonder if this one actually works! Every USB 3.0 hub I've tried dies when you plug more than 1 device into it (even well known branded ones). Apples implementation of USB 3.0 seems to be very flaky.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 05:13 PM   #21
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It always cracks me up you have to use up a valuable port to add another one plus more wires and power supply.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 05:51 PM   #22
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It always cracks me up you have to use up a valuable port to add another one plus more wires and power supply.
You're turning one USB port into 3....what's the problem here?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
Wonder if this one actually works! Every USB 3.0 hub I've tried dies when you plug more than 1 device into it (even well known branded ones). Apples implementation of USB 3.0 seems to be very flaky.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00

I have that one and so far it's working well with my 15" Retina MBP. I have multiple devices plugged into it, but no USB 3.0 devices.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 06:51 PM   #23
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You're turning one USB port into 3....what's the problem here?....
DELETED MY POST : 1 USB BECOMES 3
---

...
I guess the other way to look at this is that you get two free USB ports for the price of a USB to ethernet adapter?
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 10:01 AM   #24
rmwebs
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I have multiple devices plugged into it, but no USB 3.0 devices.
So you dont really know what the problem is then

I was talking about using a USB 3.0 hub, with USB 3.0 devices plugged in - none of them work correctly on the rMBP. The second you plug in any additional devices that are USB 2.0 the whole thing falls back to USB 2.0.

Apple's implementation of the USB 3.0 standard is flawed.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by kot View Post
Why would anyone in a sane state of mind buy an ethernet hub in 2013? Hubs only offer half-duplex Ethernet connectivity on a shared medium which will lead to collisions and greatly reduced performance due to collisions and recovery from them (CSMA/CD) and also due to the condition that only one station can trasmit at a time. Hubs are things of the past and should be completely avoided. This product must be a total joke.
Bit of a narrow minded point of view there.

If your thunderbolt ports are in use you have no other choice if you want to hook up to a wired network.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 06:01 PM   #25
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It always cracks me up you have to use up a valuable port to add another one plus more wires and power supply.
With no FireWire I really think the new iMac should have had 6 USB3 ports. For me one will be used for the Wired KB, 2nd for an existing USB2 Hub and then one for my backup USB3 drive, leaving just one port free which I might plug in my iPhone lead. Four ports doesn't go very far.
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