One of the most used items in my house is my power bank. It’s so handy to have because I can charge multiple devices from one battery and I’ve often thought that it would be great if there was some kind of multi-plug that would get plugged into the mains or my laptop and I could plug in several USB ports from that one power source. It turns out that Qicent have developed their 4 Port Travel Charging Hub and I was given the chance to try a sample in exchange for a review.
In the box you receive the Qicent 4 Port Mini Hub, a 3.3ft data cable, a manual and a service card, although the service card seems to mostly be an opportunity for them to connect with users via social media. Qicent offer lifetime technical support for this charging hub, even when the warranty period has ended so it does make sense to make connect with them through the available channels after purchase, in case of any problems.
On first sight, I wondered if I had the right device in the package I received. The Qicent Mini Hub arrived in a small brown box. The box was light and when I opened it up, I found the Mini Hub to be as small as the palm of my hand. It’s thin, black in colour and has 4 USB ports. The idea is that you have one Mini Hub plugged into your laptop or desktop or possibly connected to the mains using a standard plug with a USB port and this will reduce “cable chaos” according to their Amazon description. Technically this isn’t true because you still need a cable for each device being charged so the number of cables isn’t reducing. There’s just one power source and you will be less likely to run out of USB ports. It is compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 so that means it can charge almost every portable device and certainly all of the most popular ones that we use on a daily basis.
It’s also made from ABS fireproof material which will help with heat resistance and durability. Durability is one of the issues that concerned me. I’ve only been using this for around a month so it hasn’t really been time to comment on the long-term usage but since it was so small and light, I’ve been worried that it won’t be adequate for travel or might get damaged if I carry it around in a bag or suitcase. I managed to take this to Mallorca and back and it was stored in my suitcase during that time. It didn’t get damaged at all but that’s one trip. How much travel can it really withstand? The good news is, this has an 18-month warranty and since it is designed with travel in mind, I should expect normal usage to cover it being carried around. It should be able to survive that 18 month period but honestly, a month just isn’t long enough to be able to comment on long-term durability.
There’s an LED indicator to show the connection status of the devices being charged. When connected to the computer it charges at 1.5A maximum current and when it’s connected to a charger only, it will charge at 2.4A maximum current. The transfer speed can reach up to 5Gbp. One of the things I was looking at when testing this was speed and whether connecting multiple devices would slow the charging time. I’m pleased to say that it didn’t. There was no noticeable difference, no matter whether I was charging one device or four. The speed of charging stayed the same.
Overall, I liked this and despite my reservations about how durable it might be in the long run, given how small and light it is, I found no problem during the time I’ve spent testing it. It’s something I would definitely invest in again since more and more devices in my household require charging via a USB port and it makes sense to have a few of the multi-port hubs in the home.