Plug ‘em in: Video Camera, iPod, Digital Camera—all at Once!

By Barb Freda

You know the problem. There’s the printer and the scanner cords. The iPod connectors. The digital camera, the flash drive, the mouse. The video camera cord for that great new video clip you’re going to upload to your YouTube account so Grandma and Grandpa can see the kids. Any number of these, as well as countless other add-ons, may need to be plugged in through your computer’s USB port. But there are only two USB ports on the computer. Solve your woes with any one of these hubs.

1. La Cie’s sleek hub is irresistible; its slick look and its multifunctions are tops. The white base looks great in your ultra-modern office (that’s how your office looks, right?) and has four USB ports, two FireWire ports a fan and a light. (About $89)

2. Belkin has a clever four-port USB hub that fits into the standard 3-inch opening that so many desks have to accommodate cables. The hub is low-profile and because it sits in that hole, it stays put. (About $39)

3. Belkin hits the mark again for travelers with its portable hub. It gives you a base to leave at home and a four-port hub to tuck into the laptop case. (About $49)

4. Linksys offers up a 4-in setup on a flexible cable: It’s small enough to tuck into your laptop case, and the flexible cord means no other ports get covered while it’s plugged in. The price makes this attractive, too. (About $16)

5. IoGear’s wireless hub system is quite a bit pricier than the rest, but its appeal is undeniable. Plug the printer into the stationary wireless "sender" and plug the flashdrive-sized "signaler" into your laptop. Press print. Never leave patio. Pick up documents when tan is just right. (About $200)

6. The value-added CyberPower hub offers seven, count ‘em, seven hubs for just $30. The vertical stance makes it a nice space saver, and the clear case gives it the high-tech geek look we love.

7. You have to already be a BlueTooth user to appreciate the hub from DTech, but plug this hub in and you get to hookup to headsets and speakers that can support BlueTooth technology. Easy price, too. (About $19)

8. Give your desk some sculptural appeal with this USB port in the form of the icon from Japanese exit signs. This little cutie has four ports (foot, hand, briefcase and base) and just makes us smile. (About $10)

9. Thanko’s Gold Ingot Hub is a great geek gift—the company is known for its whacky computer gadgets. The ingot weighs enough that it won’t skitter across your desk when you go to unplug it, and the top is stamped with an authentic "Fake Gold" stamp. (About $66)

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