Expand your peripheral needs with the USB 3.0 Adapter from Ugreen
Gain three USB-3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and accessory 5V/2A USB-C input power via a single USB-A/USB-3.0 Port. Plug the USB-A prong into your computer, position the sturdy black braided cable and metallic body, and add the desired USB-A peripherals. Although easy to use, the accessory USB-C power input was a rather odd inclusion. Despite the potential uses of the convenient plug-and-play design, and add on ports, you may find many of the features at a slightly lower price.
- EASE OF USE
- POWER OUTPUT
Expand your computer peripheral arsenal with the 5-in-1 USB-A/USB-3.0 Hub adapter from UGREEN.
If you have not yet had the pleasure of watching the Apple Dongle video about the 2016 MacBook Pro, I highly encourage you to make a preemptive trip to the restroom. Typical of many modern families, my family has several generations of iPhone, iPad/Pro, a MacBook Pro, AirPods Pro, and several generations of iPad Mini.
By now, most people have amassed several USB-A, USB-Micro, Lighting, USB-C cables, connectors, hubs, and dongles. To keep these devices powered and to interconnect them with peripherals, projectors, data sources, etc. I have acquired and filled a BUBM organizer bag full of various connector types. As the family’s techie, I like to be ready.
The UGREEN USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter arrived in a clean, white, 4 3/8 inches wide by 7 3/4 inches tall by 3/4 inches thick retail package. The cover panel provided the UGREEN name in a vibrant hunter-green font at the top of the panel. The bottom section listed the “USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter” title in the same hunter green font plus three product-defining icons: 1. Gigabit Network. 2. High-Speed Transmission. 3. External Power Port. Despite the attractive contrast of the green-on-white color scheme, the main showcase was the large grey image of the USB-A adapter.
The rear panel provided the hunter-green product name along the top of the panel and then listed four bulleted product features: 1. High Speed wired Gigabit Network. 2. 5Gbps theoretical transmission rate. 3. Spare 5V power port. 4. Sleek alloy finish in a conveniently compact size. The lower section of the panel listed a product UPC barcode, manufacturer labels, and address/contact information.
I removed the tape from the lower segment of the box, slid the inner white tray out from the box, and then found the FCC warning pamphlet labeled “User Instruction” plus a larger 8-panel UGREEN manual. The more prominent instruction manual provided the company name along the top of the panel and the product name/ CM475 model number along the middle of the panel.
The first panel provided a helpful labeled ink-outline diagram of the UGREEN device to detail “How it Works.” The diagram showed the USB-A laptop attachment point, USB-C input, #3 USB-A/USB 3.0 ports, and a single Ethernet cable at the base of the device. The second and third panels detailed the driverless RJ45 Ethernet Adapter support for Windows 8/8.1/10 and macOS in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese.
The fourth panel provided a helpful specifications table and some notes about the product: USB 3.0 input, 3x USB 3.0 output, 1x RJ45 output, 5Gbps transfer rate, 10/100/1000Mbps ethernet port, USB-C female power port DC 5V/2A.
Despite the progression of most modern computers to USB-C ports, many computers still utilize older UUSB-A-styleports or rely on USB-A peripherals. As an example, my wife’s HP Laptop had three USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an ethernet port, a power cable input, and a 3.5mm port, whereas my MacBook Pro 15” 2018 had four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
To test the capabilities of the adapter, I plugged the 1/2 inches long metallic USB-A plug into the USB-A port on the HP laptop. The connection was secure and was well designed to fit inside the laptops USB-A port. The USB-A prong was attached to a 3/4 inches long by 11/16 inches wide silver neck with the UGREEN name on the side.
Next, you will find a 1/2 inches long black tapering segment that attached to the 8 inches long by 3/16 inches thick black-braided cable. The cable was attached to a 7/16 inches long neck segment and then to the main 4 11/16 inches long by 1 1/16 inches wide by 9/16 inches tall adapter body.
The adapter had a USB-C 5V/2A power input port, 3 USB-A/USB-3.0 ports on the side and an ethernet cable at the distal end. I plugged a USB-A keyboard and USB-A mouse dongle into the extra USB-A ports and found that they functioned in a similar manner when I plugged them directly into the HP laptop.
Before proceeding further, I felt it was important to discuss what the device was designed to do and those things that it could not do. The UGREEN USB-A adapter was meant to provide a three-for-one USB-A port tradeoff for extra peripherals, monitors, mouse, printer, keyboard, etc. If the peripherals can rely upon power via USB-A output, then the adapter should power the needed device and serve as both a power and data transfer setup.
The Ethernet port will allow data to flow into or out of the computer via the dedicated port. So, that begs the question, what was the purpose of the included USB-C port? The port was not designed to provide power output; rather, it was designed as an accessory power input port to provide added 5V/2A power into the USB-A ports. As an example, some external hard drives may require extra power via USB-A connection to function.
After testing a half dozen 1TB portable drives, a keyboard, and a mouse, I found very little need for the USB-C boost. In fact, unless your computer charged via USB-C, it may be an extra burden to try to carry around an accessory USB-C cable. I would have preferred at least a single USB-C data port instead of three USB-A ports to enhance functionality.
Even though I have purchased and utilized nearly every variety of Apple dongle, I struggled with the concept of the UGREEN Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. For those devices that predate USB-C or for those that may require add-on USB-A/USB-3.0 ports, there are a plethora of hubs, dongles, and adapters to customize your workstation.
I plugged a Klein Tools Multimeter into the USB-A port of my son’s MacBook Pro Retina 15-inch 2013, the UGREEN USB-A Hub into the USB-A multimeter port, and then a Toshiba 1TB hard drive into the adapter. The multimeter displayed 5.03V/0.23A and was in line with the ~4.5W output capabilities of the USB-3.0 technology. I navigated to BlackMagicdesign Disk Speed Test and found 24.1-24.2 MB/s write speeds and read speeds of 33.7-33.8 MB/s (theoretical max 35MB/s).
Even with a portable keyboard and mouse plugged into the two other ports, the read/write speed remained stable. I no longer have any devices that require power beyond USB nor do I have the need for an ethernet port thanks to my Linksys Velop mesh WiFi system. My Printer is in a different room and is on the same wireless network and thus does not require a direct plug-in.
I am sure that there are some who would find a use for the Ethernet/Lan port and require accessory power. However, I was not one of them. Outside of add-on USB-A ports, the device provided very little benefit for my tech needs. Even though the device can be obtained for under $20, I believe that there are better options at a similar tier.
In fact, a quick Amazon search found a similarly shaped, four-port USB-A/USB-3.0 adapter for $13 (however, this lacked an Ethernet port). I did like the design, the shape, the color schema, and found the look to be quite sleek and satisfying. The black braided cable paired nicely with the brushed metal, while the neck segments provided a robust/sturdy design.
As an add-on USB adapter, I would give the device a solid 8/10 for ease of use, plug and play capability. I did not understand the lack of a dedicated USB-C port for data/peripherals with the included USB-C peripheral input port.