I've thought for some time that the most important connection in life is with a USB. The 12-port Satechi USB 2.0 Hub confirms my thinking.
The packaging states you can chain together up to 127 USB devices, which is crazy but if you have that many, go for it and let me know how it works.
In my case, after connecting it to the included DC power supply and then to my desktop Mac I was able to charge, sync and use a card read, USB fan, an iPhone and iPod simultaneously.
The hub measures 8-by-1.25-by-1 inches and is designed like a power strip with a USB cord extending from one side for connection to an open port. The DC port is right along side of that.
On top are 11 USB ports for connecting your device along with a pair of power switches with blue LED indicators to control six USB ports each.The 12th USB port is on the far side.
No software is required to work the hardware, which is rated to provide data rates up to 480Mbps and is designed to work with Mac and Windows operating systems.
A fuse is built-in to protect devices and an extra USB cable is included along with a strip of Velco to keep it in place (optional).
Details: www.satechi.net $29.99___
OUT OF THIS WORLD DESIGN PRODUCES GREAT SOUND
Right out of the box, the plug-n-play Edifier Luna 5 Encore docking speaker system gives you the "wow" factor.
It's not a question of does it have room-filling sound, but instead it's how loud do you want it.
The sound is produced with a 5-driver speaker system featuring a 5.75-inch subwoofer, and pairs of both tweeters (2.5-inch) and midrange (2.75-inch) drivers.
Looking at the Luna 5 makes you almost think it was used in a Star Trek episode.
The speakers store in a lightbulb-shaped casing covered with black mesh cloth (also comes in white) that can easily be defined as a flying saucer. A gloss finish is on the back of this solid built player.
Your portable media device can be docked and charged on the built-in dock, which includes iPod dock adapters to get the right fit for your specific model.
Non "i" devices can be used with the aux port on the bottom of the dock; there is even an FM radio for old schoolers.
It measures about 17.75-by-17-by-11.5 inches so it will take up a little counter space but the sound makes every inch worth it.
Everything you need to control is built into the docking system, such as volume and music choices or you can just use the included remote control.
Details: www.edifier.us.com $299.99___
POCKET ROUTER EXTENDS OR SETS UP WIRELESS SIGNAL
The TP-Link (WR700N) is a handy palm-sized device that is great for extending or creating a wireless signal, which I found especially handy while traveling to set up a wireless network in hotel rooms.
These days many homes, offices and especially hotel rooms still have wired Internet only and with this mini pocket router it's easy to combat that.
It's impossible to list every network and feature of this device but for setting up a simple Wi-Fi system it does the job well and almost instantly.
It supports up to 150Mps, which is fine for video streaming and runs on wireless 802.11n/g/b with WPA/WPA2 encryptions.
To power it, just fold out the built-in AC plug and depending on what you want to do with it, the setup is a breeze.
Full simple step-by-step instructions are on the TP Link site for both Mac and Windows users.
Details: www.tp-link.us 29.99___Contact Gregg Ellman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.