SilverStone EP03 USB 3.0 Charging Hub with Display Review

Introduction


USB hubs are nothing new and an essential tool for port multiplying which allows you to connect more devices to your system than you have ports available. This is particularly useful for mobile systems that come with very few ports on their own, but a stationary system can benefit equally from a good USB hub. In today’s review, I am taking a closer look at SilverStone’s EP03 USB 3.0 hub with built-in supercharger function and an integrated display for monitoring voltage and current on all ports.

At heart, SilverStone’s EP03 is a 4-port USB 3.0 hub capable of 5 Gbps transfer speeds. It is naturally also compatible with both USB 2.0 and 1.1 devices on both the host port and the individual connectors. That in itself is nothing new, but everything else is. In fact, this is a pretty smart hub.

When you pick the EP03 hub up and hold it in your hands, you have no doubt that this is a quality built hub. It feels sturdy and it also looks pretty good with its simple plastic case and top plate made of brushed aluminium.

The top is also what instantly reveals one of the features that make this USB hub unique, the built-in display. You can watch the current and voltage in real-time on the display for each of the four ports. Port selection is handled by the small button next to the display which lets you cycle the four ports.

As the display already indicates, this isn’t just a USB hub for peripheral and drive connection, it is also an intelligent charging station that can satisfy users’ increasing demand for fast charging of power-hungry mobile devices. It can deliver 2A to each of the four ports simultaneously and is fully compliant with the USB power delivery specifications 1.2 (BC 1.2).

In addition, the built-in protection mechanism ensures the EP03 can deliver power evenly and safely according to the number or the state of battery charge of connected devices. All these features can also be used to check if a new/replacement charging cable is up to the task and comes with the proper specifications compared to your original cable.

The SilverStone EP03 comes with an AC adapter included which both ensures that you have enough current to all ports, but also allows you to use it as charging station with the use of a host system. It comes with built-in over current and over voltage protections too, so all your connected devices should be safe.

The hub is built around a Genesys Logic GL3522 chipset which actually is a USB 3.1 Gen 1 controller, but that just leaves internal headroom and ensures the best possible connection.

Feature Highlights

  • Integrated display for monitoring voltage and current
  • Supports current up to 2A for each USB port
  • Provides four 5Gbps Super Speed USB 3.0 USB ports
  • High quality brushed aluminum design
  • Supports over voltage and over current protection
  • Includes AC adapter for stable power delivery
  • Compliant with USB power delivery specification 1.2

Package and Accessories

SilverStone always has some great looking packages for their devices and it’s no different for this USB 3.0 hub with fast charging and power meter. It presents itself colourful to the user and begs to be taken home. I know I wouldn’t walk past it.

The rear of the box explains the features in multiple languages.

One of the sides has more details on the product itself in the form of images and text.

And the other side has all the detailed specifications. Overall, a box that tells us everything there is to know about the product inside.

Inside the box, we find a USB 3.0 cable, an AC/DC power adapter, a user guide, and the USB hub itself.

Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 850W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


Thortech are a division of the DRAM brand “GeIL” or Golden Emperor International Limited best known for making enthusiast orientated DDR3 modules. GeIL have been in the business of making consumer power supplies for only a short while, just over 3 years now and in that time they haven’t really managed to gain much traction in the consumer market place despite having 15 years of experience making industrial power supplies. As I’ve seen with previous Thortech products the main problems are not with the product itself but the main problems derive from poor or non-existent availability which in turn leads to highly uncompetitive pricing. If you combine that with the relatively non-existent presence of Thortech as a company, and a brand, and what you end up with is an uncompetitive product in terms of pricing from an obscure brand consumers are unsure about, or just unaware of. I have no doubt today we will see a similar thing.

Today we are reviewing the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 850W power supply which is semi-modular in design, has 80 Plus Gold certification and comes with Thortech’s iPower Meter. Below you can see Thortech’s rather primitive specifications table but there is a more detailed set of specifications available on the next page, so let’s proceed!

Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


Thortech, GeIL’s (Golden Emperor International Limited) power supply manufacturing division, have quite an extensive range of high-end power supplies. They mainly cater for the high end market focusing on those high end wattages like 800W, 850W 1000W and 1200W. Their Thunderbolt series includes the 1200W and 1000W models both of which we reviewed before here and here respectively. Thortech generally designate two models for each wattage: a Thunderbolt version and a Thunderbolt Plus Version. Today we have with us the Thunderbolt Plus 1000W. The difference between the Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt Plus versions are minimal, only the iPower Meter is a notable difference.

Anyone who knows about GeIL will know that their brand has been involved in the making of industrial power supplies for over 15 years. This experience shines through with the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W PSU which boasts an impressive 83.33 amps on a single 12 volt rail, a semi-modular design, 80 Plus Gold efficiency and extensive use of Japanese capacitors throughout the design.

High Power AC1900 Wi-Fi Router and Extender Announced By Amped Wireless

Amped Wireless, the leading manufacturer of high power, long-range wireless solutions for the home and office, today unveiled its family of next-generation long-range AC1900 Wi-Fi products. The 802.11ac wireless standard is the world’s fastest Wi-Fi, providing gigabit Wi-Fi speeds that allow for web content to download faster, large files to synch quicker, and for HD media to transfer to multiple sources at once with ease. With its new line, Amped Wireless introduces cutting-edge high power technology to provide up to four times more Wi-Fi range and speed for its customers.

“We are very excited to announce the fastest and longest range Wi-Fi router and range extender we have ever developed! Both feature the latest, high power Wi-Fi technology and are packed with high power parts to provide the best Wi-Fi experience ever offered. This means faster streaming, downloading and web browsing with all of your devices, throughout your entire home, backyard, or office,” said Jason Owen, CEO of Amped Wireless.

RTA30 High Power AC1900 Wi-Fi Router
To maximize performance, the RTA30 features eight Wi-Fi radios, four high gain, dual band antennas, and sixteen high power amplifiers. It also includes a USB 3.0 port for file sharing and five gigabit wired ports for connecting to a broadband network and attaching additional wired devices. The RTA30 includes an updated user interface and premium software features like guest networks, adjustable Wi-Fi coverage controls, parental security, and support for the latest Wi-Fi security to safeguard your Wi-Fi experience.

REA33 High Power AC1900 Wi-Fi Range Extender
The REA33 is universal and extends the range of any 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi network, simultaneously. To maximize performance it features eight Wi-Fi radios, four high gain, dual band antennas, and sixteen total high power amplifiers. It also includes a USB 3.0 port for file sharing and five gigabit wired ports for connecting additional wired devices to your network. The REA33 has an improved user interface for enhanced management and simple installation, and also includes a rich offering of security and advanced features.

The RTA30 and REA33 will be available mid-2014. All Amped Wireless products include the Wi-Fi Analytics Tool for Android and Windows devices that analyzes and assists in optimizing Wi-Fi networks for maximum performance. All products also include Elite Support by Amped Concierges – the industry leading, U.S.-based, in-house technical team.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
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