USB hubs get Japanese design makeover

Ports, suckers, reels and design make for useful hubs

USB hubs are never the most exciting things to grace a computer workstation. So it's always gratifying to see new variations that are as well designed as the latest range from Elecom Japan .

Retailing at a handy ¥3,570 (£14.50) each, the FC range of four-port hubs puts the focus on being useful in several ways, as well as looking passable in a choice of black, blue, silver and white.

Suckers welcome

First up, the FC014S is a standard-looking hub that has its own power switch. Normally, the unit is bus-powered. But - should you need to add a high-load device or switch off the PC - the provided AC adapter can kick in and take over.

Next, the FC044S sports the simple addition of four suckers on its underside for securing the thing wherever's most convenient. Probably under a desk, we're betting.

Lastly, the pick of the bunch is the FC34S , which is a square hub with a rotating inner drum that can be used to wind in the USB cable like a domestic extension lead on a reel. Never in the field of human endeavour have mundane peripherals been such fun.