The Kanex DualRole is a device with two reasons for it’s existance. The first is to provide you with an additional 2 USB 3.0 ports to your computer (it adds three but takes up one computer port). The second one, which is more important, adds an Ethernet adapter to a computer that needs it such as the MacBook Air and the new Retina Display MBPs. It is the first product that I have seen that combines USB 3.0 and Ethernet. The DualRole is available from Kanex for $69.99. Let’s see if it the USB hub for you.
There isn’t much to mention in terms of Form but there are a few things I would like to point out. First, this device is perfect for traveling. It is very small and compact. If you wanted to put it in your pocket, you definitely could. The device may be small but it is made well. The cord is well attached to the device and the ports are made well enough. The device, like the MeDrive, reminds me of an Apple Time Capsule or a white Apple MacBook. The device would be a perfect fit aesthetically with a white MacBook, however users of the white MacBook would not need it since the white MacBooks have USB and Ethernet ports. The device is more suited for owners of more current computers. The cord is short, some could say a little too short but that is good since a short cable quickens the speed a bit more than a longer cable. Other than that there isn’t much else to say about the Form of this device. It’s small, compact, light and it has just enough Apple-ness in there to make it stand out.
The device is small and compact and thus perfect for traveling. It isn’t a 12 port USB hub but on the go it is the perfect device, especially for those with a computer without an Ethernet hub. On the market right now, there is no device that I know of besides this one that can drive USB 3.0 and Ethernet on the same adapter. That is something of high-mention. I believe in Apple’s mentality of invention and this company did just that. They did it well. The device provides quick USB 3.0 ports to the newer computers coming to market, not just Macs but PCs as well. Many computers are dropping Ethernet compatibility due to the ever-increasing use of wireless internet. However, some people prefer a wired connection since it provides them with a quicker connection. I took this to the test and I did find that a wired connection was faster. Since many hotels and lodging locations still offer Ethernet, it is something to be taken advantage of. I tested the USB hubs and I found it was just as fast as the USB 3.0 ports on my computer. Also, if you wanted to drive more power to charge multiple devices, you can put in a 5V adapter which is not included but is so common you almost definitely have one at home and if not, it’s a few bucks on Amazon. I have found many times that the amount of ports on my MacBook is too few. This will make the count up to four AND allow me to plug into a wired, faster connection. In addition, as a side effect, one would no longer need to use the Thunderbolt/Ethernet adapter nor buy it if haven’t bought one yet. One problem I have with the device is not the device itself but the price. You are getting a three port USB adapter and a Gigabit Ethernet adapter for $70. I don’t know about you but that is an investment. Sure you are no longer crying about the lack of USB ports or Ethernet port but now you’ll be crying that you paid $70 to buy it. However, if you are willing to shell out the price, it is a great investment.
-Small and compact
-Additional USB 3.0 ports for a computer with only a few ports
-Additional Ethernet port
-Ability to add a power adapter if you need more power
Ways to Improve
The only thing Kanex can do to improve is to decrease their price on this product.
This device is a great hub. However, the minimal amount of USB ports it adds is something to take note of with the price. The USB ports and Ethernet are great for the MBPR and the MacBook Air due to their limited USB ports and lack of Ethernet, however, I can not recommend it to owners of other Apple computers. To me, for what you pay, it seems to be lacking. However, if you are willing to pay the premium the device is perfect for anyone on the go who needs the ports. This device receives 4 stars from me.
Thanks for reading,