Every computer user got to have these in their arsenal to facilitate data transfers: a microSD card reader, a HDD-to-USB adapter, and a multi-function USB Hub that supports HDMI port, and even an Ethernet port. UGREEN is keen to send over a selection of their adapters for my review. Let me share them one by one.
UGREEN microSD and SD Card Reader
Multi-card readers are essential for content creators. Back in the past, there were so many storage formats – Compact Flash (CF) card, Memory Stick (MS) card, SmartMedia (SM) card, Secure Digital (SD) card. Today, only the microSD (or TF) and SD cards remain the surviving format thanks to its use in smartphones and digital cameras. The other premium format, XQD and CFexpress cards are the new popular format for premium digital SLRs for their high performance.
I already have a card reader, but it only has a USB Type-A connector. This UGREEN 2-in-1 card reader comes with both USB Type-A and USB-C on both ends, so you can conveniently connect this to your laptop, desktop, or your smartphones. It reads and write data at up to 5Gbps over USB 3.0.
The microSD inserts into the slot completely with an eject mechanism similar to laptops or IP cameras. The SD card inserts a third into the slot. Both cards can be read at the same time by the device, and supports SDHC and SDXC formats, maximum 512GB each.
The advantages of this UGREEN card adapter, compared to my existing one, are:
- It can plug to USB Type-A and USB-C ports.
- It can read both microSD and SD cards at the same time.
- It supports USB 3.0 transfer speeds.
- It is compact.
One disadvantage is that there is no LED to check if it’s operating.
UGREEN HDD-to-USB Adapter
If you dabble with desktop computers, you will not be unfamiliar with internal hard disks mounted inside the chassis of your computer. Over the years, you might have upgraded your HDD from 3.5-inch to 2.5-inch, from physical platter to solid-state SSD. SATA, or serial ATA, is an interface that has been around for over a decade, and is more user-friendly as it supports hot-swap, meaning you don’t have to turn off the computer to plug around the HDD. The interface is streamlined which allows the development of adapters such as this UGREEN SATA converter.
In the past, to read SATA HDD, you have to connect inside the desktop or laptop, or purchase special docks. With HDD-to-USB adapters, you can re-purpose internal HDD for storage over USB connection, effectively converting them into external storage devices. If you do the sums right, they might be even cheaper than buying external HDD as they come with a casing and a built-in USB converter.
Another purpose of the adapter: when you want to upgrade your HDD and need to clone to your new drive, you will need this cable. Note that this only supports the smaller 2.5-inch HDD found in laptops, as the larger 3.5-inch HDD requires additional power supply to power the HDD.
USB Hub with HDMI and Ethernet
Now that laptops are going minimalistic with fewer built-in connector ports, a USB-Hub becomes more of a necessity than before. Even in the past, we are already barely surviving with three built-in USB ports. Today, most laptops only have one USB Type-A ports, or even none.
There are many options for USB Hubs. Now that most laptops’ USB-C ports support wide array of functions, including display. If you have limited USB-C ports, you would want the external USB Hub to come with multiple connectors. This particular USB Hub that I am reviewing comes with two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB-C port for charging, one 4K HDMI port, and one RJ45 Ethernet port. The case is made of aluminium that helps dissipate heat as the adapter will get hot during operations.
Savvy tech shoppers would know that an RJ45 adapter and HDMI adapter is not cheap, so having them in a single adapter helps to keep accessory-count low and convenient. when using on-the-go. My personal laptop does not come with RJ45 port, so this UGREEN adapter allows me to get high data throughput over network cable.
In addition, this adapter can even work with smartphones! I tried on my Huawei P30 Pro, disabled mobile data and WiFi, and the RJ45 delivers data to the phone. I connected the HDMI cable to my monitor and the P30 Pro mirrored the display and also supported Desktop mode. Note that your smartphone must support these capabilities for the adapter to work.
There are many generic adapters out there that are selling at a bargain, but I would question their quality and reliability. UGREEN has evolved over the years as they too started as an OEM, but has made a name for themselves with quality and reliability. It is understandable that their products may be priced at a slight premium over unknown brands, but compared to some global brands, UGREEN is definitely value for money. Their accessory products are uniquely designed in-house and also made of premium materials. If the price difference is small, I would definitely choose UGREEN over other no-brand accessories.