All kinds of peripherals and gadgets come in a USB flavour, and it's a sad fact that nearly all new PCs have only two USB sockets. There are several ways to increase this number, one being to buy a dedicated USB hub. Some monitors and keyboards come with built-in hubs, and this route is usually the most cost effective way to add USB sockets to your PC. If you already have a decent monitor and keyboard, chances are that a hub will be what you're after.
Psion's Goldport range includes a four-port hub which gives you a total of three extra downstream ports, as the hub has to connect to one of your existing ones. Looking more like a small external modem than a USB hub, the unit has nine LEDs on the front panel for power and overcurrent indications. A mains adapter is included in the box, and this is used when full-speed 12Mbps devices such as scanners, ISDN adapters and other USB hubs are connected. For low-speed 1.5Mbps devices such as mice and keyboards, the PSU is not needed. One USB cable is included to connect the hub to your PC.
The hub supports USB 1.1, and each port can deliver up to 500mA when the mains adapter is used. If three extra ports aren't enough for you, up to five hubs can be 'daisy-chained' together for a total of 15 extra ports.
Installing the hub was simple. You must be running Windows 98, 2000 or Mac OS 8.5 or greater and the hub will be recognised and installed with the minimum of fuss. When we plugged the hub into our Windows 98 test machine, the drivers were installed without even requiring us to dig out our Windows CD.