NZXT IU01 USB Expansion
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 01-22-2010
Provided by: NZXT
Pages:
Conclusion


The NZXT IU01 USB Expansion device fills a gap in the marketplace that we didn't even realize existed until now. As I mentioned before, most motherboards today have two, three or maybe even more USB headers onboard, supporting up to two ports each, but often there's nothing to connect to them. Many computer cases have only two or sometimes four ports on the front panel, requiring the use of only one or two of the headers. Expansion hubs are available that fit into a PCI riser slot and can incorporate additional USB ports for the rear, however these sometimes interfere with other expansion cards or cables. And to my knowledge I've not seen another product that offers a USB type A female port internally. So the NZXT IU01 is pretty unique in that respect.

Another advertised benefit is the ability to provide more power to those USB devices that require it, through use of the direct power supply connection. NZXT gives as example a Bluetooth USB adapter or wireless USB router as something that could take advantage of that. Unfortunately I didn't have anything like that to test with, however I could see a benefit just relocating some USB devices internally if they are infrequently unplugged. This would free up more of the front panel ports for other uses, a great advantage particularly if there are only two in your case to begin with.

I found the NZXT IU01 available online in the $20 - $25 range, which seems a reasonable price to pay for this type of hardware. It's hard to determine simply because there's not really another product quite like it. About the best I could come up with is a powered USB hub, which can cost somewhere in that range, maybe a little less, but again it's not exactly the same thing. Because of this, OCIA.net has awarded the NZXT IU01 USB Expansion our Gold Seal of Approval.




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