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Ethernet & USB Hub Combo for Android Mini PCs

The first time I saw a USB & Ethernet hub was the one that comes with SmartCandy mini PC, but I never thought of checking if they sold such item separately until this morning, as I’ve noticed that Asiapads is selling a “Zero Devices Hub” with 3 USB 2.0 ports and a 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 connector. Of course, you could always get a standard USB hub plus an external Ethernet USB dongle, but an all-in-one solution maybe more convenient for some people.

Ethernet_USB_HubZero Device Hub sells for $14.99, and is said to be compatible with Android mini PCs such as Z4C and Z2C.

I’ve also looked on DealExtreme, and there’s one device with the same features for $11.90, but according to users’ reviews it’s not compatible with Android. The same device is also available for $7 and up on Aliexpress. The Ethernet part is apparently based on DM9601, which works in Linux, so it might just be a question of building the driver for your Android device, and as long as Ethernet support is enabled in your firmware, it should work. It could be an option if you’re only running Linux in your mini PC. [Update: As rm mentioned in the comments below, DM9601 can only achieve 10Mbps at best, as it is a USB 1.1 chipset]

Further research led me to that monster:

3-in-1_Combo_USB_Ethernet_Card_ReaderIt’s a 3-in-1 combo with 5 USB 2.0 host ports, multiple memory card slots, and a 10/100M Ethernet port. The USB port and card reader work with Window 7/Vista/XP, Linux, and Mac OS X, but the Ethernet interface is said to only work in Windows. This device appears to be discontinued in several online stores, but is available from at least one store on Ebay for $17.99 including shipping.

So there does not seem to be lots of working USB & Ethernet hub combos working with Android, and using a separate USB hub and USB Ethernet adapter might be more cost effective solution, the only inconvenient is that the connections are just a bit more messy.

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  1. Eric
  2. June 26th, 2013 at 12:41 | #2

    Be aware that the DM9601 is an USB 1.1-only device, which means no higher than ~10 Mbit/sec Ethernet speeds.

  3. June 26th, 2013 at 13:02 | #3

    @rm
    Important point! So in my case Wi-Fi would actually be faster…

    I wonder if Zero Devices Hub uses the same chipset.

  4. Niki
    June 26th, 2013 at 13:11 | #4

    I bought geekbyung’s device and it gets hot and the speed is abysmal on MK808
    I also have U2C device which freezes once the ethernet is used
    Wouldn’t recommend it at all

  5. Ian Tester
    June 26th, 2013 at 15:38 | #5

    Please don’t use the word “chipset” when there is almost certainly only *one* chip involved.

    /nitpick

  6. June 26th, 2013 at 15:47 | #6

    @Ian Tester
    I usually use both chip and chipset indifferently, I should not…
    To my defense, DM9601 combines USB and Ethernet circuitry, so I suppose it’s indeed a “chipset” :)

  7. someone
    June 27th, 2013 at 15:41 | #7

    That’s been available for a while, http://www.ebay.com/itm/290924466935 currently sells for $5.98 with free shipping.
    I was almost going to order that for my Chromebook (not yet running Linux, but soonish ;), because it is being advertised as 2.0.

    The information about it being USB 1.1 is greatly appreciated – so that means only the HUB is 2.0 and the Ethernet is 1.1? (I was pretty much expecting the asix chip that has been in every usb ethernet adapter I’ve encountered so far – good thing I didn’t buy it yet)

  8. July 18th, 2013 at 01:39 | #8

    The Zero Device Hub looks good. Perfect for mini-PC’s. I’m wondering about the power use though. If you’ve got your Android device plugged into the USB port on your TV, will there be enough power going through the unit?

  9. Javi
    August 11th, 2013 at 03:00 | #9

    The Zero Devices Hub has the posibility of connect an external power supply. It’s not included, but it will not be difficult to find one. Anyway I tried Zero Devices Hub working together with Zero Devices Z2C and all was fine after connect the RJ-45, a 2.4G mouse dongle and a 2.4G keyboard dongle at same time. Of course it will depends on the TV, will not depends on the Zero Devices HUB + Android PC. I always suggest power the Android PC with provided (2A) AC power supply.

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