Q Can I use a USB hub as a charging station

pcbinary June 27, 2021 0 Comments



Q. Can I use a USB hub as a charging station?


A USB hub is intended to provide more USB ports for your computer. It’spossible to use a hub as a charging station, but it charges at low power andis less efficient. Many USB hubs only generate 0.5A or less for each port.Best keyboards 2020: 5 best keyboards for gaming, working and moreIf you’re still sitting hunched over your laptop at the dining room table,it’s time to invest in some real work-from-home equipment. An externalkeyboard will feel a lot more comfortable to type on than the one built intoyour laptop, and many even offer custom shortcut keys or improved ergonomics.Below, we’ll be recommending some of the best keyboards to consider right now.SKIP AHEAD Best keyboards to buy

Keyboard size and number of keys


Some keyboards are slim and compact, while others may be a bit chunkier andwider. Larger keyboards often allow for deeper key travel, which means morecomfortable typing over long spells of work. If you don’t need a number pad,you might even want a tenkeyless keyboard — that is, a short keyboard thatdoes away with the number pad — so you have more room for your mouse on theright side of your desk (or working surface otherwise).

Wired keyboard vs wireless keyboard


A wired keyboard is virtually always going to be more affordable than anequivalent wireless model, but wireless models eliminate the ever-dreadfulcable clutter.You will have to charge wireless keyboards, though, or replace the batteriesevery so often, depending on the model. Some wireless keyboards may requireplacing a receiver in one of your USB ports, though these are often designedto be flush and compact. Bluetooth models, on the other hand, will connect toyour laptop or desktop without a USB dongle, as long as your computer supportsBluetooth — gamers may prefer wired keyboards to minimize input lag as much aspossible.

Best wireless keyboard overall: Logitech


For a slim, comfortable, wireless keyboard, Logitech’s MX Keys doesn’tdisappoint. Spherically dished keys let your fingers sink right in andbacklighting helps you see the key legends at night (or mid-afternoondepending on how far north you are). This keyboard does, however, include anumber pad, which isn’t ideal for ergonomics. But if you’ve become accustomedto a keyboard with a number pad, you may not be willing to give it up anyway.Logitech also offers a Mac version if you’re an Apple user.

Best ergonomic wireless keyboard


Logitech’s Ergo K860 ($130 on Amazon) has finally conquered reviewer MichaelAnsaldo’s skepticism about awkward ergonomic keyboards. In the few weeks heused the K860, he noticed increased typing comfort and reduced muscle tension,all without sacrificing productivity to a steep learning curve. “It showed methat just because my usual typing posture doesn’t cause pain doesn’t mean itcan’t be improved,” he claimed. It’s a little expensive compared to aconventional model, but it’s the only ergonomic keyboard we’d heartilyrecommend. Read our full review.[$130 MSRP; available through Amazon]

Best wireless gaming keyboard


Corsair’s K63 wireless gaming keyboard is compact, durable, and reasonablycomfortable to type on. It’s only the second wireless mechanical keyboard froma major manufacturer. It’s also the first with backlighting, though itssingle, bright-blue color may come to annoy you as time goes on. Still,whether you’re in for casual couch gaming or just want a cleaner, wire-freedesktop, the K63 is a solid choice.

Wireless keyboards: Bluetooth vs. USB


Wireless keyboards connect to a PC in one of two ways: via Bluetooth or a USBreceiver. Some older Windows 7 machines may not support Bluetooth. On theother hand, if you need a keyboard to work across different platforms on newerdevices, a Bluetooth-enabled model is what you need.All the USB receiver-driven models in this roundup were flawless examples ofplug-and-play keyboards. Pairing Bluetooth keyboards (compared to Bluetoothheadsets, let’s say) requires a few more steps, and only one of the models wasslightly flaky in maintaining its connection.Bluetooth keyboards tend to cost a little more but also offer longer batterylife. As you’re shopping (particularly if you have big fingers), keep in mindthat some hardware makers sacrifice the keys’ size and spacing to give youportability.

How we test wireless keyboards


It was hands-on all the way with our keyboard testing. We spent at least onefull workday typing exclusively on each model we tested, with follow-up timeto allow for a learning curve. We assessed the primary typing experience: keydesign, typing feel, and even noisiness. We also tried the secondary features:hotkeys, switches and dials on multi-platform models, and even the ability toadjust the angle or other comfort characteristics.We considered the size, weight, and durability of each model against itspurpose—whether it was designed to be portable or desk-bound, and compact orfully featured. For instance, we balance the versatility of multi-platformmodels like Logitech’s K780 against its performance as an actual keyboard youneed to use every day (and in this case, it wins on all counts).

The Power Source: Wireless-Keyboard Battery Life


Without a PC-connected cable to power it, every wireless keyboard, of course,needs a battery to run. Most wireless keyboards these days rely on built-inlithium-ion batteries you can recharge, though you do occasionally run intosome that rely on good old AA or AAA cells.While some keyboards that rely on the latter can get amazing battery life(Logitech’s K860 is rated to last for two years on a pair of AAAs), a keyboardwith an internal battery and a charging cable is more convenient, because youcan plug in while you recharge. There’s nothing worse than realizing that yourkeyboard is out of power, so you can’t use your PC until you run out to thestore and pick up more batteries (or salvage some from a TV remote).So, how long should a wireless keyboard battery last? For an internal battery,most keyboards in the last two years get at least 20 hours of continuous usewith its key backlighting on (if it has key backlighting, that is). Manymanufacturers provide two battery-life estimates based on whether or not youuse the backlighting, as it can reduce the time between charges by more than50 percent. In our review testing, we find 25 to 30 hours often translates tosomewhere between one to two weeks of heavy daily use.With removable AAs or AAAs, look for the estimated battery life to be measuredin weeks or months, not hours. Even the cheapest battery-powered keyboardsshould get hundreds of hours of battery life from a set, especially if they donot have backlit keys.Since LED backlighting heavily affects battery life, it’s good to look forcustomization and controls to help you manage power. Any backlit keyboard letsyou turn these lights on and off, but some offer extra options, such asbrightness-level controls and the ability to automatically turn off the lightswhen the power gets low. Some configuration apps, like Corsair’s iCue, offermore universal power-related controls and features, like controlling when theboard goes to “sleep,” and adding a system-level battery indicator.

So, Which Wireless Keyboard to Buy?


Now that you what to look for in a good wireless keyboard, we’ve taken all theguesswork out of the equation and put together a list of the best ones we’vereviewed. Whether you’re planning to use the board for work, gaming, or justeveryday computing, it isn’t hard to cut the cord without compromises.If you’re looking for more in-depth explainers on how to choose the rightkeyboard for you, also check out our roundups of the best keyboards, the bestmechanical keyboards, and the best gaming keyboards, all of which havewireless candidates mingling with the best of the wired models we’ve reviewed.The Best Wireless Keyboards for 2020Wireless keyboards serve many masters. They’re great if you’re trying todeclutter, or like typing with your keyboard on your lap. Mobile productivityhounds who want gear that’s ready for travel swear by them, too, and somemodels let you swap one typing peripheral among desktops, laptops, andtablets. In the vast majority of situations, there’s no difference betweenusing a keyboard with a wireless connection and a standard wired one. The onlytime you’ll notice is when it’s time to charge it—or when you forget to.Apart from introducing a couple of new factors that you need to pay attentionto (namely, connectivity and battery life), picking out the best wirelesskeyboard isn’t all that different from picking out the best keyboard overall.Hit that link for our best picks across wired and wireless models. But sinceyou’re here, let’s go through the issues specific to wireless keyboards.

The Power Source: Wireless-Keyboard Battery Life


Without a PC-connected cable to power it, every wireless keyboard, of course,needs a battery to run. Most wireless keyboards these days rely on built-inlithium-ion batteries you can recharge, though you do occasionally run intosome that rely on good old AA or AAA cells.While some keyboards that rely on the latter can get amazing battery life(Logitech’s K860 is rated to last for two years on a pair of AAAs), a keyboardwith an internal battery and a charging cable is more convenient, because youcan plug in while you recharge. There’s nothing worse than realizing that yourkeyboard is out of power, so you can’t use your PC until you run out to thestore and pick up more batteries (or salvage some from a TV remote).So, how long should a wireless keyboard battery last? For an internal battery,most keyboards in the last two years get at least 20 hours of continuous usewith its key backlighting on (if it has key backlighting, that is). Manymanufacturers provide two battery-life estimates based on whether or not youuse the backlighting, as it can reduce the time between charges by more than50 percent. In our review testing, we find 25 to 30 hours often translates tosomewhere between one to two weeks of heavy daily use.With removable AAs or AAAs, look for the estimated battery life to be measuredin weeks or months, not hours. Even the cheapest battery-powered keyboardsshould get hundreds of hours of battery life from a set, especially if they donot have backlit keys.Since LED backlighting heavily affects battery life, it’s good to look forcustomization and controls to help you manage power. Any backlit keyboard letsyou turn these lights on and off, but some offer extra options, such asbrightness-level controls and the ability to automatically turn off the lightswhen the power gets low. Some configuration apps, like Corsair’s iCue, offermore universal power-related controls and features, like controlling when theboard goes to “sleep,” and adding a system-level battery indicator.

So, Which Wireless Keyboard to Buy?


Now that you what to look for in a good wireless keyboard, we’ve taken all theguesswork out of the equation and put together a list of the best ones we’vereviewed. Whether you’re planning to use the board for work, gaming, or justeveryday computing, it isn’t hard to cut the cord without compromises.If you’re looking for more in-depth explainers on how to choose the rightkeyboard for you, also check out our roundups of the best keyboards, the bestmechanical keyboards, and the best gaming keyboards, all of which havewireless candidates mingling with the best of the wired models we’ve reviewed.The Best Keyboards for 2021Maybe your trusty old keyboard has typed its last letter or trapped its lastbagel crumb. Perhaps your gaming ambitions have outstripped the mushy,mediocre typer that came with your PC. Or maybe your hands are simplyshouting: Hey, cut me some slack here! Whatever the reason, anyone can benefitfrom a better keyboard. After all, is any part of your computer more hands-on?Before you go shopping, though, it pays to know what makes a keyboard a goodfit. Modern models come in a bunch of subtypes, from boards optimized fortyping efficiency to sculpted ergonomic designs that cradle your hands andrelieve stress on the joints. Let’s dig into the features to look for.

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