Exogear ExoHub adds USB ports, SDXC card reader to iMac: An Apple World Today Top Pick

Exogear ExoHub, photo via Exogear

Exogear ExoHub, photo via Exogear

What if you could add three 1W USB 3.0 ports, a 2W rapid charger USB portand an easily accessible SDXC card reader to an iMac without taking up any more desk real estate? That's the premise behind the Exogear ExoHub (US$129, available for limited Kickstarter pledge for just $89), currently on Kickstarter getting funding for production. I had the opportunity to try out a prototype ExoHub and I'm happy to say that whether or not it gets funded, it's my first Apple World Today Top Pick of 2016.

Design

So, how do you add all those good ports and a card reader to an iMac without throwing some ugly external hub onto a desktop? Easy, you build them into an aluminum and black polymer stand that precisely fits the iMac's "foot".

ExoHub installed on 27-inch iMac. Photo©2016, Steven Sande

ExoHub installed on 27-inch iMac. Photo©2016, Steven Sande

ExoHub looks great with a brushed aluminum exterior to the base that precisely matches the finish of the iMac. Likewise, the black polymer "lid" that goes over the base of the iMac matches the bezel on the iMac display. It adds about .75 inch to the height of your iMac, but that's barely noticeable for most users. 

On the back of the ExoHub are the power port, a red LED indicating that the device is receiving power, and one USB 3.0 port for connecting to the iMac. On the left side are three USB 3.0 ports, while the right side is graced with another USB 3.0 port and an SDXC card reader slot. 

Left side of ExoHub, rapid charger port and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Photo © 2016 Steven Sande

Left side of ExoHub, rapid charger port and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Photo © 2016 Steven Sande

Function

Installation is a total non-brainer and takes about three seconds: Lift the iMac, place the base of the iMac into the padded top of the ExoHub, and then place the black polymer cover in place. Plug in the hub (an AC adapter is included), and then use the included USB 3.0 cable to connect the ExoHub to your iMac. Done. 

Everything I plugged into the ExoHub worked as if it was connected directly to the back of the iMac, as you'd expect from a USB 3.0 hub. The best thing about this? All of these nice ports are at my fingertips instead of on the back of the machine, so there's no more blind groping to try to plug accessories in. That's especially true of the SDXC card reader, since trying to reach behind an iMac and get an SD card into that slot is an exercise in futility. With the ExoHub, you can see the slot. My only wish is that they had put the SDXC slot on the front of the ExoHub for even easier access.

Right side view of ExoHub showing SDXC slot and USB 3.0 port. Photo © 2016 Steven Sande

Right side view of ExoHub showing SDXC slot and USB 3.0 port. Photo © 2016 Steven Sande

Conclusion

At its production sales price of $129 I think the ExoHub will be a bit overpriced for a USB 3.0 hub, but if you can manage to snag one on Kickstarter for $89 or even $99 (or two for $169), it's well worth the price just for the convenience and top-notch design. Exogear has designed an accessory that every iMac owner should get, which is why it's my first Top Pick of 2016. Get yourself to Kickstarter today and see if you can snag an ExoHub (and/or the MacBook ExoStand).

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★