What to do with only three USB ports on laptop?


I have a HP laptop with three USB ports. I have been using the HP laptop with an external monitor plugged into the VGA port (i.e., two monitors being used in total, including the laptop’s screen). I just got a new Plugable USB 2.0 UGA display adapter, which allows me to plug a third monitor into one USB port. I use a bluetooth toggle in the second USB port to connect my wireless mouse and keyboard. Unfortunately, this leaves me with only one free USB port left that I use to plug in my laptop’s cooling pad. I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 (scanner) that needs to be plugged into two USB ports. I’m also thinking of getting one more Plugable USB 2.0 UGA display adapter so I can have a fourth monitor. I’m wondering how I can do all of this because I don’t have enough USB ports!

Will a powered USB hub be the solution or will it be an ineffective solution because the USB cable between the powered USB hub and the laptop can only carry so much data at any time? Thank you very much.


Hi Stephen,

Thanks for asking!

A good powered hub (like http://plugable.com/products/usb2-hub… or http://plugable.com/products/usb2-hub…) is the answer, and they won’t hurt performance vs. having the same set of devices connected any other way.

The reason why it shouldn’t affect performance is the fundamental 480Mbps limit of USB 2.0 is per USB host controller - a good hub should handle all the devices connected to it without compromise (able to handle as much throughput as the host controller can anyway).

I have a very similar set of devices here (I use the same ScanSnap S300 with the 2 USB plugs – one for data, one for extra power) - and use the Plugable 7 port hub with 3 USB displays in addition to that and some other devices. No problem.

Thanks for the asking ahead!


Hi Bernie,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply.