Connecting to a wired network on modern MacBooks already requires an adapter, so if you’re going to plug something in anyways, you might as well get extra functionality out of it. That’s the thought with Kanex’s new DualRole ($69), at least. In addition to a Gigabit Ethernet connection, it packs three extra USB 3.0 ports, too.
Designed with travel in mind, DualRole is a self-contained accessory. It’s USB bus-powered and has a built-in cable, making it ready to go where ever you are. If you want to provide more power—say, if you’re charging an iPad—you can provide your own 5V power adapter. It comes at a $40 premium over Apple’s Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, but factor in the hub features and the convenience, and it may just be worth it for you.
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