It’s a simple truth: you can never have enough USB ports. Especially on laptops, where your space is limited. Hubs are great, but sometimes are a little bulky to carry around, and if you have anything non-standard to plug in, you might end up blocking off ports next to the port you want to use.
colorful new USB hubs
are available in 2-, 3-, and 4-port designs that are specifically constructed to prevent having one device block off multiple useable ports. The 2-port design is T-shaped, while the 3- and 4- port designs are cross-shaped. The short USB cables on the ends make these ideal for travel situations.
No price or availability yet, but I’d suspect these’ll be pretty cheap. As to whether or not you’ll be able to find them outside of Japan, well, I hope so. I’d love a pack of these for my next cross-country trek.