USB Passthrough Keyboard: A Guide for Professionals

Have you ever seen a keyboard with an extra USB port and wondered what it’s for? That’s what we call a USB passthrough, and it’s a pretty neat feature. Imagine you’re at your desk with your computer a little bit far away, and you want to plug in a flash drive, a mouse, or maybe charge your phone. Instead of reaching behind your computer, you can simply plug it into the extra port on your usb passthrough keyboard.

It’s like having a mini USB hub right at your fingertips! This convenient addition not only saves you from the hassle of fumbling with cables behind your computer but also keeps your workspace tidy.

Plus, for gamers, this can be super handy for connecting gaming mice or headsets without having to deal with extra-long cables.

So, whether you’re a gamer, a busy professional, or just someone who loves an organized desk, a USB passthrough keyboard could be a game-changer for your computer setup!


What Is USB Passthrough?

Imagine you have a toy with a special pocket where you can keep extra toys. That’s kind of like what USB passthrough is for keyboards.

It’s an extra USB port on your keyboard where you can plug in other devices like a mouse, a flash drive, or a microphone. It’s super handy because it’s right there on your keyboard and you don’t have to reach behind your computer to plug things in.

So, why is this useful? Well, sometimes computer USB ports are tough to get to, especially if your computer is under your desk or you have lots of other cables in the way.

With USB passthrough, you can easily connect your gadgets without the extra stretch. Plus, it helps keep your workspace tidy since you have fewer cables running all over the place.

But how does it work? Essentially, when you connect your keyboard to your computer, the keyboard acts like a mini USB hub.

That extra port on the keyboard is connected to your computer through the same cable that sends the keyboard’s information.

This means you can use the port to send data from USB devices to your computer, just like you would with a regular USB port on your machine.

And don’t worry, it’s really simple to use. Just plug your device into the extra port on your keyboard, and your computer will recognize it as if you plugged it directly into the computer itself.

This can be really useful for devices you use often, like a mouse or a headset, because they’re always within arm’s reach and ready to go.

Before you rush out to get a keyboard with this feature, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, check if the keyboard needs two USB connections to your computer – one for the keyboard itself and one for the passthrough.

Also, consider the type of devices you’ll connect. Some high-powered devices may not work if they need more electricity than the passthrough can provide.

In short, USB passthrough can make your life a little easier by giving you a convenient spot to connect your devices right on your keyboard. It’s all about making your tech experience smoother and your desk less cluttered.


Why Two USB Cables?

When you get a new keyboard with a special feature that lets you plug in another device right into the keyboard, you might notice it comes with not one, but two USB cables.

This might seem a bit confusing at first, but there’s a good reason for it. The first cable is what makes the keyboard send letters to the computer when you type. Without this, pressing the keys wouldn’t do anything!

The second cable has a different job. It’s like a power boost that gives energy to the keyboard’s extra USB spot.

This spot is like a mini power station for you to charge your phone or connect a mouse. It’s pretty handy, especially when your computer doesn’t have many USB ports.

But, what if your computer is already low on USB ports and you can’t plug in both cables? No worries! Your keyboard will still work with just the first cable.

However, the special feature – that extra charging spot on your keyboard – won’t work unless both cables are plugged in.

So, if you want to take full advantage of your keyboard’s capabilities, you’ll need to find two available USB ports.

In short, the dual cables are all about giving you options. One cable is essential for typing, while the other is optional but powers up the bonus feature for extra convenience.

If you find yourself needing that extra USB spot on the keyboard, it’s worth making space for both cables.


What Can You Plug Into a USB Passthrough?

When you have a USB passthrough, think of it like a power strip for your USB devices. It’s a super handy tool that lets you connect several gadgets directly to your computer. Let’s dive into the types of devices you can plug in:

  • Mouse – Plugging your mouse into a USB passthrough means it’s always within reach. No more stretching the cord across your desk or dealing with wireless interference!
  • Microphone – If you’re into gaming or love chatting with pals online, connecting your microphone through a passthrough keeps your audio setup tidy and trouble-free.
  • Flash Drive – Need to grab a file quickly? A flash drive connected to a passthrough saves you from fumbling behind your PC. It’s like having a file cabinet right at your keyboard!
  • External Hard Drive – For those big projects or photo collections that won’t fit on your computer’s built-in storage, an external hard drive via a passthrough is the perfect solution. It’s like adding a new room to your digital house!
  • Speakers – Connecting speakers through a passthrough simplifies managing your audio. Just reach over and adjust the volume without a second thought.
  • Any other USB device that needs power or a connection to your computer can also join the party. Whether it’s a printer, camera, or even a phone charger, your passthrough has got you covered.

So, as you can see, a USB passthrough is incredibly versatile. It’s like giving your computer extra arms to hold all your gadgets, keeping everything organized and accessible!

Should You Consider Getting One?

Keyboards with built-in USB ports can be extremely handy, especially if your desk setup is permanent. These types of keyboards act like a mini-hub, allowing you to plug in other devices directly into the keyboard, which means you don’t need to stretch cables all the way to your computer.

This can help keep your workspace tidy and organized, reducing the clutter of wires that you might otherwise have sprawled across your desk.

However, there’s a small catch. The main cable that connects the keyboard to the computer, and also supports the extra USB slots, is fixed.

This means it’s not detachable. If you’re someone who enjoys customizing their setup with different colored or styled cables, or if you frequently pack up your gear to take it on the go, this feature might limit you.

The added weight and fixed cable can hinder portability, making these keyboards less mobile compared to simpler ones.

Before making your decision, think about how you use your keyboard. Do you mainly work from one location, and do you often find yourself needing to plug in USB devices like a mouse, flash drive, or phone?

If so, a keyboard with a USB hub might be a convenient addition to your desk. On the other hand, if you’re a digital nomad or someone who loves to personalize every part of their tech, you might want to consider other options that offer more flexibility.

Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your specific needs and how you like to use your devices. Weigh the pros, like a neater desk and extra USB slots, against the cons, such as reduced mobility and customization, to make a decision that suits your lifestyle.

Pros and Cons

When considering a keyboard with a built-in USB hub, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks. Here’s a closer look at both sides:


One of the major perks of these keyboards is the convenience of connecting devices directly to them. This feature is especially handy for desktop users who don’t want to reach behind their computer every time they need to plug in a flash drive or another peripheral.

Additionally, if your desk setup remains static, a keyboard with this feature means less hassle to move around.

Another benefit is cable management. With fewer cables running from your computer to your desk, your workspace stays neater and more organized.


However, there are some downsides to consider. The main issue is the fixed cable that comes with these keyboards. If the cable ever gets damaged, you might have to replace the entire keyboard, which can be a hassle and an unexpected expense.

Unlike keyboards with detachable cables, you lose color and length customization, disappointing those who enjoy personalizing their setup.


What Are Some Good Keyboards With Extra USB Ports?

When you’re working or gaming, having an extra USB port right on your keyboard can be super handy. It’s like having a mini USB hub at your fingertips for plugging in a mouse, charging your phone, or connecting a flash drive without reaching behind your computer. Let’s explore some top choices that come with this convenient feature.

Logitech G512

The Logitech G512 is a favorite among many users. It’s not just about the additional USB port; this keyboard also offers a durable design and customizable RGB lighting.

Whether you’re typing up a storm or battling it out in a video game, the Logitech G512’s mechanical keys provide a satisfying click with each press. Plus, it’s built to last, so you won’t need to look for a replacement anytime soon.

SteelSeries Apex 7

Next up is the SteelSeries Apex 7. This keyboard is a treat for your fingers with its smooth key action. It even has a little OLED display that shows info like game stats or messages.

And, of course, it includes that all-important extra USB slot. With its sleek design and solid build, the Apex 7 is a hit for both work and play.

Corsair K70

Lastly, we’ve got the Corsair K70. It’s a powerhouse with a frame made of aircraft-grade aluminum, meaning it’s really tough!

The K70’s keys are a joy to use, and you can pick from various backlight colors to make it your own. The additional USB port on this model is super convenient, making it a top pick for many keyboard shoppers.

Each of these keyboards has its own style and special features, but they all share one thing in common: they offer that extra USB port we’ve been talking about.

Whether you’re a gamer, a writer, or just someone who loves a neat and efficient workspace, these keyboards could be a great addition to your desk.

Wrapping It Up

USB passthrough can be a great feature for your keyboard. It’s perfect for when you want to easily connect other devices to your computer.

Just remember to think about whether you like to keep your keyboard in one place or if you like to move it around a lot. Now that you know all about USB passthrough, you can decide if it’s something you’d like to have!

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