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I run everything off a desktop replacement laptop. Games (TF2), digital image programs, and some music creation programs. My PC isn't's finest, but it does the job. Where I am surprised to say that it falls short is in the number of USB ports. I remember thinking when I bought the computer, "For what purpose will I ever require FOUR ports?" Three years later, here's my list.

Wired Keyboard
Wireless Keyboard
External Hard Drive (USB 3.0)
Phone Charger / Mini USB cable
External Audio Interface
Wacom Tablet

Even now with seven ports (I got a cheap four port splitter), that leaves no room for temporary plugins such as flash drives. So it's a little full for a laptop. Thing looks like a Greek hydra, all those cords coming out of it. A thought occurs to me every once in a while; I could just buy more splitters (there seem to be a number of names for these things, but I'm sure you guys know what I mean). But it seems to me that an infinite amount of usb splitters would result in some kind of bottleneck due to the fact that I only started with four USB ports. At what point does a USB hub "slow down" when too many things are attached to it?

Basically, what I'm wondering is: of the USB peripherals I listed above, which would require their own hub slot, and which would be ok with sharing? My external drive is USB 3.0, and so it has dibs on my only USB 3.0 hub. My Audio Interface likes very low latency rates, so I'll give it its own slot. The wireless keyboard and my phone charger aren't used enough to justify their own ports. That leaves my wired keyboard, my wired mouse, and my wacom tablet competing for the last exclusive USB slot. Of these three, do any of them "deserve" their own slot? Does a mouse need a higher rate of transfer (or whatever; you know what I mean) than a keyboard? Or a tablet than a mouse? Does it matter?

Any assistance appreciated. My setup has treated me very well over time; I hope to keep squeezing everything I can out of it.