One of the best USB-C hubs and docks

Our picks’ ports in contrast

Title

USB ports


Video ports

Card reader


Ethernet

Audio

Charging

Vava VA-UC006

USB-A (three), USB-C (one, cost solely)

HDMI (one)

SD, microSD

Gigabit

Sure (requires laptop computer’s charger)

HooToo HT-UC001

USB-A (three)

HDMI (one)

SD

Gigabit

Sure (requires laptop computer’s charger)

Aukey CB-C64

USB-A (4)

Dell D6000

USB-A (4), USB-C (one)

HDMI (one), DisplayPort (two)

Gigabit

Three.5 mm in/out (one), Three.5 mm out (one)

Sure (charger included)

Cable Issues USB Sort-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Gigabit

Why you must belief me

I used to be the equipment editor at iLounge for a bit greater than three years and have been protecting equipment at Wirecutter for a bit longer than that. Throughout that point, I’ve reviewed greater than 1,000 iOS and Mac merchandise, together with quite a few docking stations. I’ve additionally been accountable for most of Wirecutter’s USB-C protection from the beginning, researching and testing all the things from chargers to adapters to cables.

Who that is for

USB-C hubs and docks allow you to hook your outdated stuff as much as your new stuff. If in case you have a brand new, USB-C–based mostly laptop—whether or not it features a USB-C port amongst its different ports or, like Apple’s MacBook fashions or the latest Dell XPS 13, it has nothing however USB-C ports—and you continue to want to attach flash drives, printers, Ethernet, a show, or every other equipment you already personal, a USB-C hub or dock will allow you to hook up a number of peripherals to a single USB-C port without delay. Some fashions are perfect for tossing in your bag, whereas others are higher for leaving plugged into all the things at your desk.

If you happen to’re searching for a more-powerful desktop docking choice and your laptop’s USB-C ports additionally help Thunderbolt Three, you may contemplate a Thunderbolt Three dock, which may connect with extra screens and switch knowledge quicker. If you happen to’re simply searching for a technique to get extra USB-C ports, nicely, sadly you are out of luck; we’ve but to seek out any USB-C hubs that add additional USB-C ports.

How we picked and examined

The phrases hub and dock are sometimes used interchangeably and do not have actual definitions. For this information, we handled something designed to be moveable as a hub; some hubs can move energy to a laptop computer when linked to a charger, however they do not include one. Docks are designed to take a seat on a desk, outfitted with their very own energy bricks, and able to charging your laptop computer with out your needing to offer a separate charger.

We researched and examined hubs with various totally different port layouts, starting from fashions with simply USB-A ports to these together with USB-A plus energy passthrough, video output, Ethernet connectors, and SD card slots.

For docks, we restricted our search to items that have been suitable with each PCs and Macs, value lower than $200, had at the very least 4 USB-A ports and a USB-C output port, and will energy a pc and peripherals.

We examined every hub and dock with each a MacBook Professional (13-inch, 2016, 4 Thunderbolt Three Ports) and the early-2018 USB-C–solely model of the Dell XPS 13. We additionally examined our picks on a 2018 iPad Professional, although lots of our exams do not really work with iOS. Our exams included the next:

USB-A: We ran AJA System Take a look at velocity exams utilizing Samsung’s Moveable SSD T3. To measure how briskly every hub might cost different units, we linked a 10.5-inch iPad Professional and browse the ability draw with PortaPow’s USB Energy Monitor. HDMI: We linked every of the docks by way of HDMI to a Dell Extremely HD 4K Monitor P2715Q with the decision set to 4K. Mac computer systems help solely a 30 Hz refresh fee at 4K decision, however the Dell XPS 13 pushes out a full 60 Hz. Ethernet: We verified the connection velocity in Community Utility on a Mac, which shows the hyperlink velocity. Warmth: As a result of hubs and adapters can get fairly sizzling throughout use—particularly, in our expertise, when utilizing Ethernet—we additionally measured the temperatures of our picks with an infrared thermometer after 15 minutes of steady knowledge and Ethernet use to verify they weren’t dangerously sizzling. As a Satechi consultant defined to us, “All of the bandwidth that goes to Ethernet, HDMI, USB and SD card ports requires power consumption and that is transferred to warmth. Working temperatures between 86-122 levels Fahrenheit … are regular.” SD card: We ran AJA System Take a look at on a 64 GB SanDisk Excessive Professional. microSD card: We ran the identical check as above utilizing the Samsung Evo Choose 64 GB. Energy passthrough: macOS reviews the incoming energy in its System Report. We used the MacBook Professional’s 61 W charger and the included USB-C cable, and we recorded what the pc was reporting.

One of the best USB-C hub: Vava VA-UC006 USB-C Hub

USB-C hubs and docks

Picture: Michael Hession

Vava’s VA-UC006 USB-C Hub is the easiest way so as to add the widest array and biggest variety of ports to your USB-C–based mostly laptop in a extremely moveable and sturdy package deal. It has all the best connections—three USB-A ports, USB-C energy passthrough, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, and microSD and SD card slots—to be useful on the go, and even to behave as a semipermanent desk accent. Nothing else comes near providing the identical mixture of efficiency, design, and value.

The aluminum hub measures Four inches lengthy, 2 inches huge—related in measurement to an outdated iPod nano—and fewer than half an inch at its thickest level. Its 6-inch USB-C cable is lengthy sufficient that you must have the ability to place it as wanted, and the cable itself feels sturdy however not so stiff that it will be arduous to maintain it the place you need it. At lower than 2.5 ounces, the hub is simple to pack and does not weigh you down.

There are some ports all hubs must have, and a few which are good however not obligatory; the Vava hub has all the above. You get three USB Three.zero Sort-A ports, and in our testing every of them handed knowledge to a transportable SSD at common learn speeds of 414 MB/s and write speeds of 366 MB/s (these figures have been constant throughout virtually all the hubs and docks we examined). Subsequent to that line of ports is an HDMI port that in our testing pushed out 4K video at 60 Hz from the XPS 13 as anticipated. The Mac was restricted to 30 Hz as a result of getting 60 Hz, 4K video out of a Mac requires a exact setup; the iPad Professional was additionally restricted to a 30 Hz refresh fee.

USB-C hubs and docks

The Vava hub’s microSD and SD card slots. Picture: Michael Hession

The Vava additionally has SD and microSD card slots on the alternative edge for photograph transfers. The complete-size SD card slot averaged 87 MB/s learn and 76 MB/s write in our exams. These speeds are a bit slower than what our standalone USB-C SD card reader decide produced, however not by a lot, and so they’re as quick because the outcomes from the slot on every other hub we examined. The microSD card speeds have been slower at 86 MB/s learn and 58 MB/s write, however once more, with these speeds the Vava matched or beat the competitors.

Lastly, the Vava has a USB-C port for energy passthrough and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Our 13-inch MacBook Professional reported receiving 49 watts once we linked Apple’s 61 W charger to the hub. That determine is decrease than with among the competitors, however nonetheless quick sufficient to cost your 13-inch laptop at an inexpensive velocity (15-inch machines will nonetheless cost however at a slower fee). The Ethernet port is essentially the most intelligent factor of the entire hub: Quite than rising the thickness of all the gadget to accommodate an Ethernet plug, the Vava design makes use of a flip-open door to develop the complete port as wanted.

Flaws however not dealbreakers

That intelligent Ethernet port is without doubt one of the Vava hub’s few potential flaws. As a result of it is a shifting half, there’s an opportunity it might break. We did not see something in our short-term exams to recommend it could, however no different hub or dock we examined had a comparable potential level of failure.

The Vava’s three USB-A ports are tightly organized facet by facet, so that you probably will not have the ability to join three flash drives or thicker plugs at a time.

Vava guarantees as much as a 100-watt passthrough cost fee, however in our exams the hub restricted the ability coming from our 61 W energy adapter to 49 watts.

Like many USB-C hubs we have examined, the Vava will get sizzling throughout use. We measured it at 110 °F after 15 minutes with the USB-C energy cable and an Ethernet wire plugged in. That is sizzling sufficient to be noticeable once you contact it, however not a lot that it is harmful—as we famous above, that is inside the regular working temperature for this sort of accent.

Cheaper however fewer ports: HooToo USB C Hub HT-UC001

USB-C hubs and docks

Picture: Nick Man

HooToo’s USB C Hub HT-UC001 is not fairly as full-featured or compact as Vava’s hub, but it surely gives most of the identical ports for about two-thirds of the value. Offering three USB-A ports, HDMI output, USB-C energy passthrough, and a full-size SD card slot, it is a good choice in order for you to have the ability to use wired equipment and hook as much as an exterior show however aren’t involved about utilizing a wired community connection.

USB-C hubs and docks

The HooToo hub’s USB-C energy passthrough port is on one facet, the three USB Sort-A ports and SD card reader are on the opposite, and the HDMI port is on the tip. Picture: Nick Man

In our exams, all of the ports labored as anticipated. USB learn and write speeds have been akin to these of each different hub we examined. We additionally recorded a 60 Hz refresh fee at 4K decision from the Dell XPS 13, and the MacBook Professional reported an influence draw of 55 W (a bit greater than, however just like, the Vava’s end result). A 100-watt model of the hub can be out there—it is nonetheless cheaper than the Vava, however you want that a lot energy solely when you have a bigger laptop computer just like the 15-inch MacBook Professional.

The HooToo hub works nicely, has all of the ports most individuals will want, and feels virtually as good because the Vava hub. The aluminum and plastic rectangle is about zero.Three inch longer than the Vava hub, however about the identical width and thickness. The HooToo’s cable can be a bit thicker than the Vava’s, so this hub is much less more likely to keep the place you need it to. If you happen to’re keen to simply accept these compromises and do not want the Vava hub’s additional options, the HooToo hub is an effective alternative, however we predict the Vava hub’s versatility and measurement make it price the additional cash.

An affordable means so as to add extra USB-A ports: Aukey CB-C64

USB-C hubs and docks

Picture: Michael Hession

Aukey’s USB C to Four-Port USB Three.1 Gen 1 Hub (CB-C64) is the only option for including a handful of USB Three.zero ports to your USB-C laptop, and it is low cost. Outfitted with 4 USB-A ports, the hub will allow you to join any mixture of a keyboard, mouse, printer, flash drive, or one other low-power-draw gadget corresponding to a webcam, gamepad, or moveable arduous drive. (Aukey says that “for finest efficiency, the ability demand of linked units should not exceed the full USB output of 5V zero.9A.”) In our exams, all the ports transferred knowledge as rapidly as anything we tried. The three.9-by-1.Three-inch black plastic rectangle is lower than half an inch thick and weighs a bit over an oz.. You’ll be able to throw it in a bag with out even noticing it is there.

One of the best USB-C–to–Ethernet adapter: Cable Issues USB Sort-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

USB-C hubs and docks

Picture: Michael Hession

We predict most individuals might be higher off with a hub that gives an array of ports, however should you want solely an Ethernet connection, we suggest the Cable Issues USB Sort-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. This straightforward plastic adapter works as anticipated, delivering full Gigabit velocity, and it comes from an organization we all know and belief. As a bonus, it is cheap. USB-C Ethernet adapters are recognized to get sizzling; this one reached solely about 100 °F after 15 minutes of use, the identical as a dearer metal-bodied mannequin from Anker. That does really feel heat to the contact, however not uncomfortably sizzling, and it is anticipated habits.

One of the best USB-C dock: Dell D6000 Common Dock

USB-C hubs and docks

Picture: Michael Hession

Most individuals are finest served by a transportable hub as a result of hubs are extra inexpensive and do most of the identical duties as docks. However should you’re searching for a stationary choice (for instance, should you prefer to hook your laptop computer as much as a show and equipment at your desk) that does not require an extra laptop computer charger, we propose Dell’s D6000 Common Dock. (In case your PC or Mac helps Thunderbolt Three and you intend to attach your laptop to high-speed exterior arduous drives or a number of high-resolution shows, a Thunderbolt Three dock is a better option than a USB-C dock.)

In contrast with a transportable hub, the D6000 gives extra video-output choices (one HDMI port and two DisplayPorts), extra USB ports (4 USB-A, one USB-C), Three.5 mm audio-in and -out jacks, and charging, throughout a single USB-C cable. (It comes with its personal energy adapter, so you possibly can preserve the charger that got here together with your laptop computer in your journey bag.) It is inexpensive than different docks we examined and works reliably with each Macs and PCs—though the DisplayPort ports will not work with Macs due to a current software program limitation—and it offers extra energy to a laptop computer than equally priced choices (65 watts, versus 39 watts from different fashions).

USB-C hubs and docks

The rear of the D6000, together with its video, Ethernet, USB-A, and three.5 mm audio ports. Picture: Michael Hession

The D6000 is a utilitarian 6.5-by-Three-inch black plastic rectangle with a rubber antislip base. Its completely linked, Three-foot USB-C cable comes out the left facet, and a USB-A Three.zero adapter on the wire helps you to connect with an older laptop. From left to proper alongside the entrance, you will discover a mixed audio-in and -out jack, two USB Three.zero ports, and a USB-C port that you should use for knowledge or to offer as much as 12 W of energy to a tool. Flip the dock round to the again, and also you see an HDMI port, two DisplayPort outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, one other pair of USB-A ports, and a Three.5 mm audio-out jack.

All the Dell dock’s knowledge ports transferred knowledge at charges akin to what we noticed from each different dock and hub we examined. We measured full 4K, 60 Hz movies from the DisplayPort connectors utilizing the Dell dock, though that dropped to a 1080p decision over HDMI. DisplayPort does not work in any respect with Macs working up-to-date software program as a result of the dock makes use of DisplayLink, software program that was damaged by the macOS 10.13.Four replace and stays damaged within the present model of macOS; the ports did not work with our iPad Professional, both. The HDMI port put out 4K video at 30 Hz when linked to a Mac and an iPad Professional, as anticipated.

USB-C hubs and docks

Have a look at the scale of that energy brick! Picture: Michael Hession

One factor to bear in mind with this dock is the large energy brick: It is virtually precisely the identical measurement because the dock itself. However as a result of the dock is supposed to remain on a desk quite than tossed in a bag, this is not a dealbreaker. The cable working from the charger to the dock is about 6 toes lengthy, so you must have the ability to place the ability brick in a handy place with out it getting in the way in which.

The competitors

USB-C hubs

HooToo’s HT-UC009 USB-C Hub and Vava’s VA-UC010 USB-C Hub are similar hubs from manufacturers with the identical mother or father firm. Their design is a bit bigger than that of the Vava VA-UC006, although, and of their three USB-A ports, solely two help USB Three.zero speeds, with the final restricted to 2.zero charges.

Twelve South’s StayGo comes with each a brief USB-C cable (which you’ll be able to retailer contained in the unit) and an extended cable; the mixture permits you to simply use the hub at your desk or on the go. Sadly, at 2.Four inches huge and 5 inches lengthy, this mannequin is bigger than many of the hubs we have seen, and in our testing we did not measure a correct 30 Hz refresh fee from it at even 1080p decision, not to mention 60 Hz at 4K. This mannequin additionally about twice the value of the Vava VA-UC006.

Vava’s VA-UC008 USB-C Hub is way bigger than our important decide, and considered one of its USB-A ports helps solely 2.zero speeds.

Kingston’s Nucleum is without doubt one of the few USB-C hubs to function a USB-C knowledge port along with one for energy. But it surely lacks an Ethernet connection, and it is dearer than our important decide proper now. This hub can be about an inch longer. If you happen to worth that additional USB-C port and do not want Ethernet, contemplate it.

Satechi’s Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2 has similar ports and efficiency to our Vava decide, however is bigger and dearer. Nevertheless, it has a daily Ethernet port that’s much less fragile than the Vava’s fold-up port. In our exams it stayed cooler than the Vava hub at 96 °F. We do not suppose that is price paying extra for, however the Satechi dock is a good backup choice if it goes on sale or if our high decide is unavailable.

Dodocool’s Eight-in-1 Multifunction USB-C Hub labored simply in addition to our decide, with the very same choice of ports. But it surely’s larger and feels cheaper, and we did not just like the port format as a lot. We predict spending a number of extra on our decide is price it for a extra compact metallic design and a greater format.

Aukey’s CB-C55 Multiport USB-C Adapter and Anker’s Premium USB-C Mini-Dock every have one fewer USB-A port than our decide, at the same or greater value. Moreover, the Aukey hub had the slowest SD and microSD learn and write speeds we examined by a large margin, and the Anker lacks a microSD slot.

Sanho’s HyperDrive USB-C Hub and Satechi’s Slim Aluminum Sort-C Multi-Port Adapter are similar items with similar efficiency. Each have solely two USB-A ports and price greater than our decide, however we just like the streamlined design.

Vava’s VA-UC003 USB Sort-C Hub plugs immediately into a pc’s USB-C port quite than utilizing a cable; this implies it may well block surrounding ports. And it has solely two USB-A ports itself.

The Lenovo C107 USB-C Hub (a licensed product not really made or supported by Lenovo itself) labored nice in our exams, with velocity and energy outcomes according to these of the remainder of the hubs we examined. However many purchasers have complained about efficiency, and no clear path to buyer help is out there when you have a problem.

USB-A hubs

The AmazonBasics USB Three.1 Sort-C to Four Port USB Hub and the Monoprice SuperSpeed Four-Port USB-C Hub work simply in addition to our decide however are bigger.

Monoprice’s Choose Collection USB-C to 4x USB-A Three.zero Adapter was additionally simply as quick in our exams, however its format prevents two flash drives from being linked in adjoining ports.

In proprietor opinions of Anker’s USB-C to Four-Port USB Three.zero Hub, we noticed too many complaints about Wi-Fi interference for us to suggest it, though we did not see this drawback in our testing.

Different hubs

After testing USB-A/Ethernet hubs, together with Anker’s Premium USB-C Hub with Ethernet and Energy Supply and Monoprice’s Choose Collection USB-C to 3x USB-A Three.zero, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB-C (F) Adapter, we determined that their worth and usefulness weren’t adequate for us to suggest any of them over equally priced hubs with extra forms of ports. Dodocool’s USB-C Three.1 to Three-Port USB Three.zero Hub with Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and Energy Supply was the least costly mannequin on this class, but it surely supplied the bottom energy draw from its ports, and the Ethernet connector merely did not work on our Mac, though it did on our Dell.

We utilized the identical reasoning to hubs that had solely USB-A ports and energy passthrough, corresponding to Dodocool’s USB-C to Four-Port USB Three.zero Hub with PD or Monoprice’s Choose Collection USB-C to 4x USB-A Three.zero and USB-C (F) Adapter.

USB-C docks

Plugable’s USB-C Triple Show Docking Station labored nicely in our exams. In contrast with our picks, nevertheless, it is dearer, with similar knowledge efficiency and a decrease energy output of 39 watts.

The inputs and outputs on the HP Elite USB-C Docking Station merely did not work with our MacBook Professional. No video, no knowledge, nothing. It did work with our Dell XPS 13, besides solely one of many 4 USB-A ports is Three.zero velocity; the remaining are all 2.zero.

OWC says to not use its USB-C Dock (Mini DisplayPort) or USB-C Dock (HDMI) with 2017 or later Macs. That restriction, mixed with the truth that neither model was capable of ship video from our Dell XPS 13 to our monitor, means you actually should not decide both one.

We determined to not check Henge Docks’s Stone, Belkin’s USB-C Three.1 Specific Dock HD, and StarTech’s MST30C2DPPD USB-C Dock, DK30CHDDPPD Twin Monitor USB-C Dock, DKWG30DPHPD Wi-fi USB-C Docking Station, MST30C2HDPPD Twin Monitor USB-C Dock, and DK30CH2DPPD USB-C Triple Monitor Dock attributable to their excessive costs on the time we have been researching this information. We additionally declined to check Plugable’s UD-CA1A USB-C Docking Station, CalDigit’s USB-C Dock, Kensington’s SD4600P USB-C Docking Station, Kensington’s SD4500 USB-C Docking Station, and Dell’s WD15 Monitor Dock based mostly on components together with their port choice and energy output.

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