The ultimate USB-C hubs and dongles acknowledge the quiz: How enact I connect printers, mice, and keyboards to my computer if it doesn’t like an oblong USB-A port?
A unbiased USB-C hub or dongle is comparatively low-price, however adds a smorgasbord of extra ports for memory sticks, cards, advise connections, and more. Our ideas dive into the advantages of each and each dongle, which we’ve examined and reviewed in all cases.
We’ve organized our USB-C ideas this ability: primitive USB-C hubs on top, adopted by our picks for the final word USB-C docking stations. USB-C ports can hide even more capabilities, and one among the more recent innovations has been the emergence of DisplayLink docks, which exercise a particular compression chip to push more data over the connection. Extra progressed procedure lie contained within the handiest Thunderbolt docks, which we’ve listed separately.
It’ll all be slightly confusing, so we’ve included an expanded FAQ and a shopping data on the underside. Here’s the quick acknowledge: When you happen to settle on to connect your computer to a printer, an SD card or microSD card, mouse, keyboard, or legacy 1080p show screen, keep on with a 10Gbps USB-C hub. When you happen to settle on to add a pair of extra shows (particularly 4K), or high-tempo SSD drives, we’d indicate you survey at our list of 10Gbps DisplayLink docks on the underside of this page or 40Gbps Thunderbolt docking stations. In overall, the increased, powered docks provide more procedure, however which will alternate.
We recurrently review original products, however they don’t repeatedly bring ample to create it to this list of advised USB-C hubs. StarTech’s USB-C Triple Show screen Hub, which we reviewed in unhurried October, didn’t moderately create the slash, largely attributable to the energy of the opponents.
Honest appropriate mix of legacy and more recent ports
4K output is solely 30Hz
Impress When Reviewed:
Can a USB-C hub surely feel orderly? This one does. Anker’s 7-in-1 USB-C hub feels surprisingly weighty (3.5 ounces), with a premium steel (aluminum and polycarbonate) sheen. It’s also slightly dearer than its opponents. Anker’s hub used to be among the many finest we’ve examined below load, at about 87 degrees.
Total, Anker’s hub is correctly designed, with adequate spacing between the two 5Gbps USB-A ports. There’s also a 5Gbps USB-C connection for data, plus a 2d USB-C port for vitality input at up to 85W rated. (The charger permits up to 100W in, however affords 85W.) An HDMI port permits for 4K/30Hz video or 1080p/60Hz video to a single external advise, fashioned for the class. Ethernet is excluded, on the other hand, so that you just’ll settle on to exercise Wi-Fi as a replace. Wire size is ready 8.5 inches, above the fashioned 6-recede size.
Anker’s hub used to be among the many quickest we examined to bring data below load, including simultaneous data switch between USB-A ports while the SD ports were active. The hub provides an 18-month warranty, and it even ships with a carrying pouch.
We indicate no longer shopping the costlier $seventy 9.ninety 9 Anker 8-in-1 Hub on Amazon until you’re contented connecting to two 1080p (and never 4K) shows…which is completely graceful. In any other case, the two HDMI ports will finest red meat up two 4K shows at an see-wearying 30Hz, no longer 60Hz.
Yeolibo might perchance unbiased no longer be a name you acknowledge, however this USB-C hub is impressively detailed, with a minute however extremely informative manual, clearly labeled ports, and correctly-rounded functionality.
This hub provides three USB 3.0 (5Gb/s) Form A ports, one USB 2.0 Form A port, a USB-C (5Gb/s) port, a USB-C PD charging port rated at 100W of input vitality, and an HDMI port. There are also microSD and SD slots capable of SDXC cards up to 2TB and SDR25 (25MB/s) data charges. There’s no ethernet connection. The USB-C cable measures a soft six inches, though the connector on the tip used to be slightly stiff and took some fiddling to insert.
We didn’t like a 100W USB-C charger on hand to take a look at, however the hub permitted 62.5W from our 65W USB-C charger. It stayed wintry at some level of. The hub conducted wait on protected jabber by task of its HDMI port, as anticipated, however dropped more frames than we hoped for when playing wait on 4K jabber over YouTube. (Handiest 4K30 resolutions are supported, however that’s no longer strange.)
Lasuney Triple Show veil USB Form C HUB – Finest premium USB-C hub
Wonderful port flexibility
USB-C bus throughput is no longer going to permit all ports to be weak simultaneously
Impress When Reviewed:
Lasuney’s 10-in-1 hub (two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI 1.2 ports (4K@30Hz), DisplayPort gigabit ethernet, microSD/SD, USB-C vitality input) provides loads for your money, including an strange mix of no longer one, however two HDMI ports, and even a DisplayPort. Attributable to ethernet red meat up, the hub can replace loads of your wired connections. Energy input is rated at 100W in, with about 87W on hand to the computer.
However the USB-C bus the hub runs on top of simply won’t red meat up all of the ports being weak trusty away, which is slightly of a gotcha. Whereas we in actuality like the pair of HDMI ports for dual-advise configurations, in reality, you’ll potentially settle on to limit your self to a pair of 1080p shows to preserve away from saturating the bus and slowing down the connection. Customers on Amazon like reported that they finest bought one to work, potentially for the reason that bus itself used to be saturated. The replacement misfortune we chanced on is that the SD card slot is ability too gradual. It took twice as lengthy to switch data when when put next with other hubs we examined. In all fairness, our other disk-to-disk assessments took in regards to the identical length of time.
Lasuney’s hub is correctly made, with unbiased port spacing. It doesn’t receive uncomfortably heat, either. Lawful be realistic: We surely like the flexibleness that the Lasuney hub provides, however don’t aquire it pondering you’ll be ready to exercise all the pieces trusty away. When you happen to want that functionality, survey at one among the costlier USB-C docking stations, below.
You’ll desire a recent computer for compatibility, and it’s no longer a given
Impress When Reviewed:
Most stylish laptops like begun providing a USB-C technology called HBR3 with DSC, which we’ll level to more fully within the sections following our ideas. The underside line is that the technology provides something related to the DisplayLink technology below, however as an industry fashioned. In our journey, though the technology is seriously supported in laptops with 11th-gen Core processors, it works handiest in 12th- or 13th-gen laptops.
This slim plastic dock measures a hair over 6 inches wide and about 3 inches deep. It lacks a stand, and warms moderately sharply below load. However it packs a pair of HDMI ports on the rear, four 5Gbps USB-A ports on the wait on, as well to gigabit ethernet. The USB-C cable, measuring about 2.5 toes, snakes out from the side of the dock. (CA’s manual and documentation is lousy, by the ability, so we’re no longer moderately certain what HDMI port technology it makes exercise of.) On the front is yet another USB Form A port and a USB-C port, too.
The latter USB-C port will also be weak to price your smartphone, because it puts out 6.7W of charging vitality, or ample to rapidly-price a smartphone. In any other case, this is a powered dock, and this might perchance unbiased supply 90W of charging vitality to your computer, too.
Dockcase Tidy USB-C Hub 10-in-1 Explorer Model – Finest rotund-size USB-C docking position runner-up
Detailed, informative LCD advise
Pretty data and controls
Odd however aggressive pricing draw
Extra charging vitality the biggest
Demands an up-to-date computer for handiest results
Impress When Reviewed:
Fragment of me loves the sheer nerdiness of the Dockcase 10-in-1 Dock, if finest because I’ve never seen anything else prefer it in phrases of the information it provides.
Not finest is the hub increased than most, with multiple external connectors that designate a premium hub, however there’s an precise advise: a minute LCD show that affords a detailed survey at what devices are linked to every port and what their capabilities are. Attach yet another ability, the Dockcase Tidy USB-C Hub 10-in-1 feels more like an OBD2 diagnostic draw for your automobile, or a USB multimeter.
As a dock, it’s comely. As a application, it will exercise some development: The interface is amazingly clunky, and Dockcase surely doesn’t even like a manual that explains all of it.
IOGEAR Hasten Legit USB-C Mini Dock (GUD3C460) – Finest compact/creep USB-C docking position
Among the smallest docks within the marketplace
Minimizes desk clutter
Can block ports
Impress When Reviewed:
At 2.8 x 0.31 x 1.22 inches, IOgear’s Hasten Legit Mini Dock is an uncommon duck: an cheap, rather little USB-C dock that plugs at present into your computer, with out a connecting wire.
“There’s no ability this might perchance work,” that that you just might deem—however it does, with only ample room for your computer’s USB-C charger to sneak in one side of the dock, subsequent to an HDMI wire, then a USB key or wire, and a 3.5mm jack. (The Mini Dock helps up to 60W of vitality in from an external charger.)
That’s graceful, for optimistic, if your computer’s USB-C port is all by its lonesome. In any other case, the Hasten Legit Mini Dock will block ports because it tries to produce enlargement capabilities—and that’s a relate for laptops like the Asus ZenBook, which forego a 3.5mm headphone jack however cram their USB-C ports too cease collectively to create IOgear’s dock feasible.
Here is our top pick for an upgraded DisplayLink dock, which has its like execs and cons—slightly dearer than a USB-C docking position, however more procedure, too.
Ugreen’s 9-in-1 USB-C docking position is traditional of the label: quality make and possess, obtuse naming, and pricing that looks to differ from one dealer to the following. However this DisplayLink dock provides an comely mix of port flexibility at a stable mark. There is one fetch: It lacks any vitality input at all, and likewise you’ll settle on to exercise your computer’s USB-C vitality supply (or aquire one) to price each and each this dock and the computer itself.
At about $139 MSRP, on the other hand, the rate is surely only for a DisplayLink docking position. Lawful don’t omit your smartphone charger.
Sonnet Echo 13 Triple 4K Show veil Dock – Finest rotund-size USB-C DisplayLink dock runner-up
Toughen for 3 4K60 shows
20W of charging vitality for smartphones, 100W for computer
Boom advise connection disconnected once
Sad, glitchy intermittent audio
Impress When Reviewed:
Sonnet’s Echo 13 Triple 4K Show veil Dock’s constructed-in compression blueprint that you just might connect to about a 4K shows, without penalty. And optimistic, it works as advertised, though with one arena that holds it wait on: spotty audio that genuinely needs to be fastened. (When you happen to exercise your computer’s headphone jack, there’s no arena.) However this DisplayLink dock will get it done.
There used to be a little bit of instability, however performance used to be comely. If this dock doesn’t swimsuit you, Plugable’s UD-650PDZ offes triple-advise replacement. The earnings Sonnet provides is a front-mounted USB-C charging/data port (Plugable’s dock doesn’t) and a SD card slot.
Here’s the place to open: Take a gaze on the peripherals you like, or blueprint to aquire. Attain that that you just might unbiased like got an previous external onerous drive that makes exercise of a primitive USB-A cable? Attain you manually wait on up photos from an SLR by task of its SD card? Or is your Wi-Fi connection unreliable ample that you just’d desire ethernet? Determine what ports you’ll want. This recommendation is also for Windows customers; Macs like their very like boundaries on USB-C connections.
Next, take a look at out what ports your computer already has
It’s also vital to take stock of your computer or tablet’s ports: Does it like one USB-C port or two? In case your draw finest has one port, is there a separate charging connection? In case your computer or tablet has a USB-C port and makes exercise of it completely for charging, you’ll settle on to aquire a USB-C hub with a dedicated charging input port. (On this case, it’s also which that that you just might place confidence in that finest the charging port on the hub will work, though this isn’t traditional.) Show veil how essential input vitality it permits, and ascertain that will be ample for your computer. In any other case, you’ll be compelled to pick between charging your computer and having access to other devices, which makes runt sense.
Does your show screen like a USB-C port?
Recently, we’ve begun to glance more shows consist of a USB-C port as well to HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. Here is a optimistic signal (more or much less) in that your show screen might perchance unbiased be ready to receive rid of the need for a USB-C hub.
This has a few wrinkles. First, show screen ports like never been the most accessible, and searching for out the unbiased port on the wait on of a enormous, clunky advise isn’t fun. That you simply might unbiased get settle on to spend money on a low-price USB-C hub unbiased to preserve away from the difficulty.
2nd, that show screen’s USB-C port might perchance unbiased in actuality be a video input — so as a replace of connecting an HDMI cable between your PC and the advise, that you just might simply trail a USB-C to USB-C cable and save the identical relate. How enact you know to enact that? First, take a look at out our roundup of the handiest USB-C shows, then read it conscientiously. We distinguish between the two to support you out.
Assess your computer and peripheral vitality needs
Occupy in thoughts that the hub’s vitality port is for taking vitality in to your computer, and never out to a cellular telephone. However your hub might perchance unbiased aloof be ready to price your cellular telephone, with some caveats. A “bus-powered” USB hub connects to your computer and pulls vitality from it, which it has fragment with several devices—and it won’t enact it that correctly.
Some docks will consist of a USB-C port whose finest motive is to catch your computer’s USB-C charger. That port will vitality your computer as well to any ports linked to it. These devices will create more vitality on hand for instantaneous charging your cellular telephone. (Your hub potentially won’t permit surely unbiased appropriate charging like the Samsung Galaxy S20’s Phenomenal Instant Charging, on the other hand, even whenever you happen to exercise the provided Samsung cable. You’ll aloof settle on to connect your cellular telephone to its charger for that.)
Making sense of the USB-C applied sciences
A USB-C port for your computer can either trail at 5Gbps or 10Gbps, with the latter being nearly ubiquitous on this level in time. That’s loads of bandwidth for a printer, a mouse, a keyboard, or a onerous drive, even all trusty away. Products like shows, ethernet, and high-tempo SSDs gobble up that bandwidth, on the other hand.
We discover that the advise applied sciences are inclined to love the most impression over what that you just might aquire. When you happen to simply settle on to connect to an external 1080p advise—or two—a USB-C dongle should work graceful, provided that the dongle has the on hand ports. It’s surely the most moderately priced option. As soon as you open searching for to connect to one or two 1440p or 4K shows, on the other hand, that that you just might unbiased get that you just’ll settle on to wait on in thoughts alternatives like the USB-C docking stations. That you simply might receive spherical this, in section. Rather then plugging your ethernet cable into the USB-C dongle, that you just might exercise a separate Wi-Fi connection, to illustrate.
Historically, the finest other replacement used to be a Thunderbolt dock. Equipped your computer had a Thunderbolt port, Thunderbolt’s 40Gbps bandwidth permits for 2 4K shows, running at 60Hz, plus varied peripherals. (That you simply might exercise a USB-C dock even whenever you happen to might perchance unbiased like got a Thunderbolt port, by the ability.) USB4, a the same technology, is totally the identical as Thunderbolt for your functions.
Now, there are also two middleman applied sciences to pick between: a DisplayLink USB-C dock, and a USB-C dock that takes unbiased appropriate thing about something called HBR3 and DSC.
DisplayLink, owned by Synaptics, makes exercise of application compression between your computer and the dock to approximate a Thunderbolt journey over a generic USB-C connection. It requires a application driver, however our journey is that it’s an comely preference for office work, however no longer gaming. Nonetheless, till currently, costs of DisplayLink docks haven’t been the place we deem that they needs to be: within the $150 fluctuate.
HBR3 with Show veil Compression (HBR3 with DSC) is that if truth be told an industry fashioned model of DisplayLink. The misfortune? The technology hasn’t been broadly publicized, no longer to mention supported. Our journey has been that docks that red meat up HBR3 work correctly with laptops the exercise of 12th-gen Core processors on up. Laptops with a Tenth-gen Core chip inside of them aren’t supported, and 11th-gen Core laptops are iffy. When you happen to love a 12th-gen Core computer, particularly a member of Intel’s premium Evo label, you stand a unbiased likelihood of success. In any other case, don’t grief. (We haven’t examined with laptops that exercise an AMD Ryzen chip.)
At final, don’t fear about platform branding
Because USB-C is fashioned among Macs, Windows PCs, and telephones, some hubs align their branding with a selected platform. Accelerate forward and exercise that USB-C that’s billed as being “for MacBook Legit, Chromebook, and XPS” with any Windows PC—we did, and it works unbiased graceful. You won’t want any particular application or drivers.
How we take a look at USB-C hubs
We weak bus-powered peripherals to take a look at every hub: an SSD, a onerous drive, and a rewriteable DVD drive, all to be optimistic that ample vitality used to be being delivered. We also ran tempo assessments on these hubs with ethernet connections, unbiased to detect any anomalous results. We conducted space assessments with other peripherals.
We conducted standardized assessments to switch a file from the SSD to the computer; from the onerous drive to the SSD; after which from an SD card to the PC, while simultaneously transferring recordsdata from the onerous drive to the SSD. In some cases we weak AJA’s Procedure Instrument app to trail read and write assessments on linked drives. In nearly about all cases, the performance used to be identical, with a spread of about 3 p.c—unbiased news for you, as that’s one much less relate to fear about.
We measured the skin temperature while these assessments were trail. You’ll glance some merchants on Amazon pages complaining about how hot a hub will get; some enact receive on the hotter side. Also, the place we might perchance perhaps, we measured the vitality input for every hub.
We regarded at how SD cards were inserted—you’d be stunned what number of don’t work until they’re inserted the unsuitable blueprint up!
We also well-liked the wire size, as shorter cables limit your alternatives when positioning the hub spherical your computer or tablet. Worst case, a handy e book a rough cable causes a hub to dangle from a tablet whose USB-C port is mounted toward the tip.
After sorting out our USB-C hubs, we are capable of ascertain that some no-names manufacture unbiased as well to their more notorious counterparts, and for much less money, too. One relate to retain in thoughts: Because mark is so excessive to our ideas, know that among the costs might perchance unbiased alternate as manufacturers provide sales. Therefore some hubs we didn’t indicate basically in step with mark might perchance perhaps became more aquire-essential.
Why aquire a USB-C hub or dongle?
Be conscious when laptops weak to love all kinds of ports: USB-A, HDMI, SD card slots, and more? And enact you be conscious how svelte the early Macintosh laptops regarded, particularly when Apple began eradicating all of the ports in desire of USB-C and Thunderbolt? PC makers did, and determined that used to be the ability that they would take, too.
Unfortunately, that left computer owners equivalent to you with the misfortune of legacy hardware: printers, keyboards, SD card, micro SD cards, and so forth — and with out a ports to maneuver them into. Enter the USB-C hub, an cheap product that helps resolve that misfortune. Lawful listen to what ports the USB-C hub provides, to be optimistic that it meets your needs.
What’s the distinction between a USB-C hub, USB-C dongle, and a USB-C docking position?
A USB-C hub or dongle (we exercise the phrases interchangeably) is a minute, transportable draw which that that you just might spin into a web or backpack. A USB-C docking position tends to be heavy and full ample that you just’ll settle on to retain it for your desk. It’s no longer stunning that a USB-C docking position can like more procedure than a USB-C hub, as some compact USB-C hubs pack in a frightful preference of ports.
Docking stations are inclined to be bigger and bulkier, and are designed to dwell for your desk. If there’s anything else that docking stations are inclined to love that dongles generally don’t, it’s a USB-C port designed finest to catch vitality from your computer’s USB-C charger. That helps you to possess extra ports as well to charging capabilities from the identical dock.
How essential does a USB-C hub or dongle price?
Seek data from to pay between $30 and $40 for a unbiased USB-C hub. USB-C docking stations are bigger and bulkier however add even more capabilities. We’d search data from you to pay over $100 for these.
How essential does mark topic when shopping a USB-C hub or dongle?
Honestly, no longer essential. Hear to our evaluations and these from other customers, however aquire in step with what the hub or dongle provides. That you simply might absolutely get stable USB-C hubs and dongles for an cheap mark.
USB-C docking stations, though, can surely feel slightly overpriced. In section, that’s because Thunderbolt docks were wildly pricey at some level of the 2020 to 2021 pandemic years. USB-C docking stations are an alternate, however their costs were sucked upward, too. Luckily, costs are trending downward, because the provision chains accumulate a semblance of normalcy.
What’s the distinction between USB-C and Thunderbolt?
Both USB-C and Thunderbolt exercise the identical USB-C connection. The variation is that a “generic” USB-C connection on the general provides 10Gbps of bandwidth, and Thunderbolt provides 40Gbps, with a road to 120Gbps with 2024’s Thunderbolt 5.
Thunderbolt ports are turning into more fashioned, so it’s which that that you just might place confidence in that your computer won’t like any “USB-C” ports; they’ll be Thunderbolt-enabled as a replace. (To repeat the distinction, search the advice of your computer’s manual or survey for a minute “lightning dart” label over the port itself. That’s generally a signal that it’s a Thunderbolt port.) A USB-C dongle and a Thunderbolt dock are the same, in that they each and each present a preference of extra ports.
There’s a key distinction, though. The rule of thumb of thumb is that a USB-C dongle provides ample bandwidth for 2 1080p shows at 60Hz, or a single 4K advise at 30Hz. (Observing any 30Hz advise for a size of time can tire out your eyes, so I don’t indicate it.) A Thunderbolt dock, on the other hand, permits ample bandwidth to connect two 4K shows at 60Hz, plus your complete peripherals you settle on to connect. When you happen to don’t want enormous, high-resolution shows, don’t aquire a Thunderbolt dock and aquire a USB-C hub as a replace.
What’s a DisplayLink USB-C dock?
A DisplayLink USB-C dock is what that that you just might call a “tweener” draw: something between USB-C and Thunderbolt. DisplayLink docks embed a minute chip from Synaptics within the docking position, and require exercise of a application driver that you just’ll settle on to receive. (USB-C and Thunderbolt are if truth be told go and play.) The Synaptics chip compresses the information, and provides you the flexibility to connect (no shaggy dog anecdote) up to about a or generally four 4K advise all over a 10Gbps USB-C cable. It feels slightly like sunless magic.
They’re no longer foolproof; DisplayLink docks are handiest for office work (email, Word, Excel, and so forth that don’t require loads of of bandwidth, for the reason that photos are largely static) and web browsing. Transfer loads of data (or play wait on loads of high-bitrate video) and likewise you’ll glance some stuttering.
We weak to receive away DisplayLink docks into their very like page, however we now consist of suggestions about this list of the final word USB-C hubs, as well to our list of the final word Thunderbolt docks. When you happen to store smooth, that you just might receive the capabilities of a Thunderbolt dock, for much less.
Can you connect a USB-C dongle to a Thunderbolt dock? Or to yet another USB-C hub?
That you simply might absolutely connect a USB-C hub to a Thunderbolt dock. You potentially won’t be ready to connect a USB-C dongle to yet another USB-C dongle/hub, however if your computer has bigger than one USB-C port, that you just might connect a USB-C hub to every.
Thunderbolt provides the flexibility to “daisy-chain” devices, on the other hand, so which that that you just might connect one Thunderbolt dock to yet another. USB-C, on the other hand, doesn’t.
Why enact USB-C hubs receive so hot?
USB-C hubs can receive heat and even hot while the exercise of them to switch data or price devices. Here is for the reason that electronic procedure and circuitry within hubs invent up heat at some level of exercise. Depending upon the hub’s cloth, heat can became trapped contained within the hub leading it to became hot to the contact.
When you happen to are interested by your hub turning into too hot at some level of exercise, that that you just might unbiased wait on in thoughts purchasing a hub created from steel procedure, equivalent to aluminum, so that heat can more without relate dissipate because it builds up.
Up to this level on Oct. 4, 2023 to construct a recent review of the CA Wanted Docking Impart (DS2000).