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Greatest USB-C Hub 2023 – CNET

Up to date Dec. 17, 2023 5:54 p.m. PT

Written by 
Joshua Goldman

Our knowledgeable, award-winning employees selects the merchandise we cowl and rigorously researches and assessments our prime picks. For those who purchase by our hyperlinks, we could get a fee.

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Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Recommendation

Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop computer knowledgeable and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an non-obligatory characteristic. He additionally covers virtually something related to a PC, together with keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming equipment. As well as, he writes about cameras, together with motion cams and drones. And whereas he would not contemplate himself a gamer, he spends fully an excessive amount of time taking part in them.

Experience Laptops, desktops and laptop and PC gaming equipment together with keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, motion cameras and drones Credentials

  • Greater than 20 years expertise writing about PCs and equipment, and 15 years writing about cameras of every kind.

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Sq. Toes of Lab House

$27 at Monoprice

Monoprice's white six-in-one USB-C travel dock sitting on a wood table.

Greatest price range USB-C dock

Monoprice 6-in-1 USB-C Multiport 4K HDMI Adapter

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$200 at Amazon

Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station on a green background.

Greatest for Thunderbolt 4

Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station

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$33 at Amazon

Plugable 5-in-1 USB C Hub with MagSafe support connected to a 16-inch MacBook Pro's USB-C ports on the left side of the laptop.

Greatest USB-C Hub for MacBooks

Plugable 5-in-1 USB-C MagSafe Hub

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$200 at Amazon

CalDigit ThunderBolt 4 Element Hub on an orange background

For extra Thunderbolt 4

CalDigit Thunderbolt 4 Component Hub

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$330 at Ugreen

Ugreen USB C Triple Display Docking Station showing the ports on its front and sitting on a gray background.

Greatest for 3 shows at 4K

Ugreen USB-C Triple Show Docking Station

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$280 at Amazon


Thunderbolt 3 with energy for charging

Anker PowerExpand Elite Docking Station

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$36 at Amazon

A USB-C hub and cord against a yellow background.

Greatest for a laptop computer on a stand

Lention CB-C37 USB-C Hub

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$160 at B&H Picture-Video

EZQuest Ultimate Plus 12-Port USB Type-C Multimedia Hub on a purple background.

For many who nonetheless want a VGA output

EZQuest Final Plus 12-Port USB Sort-C Multimedia Hub

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$150 at Amazon

Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac

Discreet iMac port addition

Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for 24-inch iMac

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USB-C has simplified how we join all the things to a pc. A monitorkeyboardmouse, Ethernet, microSD and SD playing cards, exterior storage and extra can all be related by a USB-C port. But when you could join all of these issues on the identical time by one USB-C port, you will require slightly additional assist from a USB-C hub or dock with a number of ports. There are lots of to select from, and this can be a checklist of the perfect USB-C hubs that we have examined.

What’s the perfect USB-C hub?

For many who desire a bit extra, a full-featured journey dock, the perfect USB-C hub is the EZQuest USB-C Multimedia 8-port Hub. There are cheaper choices, however the EZQuest combines a wonderful assortment of ports, sturdiness for journey and reliability over a number of months of testing. It even has labels on the highest to get your gadgets related even quicker. EZQuest makes a number of different USB-C hubs together with a 13-in-one mannequin additionally on this checklist. Nevertheless, if a extra sturdy dock with Thunderbolt assist is critical, the perfect we have examined proper now could be the Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station because of a sexy low-profile design and well-rounded port assortment, and it would not get scorching when put to full use. 

Narrowing down your choices and discovering the perfect USB-C hub comes all the way down to realizing how moveable you want it to be, your required knowledge switch velocity and precisely which connections you want. Listed here are a few of our favourite USB-C docking stations that we have examined. We’ll proceed to replace this checklist as we discover new USB hubs and docks to suggest. And in the event you’re wanting to cost your USB-C gadgets, listed here are the perfect choices per our testing. 

Learn extra: Greatest USB-C PD Chargers of 2023

Greatest USB-C hubs of 2023

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This USB-C hub has all of the necessities most would want for workplace or house use at an inexpensive worth, particularly in case your laptop computer is restricted to solely USB-C ports. There are three USB-A ports, together with one with energy supply, microSD and SD card slots, and an HDMI out that helps resolutions as much as 4K at 30Hz. On the finish is a Gigabit Ethernet reference to an exercise LED (one thing different hubs this measurement sometimes depart off). However what units it other than others at this measurement are the useful labels printed on prime of the anodized aluminum case. 

There’s a 100-watt USB-C pass-through for energy supply, with 15 watts used to energy the hub. The hub is light-weight, which makes it nice for journey but additionally means any cords you plug into it may trigger it to slip round your desk — a standard subject with hubs this measurement. However in the event you’re in search of a single hub to cowl all the things from an exterior show and wired net entry to charging your cellphone, this has you coated. 

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We have used many Monoprice gadgets over time, and so they’ve often delivered extra for the cash. This slim six-in-one journey dock is not any completely different, supplying you with simply sufficient to hook up your laptop computer to peripherals and a monitor as much as 4K at 60Hz. Additionally, must you want an Ethernet port, there may be a seven-in-one mannequin for $10 extra

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Accell’s slim, low-profile Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station is among the most compact we have examined with out sacrificing efficiency or ports. There are two Intel-certified Thunderbolt 4 ports on the rear in addition to a DisplayPort 1.4 connector that, mixed, can drive twin UHD 4K screens at 60Hz or a single 8K show at 30Hz. One other Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port on the entrance connects to your PC or Mac. The port is shifted all the best way to the precise in order that the cable would not block different ports and makes it simpler to maintain the cable out of the best way. 

Three USB 3.1 Gen 2 Sort-A ports, a USB 2.0 Sort-A port, an SD 4.0 UHS-II card reader, a 3.5mm audio combo jack and Gigabit Ethernet port spherical out the connection choices. And even with the dock totally loaded, it remained comparatively cool in contrast with others we have examined.

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Though there are hubs with extra connections that plug straight right into a MacBook’s USB-C ports, this Plugable hub stands alone with its notch for Apple’s MagSafe energy connector. Ports embody two USB-A 3.0 ports, a combo headphone/mic jack, Ethernet (within the again so it is out of the best way) and a USB-C port. And in contrast to different small hubs like this, the USB-C port can do what the MacBook’s can: knowledge switch as much as 40Gbps, show output as much as a 6K decision at 60Hz and energy throughput as much as 100 watts. 

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Most individuals, together with me, use hub and dock interchangeably however they’re completely different gadgets. A hub provides extra ports to a pc to connect extra gadgets. The Component Hub, as an illustration, turns one Thunderbolt 4 port in your laptop computer into three Thunderbolt 4 ports so you’ll be able to connect additional shows, high-speed storage and peripherals. It additionally provides you 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-A ports with knowledge speeds as much as 10Gbps so as to add USB-A gadgets. And the hub might be daisy-chained to a different Thunderbolt 4 dock or hub for much more connections. 

The included energy adapter (it is really bigger than the hub itself) can ship as much as 60 watts of charging energy to hooked up gadgets. That is not sufficient for extra power-hungry laptops however fantastic for a Chromebook and smaller laptops like a Dell XPS 13 or Apple MacBook Air. You can too disconnect it out of your laptop and simply use it to energy up your cellphone, pill and different gadgets. 

One different good contact: CalDigit made the design reversible so you’ll be able to flip it in your desk to have whichever ports you want dealing with ahead. 

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Ugreen’s tiny tower of ports makes use of a DisplayLink chipset to drive three shows at as much as 4K at 60Hz through its DisplayPort and twin HDMI outputs with Home windows or MacOS programs. Home windows customers can choose to run one show at as much as 8K at 30Hz plus two at 4K at 60Hz. 

DisplayLink software program is required to drive the shows correctly. There’s additionally no energy provide included, only a USB-C cable. For those who’re utilizing it with a laptop computer with a USB-C energy adapter, you should use it to energy the dock. It helps as much as 100-watt energy supply letting you cost your laptop computer in addition to energy the dock. 

It handles greater than shows, too, with one 10Gbps and two 5Gbps USB-A ports, a 10Gbps USB-C port, a combo headset jack, Gigabit Ethernet and SD and microSD card slots. The minimal footprint helps maintain your desk tidy, and it is mild sufficient to journey with in the event you wanted to (however there are higher choices for that on this checklist). 

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The PowerExpand Elite is a component USB-C dock and half charging station. In again are 85- and 15-watt Thunderbolt 3 ports, and in entrance is an 18-watt USB-C energy supply port. A Thunderbolt 3 port helps as much as a 5K-resolution show at 60Hz whereas its HDMI 2.0 port can assist a show as much as 4K decision at 60Hz. Or you’ll be able to run a USB-C-to-HDMI twin splitter and join two 4K shows at 30Hz so you’ll be able to run as much as three screens between the HDMI port and Thunderbolt 3 ports. 

You will even have 4 USB-A ports, a Gigabit Ethernet jack and MicroSD and SD card reader. A 3.5mm combo jack handles audio output and enter.

To supply sufficient juice to run all the things, although, the PowerExpand Elite has a big 180-watt energy adapter. Additionally, the fanless design means the physique is one large warmth sink so it may well get scorching when it is totally loaded. You’ll be able to stand it vertically to assist maintain it cooler. 

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Most small USB-C hubs have brief hooked up cables. That is fantastic in case your laptop computer is on a desk and never on a laptop computer stand and that desk has loads of area straight subsequent to your laptop computer’s USB-C port. For many who may use some additional cable attain, although, the Lention C37 is good.

The USB machine remains to be compact and light-weight however has a 1-meter cable (3.3 ft). It has twin USB-C ports with 60-watt energy supply, two USB-A ports, microSD and SD card slots and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the top is an HDMI output that helps 4K at 30Hz or decrease resolutions at 60Hz. That is additionally an important possibility for desktops which might be stored on the ground. 

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The Final Plus exhibits off simply what’s doable with a single USB-C port. Together with 4 USB 3.0 type-A ports, there are microSD and SD card slots, a 3.5mm combo headset jack and a Gigabit Ethernet jack. However the largest motive to decide on this mannequin is its assist for 3 shows. 

There are two full-size HDMI outputs joined by an old-school VGA output. The VGA can solely deal with outputting at 1080p, however one HDMI can output at resolutions as much as 4K at 60Hz whereas the opposite can output as much as 4K at 30Hz. That is loads for one compact desktop dock and a single connection to your laptop computer or desktop. 

In our assessments, it lived as much as its promise of dealing with all of its connections directly. The ports won’t provide the quickest speeds of different docks (the USB-A ports prime out at 5Gbps for instance), but when three screens and a whole lot of additional connections in your desk are what issues, that is the dock for you.

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This add-on dock slides proper over the foot of a 24-inch iMac. It consists of USB-A and USB-C ports, plus slots for each microSD and SD playing cards and even an inner slot for an M.2 storage drive. The 11-inch vast dock additionally has the precise footprint because the iMac’s color-matched keyboard, so it may well sit on prime of the dock/foot combo when not getting used. At $150, it is slightly on the dear facet, and there are not any HDMI or DisplayPort outputs. However in the event you’re in search of a tidy resolution so as to add some additional ports to an iMac, this can be a candy resolution. 

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What is the distinction between a USB-C hub and a docking station?

A USB-C hub primarily acts like a splitter from a USB-C port on a laptop computer or desktop. They’re sometimes small and light-weight and do not require a separate energy provide; they draw energy straight from the pc. Due to this, the ports could be much less able to knowledge and energy output in contrast with a powered dock. 

Nevertheless, many USB-C hubs characteristic a USB-C port with energy supply, or PD. This allows you to use a USB-C energy adapter, such because the one which will have come together with your laptop computer, to move energy to your laptop computer and different ports. This may improve show assist in addition to velocity up charging for related gadgets like a cellphone or a pill. 

A USB-C docking station mainly turns a laptop computer right into a desktop. It’s a bigger, powered machine that dramatically will increase the variety of exterior shows and peripherals that may be related to a laptop computer. As a result of they sometimes use a big energy adapter, they aren’t as moveable as a hub however can energy and recharge the related laptop computer. Since many are made to be left related to a monitor(s), some are designed to be mounted on the rear of a show to assist clear up cables in your desk. 

Is a USB-C port the identical as a USB port?

The USB port most are aware of is USB Sort-A. Generally known as a typical or common USB port, it’s rectangular and directional, which requires you to correctly align tabs contained in the connectors. The newer USB-C port is a small oval that makes use of a reversible connector so that you just needn’t flip it round to get the proper place.

Are all USB-C ports the identical?

Whereas USB-C ports could seem the identical from machine to machine, they aren’t. Even USB-C ports on the identical laptop computer might need completely different capabilities. As an example, Thunderbolt 3 or 4 gadgets will solely be totally supported by a pc with the corresponding Thunderbolt USB-C port. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to’t simply have a look at the port and know precisely what you have got. Verify together with your laptop producer for what your laptop computer (or desktop) mannequin helps before you purchase a USB-C dock or adapter.

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