Plugable's new USB-C MacBook hub turns two ports into five
Take two ports and turn them into five others instead.
The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro both come with a few ports, but they don't come with some of the ones that you might need. That's where Plugable's new 5-in-1 hub comes into play.
Even Apple's very best MacBooks don't have USB-A ports on them, which could be a problem depending on the peripherals you use. They don't have Ethernet for high-speed networking either. But plug this hub in, and both of those problems are fixed, and then some. Just like with the other best USB-C hubs for MacBook Pro.
The Plugable 5-in-1 USB-C Hub might not be for everyone, but if you're someone who needs the ports that their MacBook Air or MacBook Pro just don't have, read on — this could be the choice for you.
Ports with a compromise
First, here's what you'll get. There's that gigabit Ethernet port which could be enough to sell this for a lot of people right out of the gate. Then there's a 3.5mm audio in/out port for those situations when you need to plug a microphone in.
Moving on, there are two USB-A 3.0 ports that support up to 5Gbps and finally a USB-C port that offers 40Gbps of throughput and 100W of pass-through charging which is as much as you're going to get without using a MagSafe charger.
While not the biggest collection of ports around, the selection the Plugable hub offers is likely to cater to most people's connectivity needs in terms of Ethernet and a couple of USB-A connectors. There's also a handy cutout that leaves space for your own MagSafe connector to do its thing as well.
The downside? You'll of course lose two USB-C ports which also means you lose two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the MacBook Air and two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the MacBook Pro. But if that's a compromise that makes sense for you, is it really even a compromise? It helps that Plugable has priced this thing reasonably as well.
You can order the Plugable 5-in-1 USB-C Hub from Amazon for $32.95 right now.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
By Kevin Lynch