Best USB-C Hubs for MacBook Pro iMore 2020
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro has four USB-C ports, but no other ports will be found on the device at all. While USB-C is a fantastic technology, this could leave you wishing for some of those missing port options (especially USB-A). If you want to connect an external hard drive, 4K screen, keyboard, and camera storage to your MacBook Pro, there's really nothing better than a quality USB-C hub. Here's a list of the tip-top USB-C hubs.
- Best for most people: Satechi Multi-port adapter
- Multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports: Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock
- For portability: Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock
- Best on a budget: Anker USB-C 7-in-1 Hub
- Most ports: Totu USB-C 11-in-1 Hub
- Power player: Powlaken USB-C 11-in-1 Hub
- Ultra Slim: HyperDrive Pro 8-in-2
Satechi's multi-port adapter doesn't support high-speed data transfer or dual-4K displays. But it does have just about everything else you'd need to run your peripherals with your MacBook Pro. Things like SD and microSD card readers, 4K HDMI, Gigabit, and three USB-A ports.
The Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock features two Thunderbolt 3 ports with high-speed data transfer, two USB-A 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. With this versatile machine, you can connect a 5K or 4K display plus one additional display for a yowza of an experience.
If you don't need a lot of ports, but you do need the essentials when you hit the road, this small-but-mighty hub is for you. It has a USB-A and ethernet port, as well as two display ports so you can run two 4K displays at the same time. The USB-C Thunderbolt connector also supports high-speed data transfer and streaming.
This is the little hub that could. It's nearly as powerful as a docking station, but costs a fraction and doesn't take up almost as much space. It has two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a micro SD and SD card reader, a USB-C port for high-speed data transfer, and a USB-C port for up to 100 watts of charging.
Sometimes, even while you're away from home, you need the versatility of being able to plug a bunch of different peripherals into your MacBook Pro while you work. Totu's hub is perfect for you. With USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, you can charge devices, connect external hard drives, plug in a keyboard, and a whole lot more. The HDMI and VGA ports make it possible for you to connect to a big-screen display or TV for 4K support. On top of all that, there is also a Gigabit Ethernet port, TF and microSD card readers, and a USB-C port. Are you dizzy yet?
For all-around flexibility, the Powlaken hub offers expandability in a tiny box. There are four USB-A ports; two 3.0 and two 2.0, a USB-C port that supports data transfer and charging, VGA, and HDMI ports for display screen expansion, a Gigabit Ethernet port for hardwired internet, a 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack, and SD and microSD card readers. You won't leave home without it either; it's small enough to fit in your back pocket.
For a sleek looking hub, take a peek at HyperDrive's unique hub style. It snaps right into place in your two MacBook Pro ports, turning it into eight different ports (including replacing the two USB-C ports you lost). It supports 40Gbp/s data transfer, 5K display, HDMI, SD and micro SD, mini DisplayPort, and USB-A. You'll never have to dangle your dongle from the side of your MacBook Pro again.
Hub, adapter, or docking station: Which one is right for you?
Hubs are designed to make your MacBook Pro more versatile, providing several different ports. They also tend to be more portable because they're lighter and smaller (and don't usually need their own wall plug). When it comes to USB-C hubs, I use Satechi's Multi-port adapter because it's small, versatile, and very reliable.
Adapters are the simplest peripherals for port versatility. They are almost always a single-port changeover, like USB-C-to-USB-A or USB-to-Lightning, though sometimes they may have one or two additional ports, like HDMI. They're the least expensive but also the least versatile. You may not need 4K or 5K display support, high-speed data transfer, or 12 different things plugged into your MacBook Pro at the same time. A simple single-port adapter may be a better solution.
Docking stations are designed for multi-display use with charging support. They usually have their own power supply and can charge your laptop and mobile devices while also providing fast data transfer and 4K or 5K display support. For the most part, they're meant to be stationary to give your desktop workflow more versatility and convenience.
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