If you are tired of constantly changing dongles and relying on Bluetooth to connect, try using a USB-C hub or docking station. There are multi-port adapters or USB-powered adapters on the market that are much more than an additional USB port. They transform a single USB-C connection on your laptop or desktop into a convenient connection hub, , and Ethernet. Additionally, you can use them to read and write to memory cards or external hard drives.
Narrowing down your options and finding the best USB-C hub comes down to knowing how portable it needs to be, the data transfer rate you want, and exactly which connections you need. Here are some of our favorite USB-C docks we tested. We will continue to update this list as we find new USB hub models to recommend. And if you askwe tested.
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This USB-C hub has all the basic things you would need most for office or home use at a reasonable price, especially if your laptop is limited to USB-C ports only. There are three USB-A ports, including one with power, microSD and SD card slots and an HDMI output that supports resolutions up to 4K at 30Hz. Finally, there is Gigabit Ethernet connection with LED activity (something that other nodes of this size usually omit). But what sets it apart from others in this size are the handy stickers printed on top of the anodized aluminum case.
There is a 100-watt USB-C port for power delivery, with 15 watts to power the hub. The hub is light, which makes it great for traveling, but it also means that any cables you plug into it could cause it to slide around your desk – a common problem with hubs of this size. But if you’re looking for one hub to cover everything from an external screen and wired web access to charging your phone, this is for you.
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The PowerExpand Elite is part USB-C docking station and charging station. There are 85- and 15-watt Thunderbolt 3 ports on the back, and an 18-watt USB-C power port on the front. The Thunderbolt 3 port supports display up to 5K resolution at 60Hz, while its HDMI 2.0 port can support display up to 4K resolution at 60Hz. Or you can run a USB-C-to-HDMI dual hub and connect two 4K displays at 30Hz so you can run up to three monitors between the HDMI port and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
You’ll also have four USB-A ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a MicroSD and SD card reader. The combined 3.5 mm jack controls the audio output and input.
However, to provide enough juice to run everything, the PowerExpand Elite has a large 180W power adapter. Also, the fanless design means the case is one big cooler so it can heat up when fully charged. You can stand it upright to keep it cooler.
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As its name suggests, this device combines a USB-C hub with a foldable laptop stand, allowing you to set up a more ergonomic work experience anywhere. The lightweight aluminum stand mounts in seconds. Laptop holders can be adjusted at five different angles from 15 to 36 degrees, which makes it good for increasing airflow, getting a more comfortable typing angle or raising the screen for better viewing. The stand supports a laptop up to 17 inches, but the larger the laptop, the more inconvenient it is to try to use ports, especially SD card slots.
Built-in on the left is a 5Gbps USB-C port along with two USB 3.0 ports (also up to 5Gbps), a full-size HDMI output that supports up to 4K resolution at 30Hz and SD and microSD card slots. Just connect the connected USB-C cable to the USB-C port on your laptop and you’re done. The cable is conveniently placed on the bottom of the stand when you travel or do not have to use the hub. It will draw power from your laptop when plugged in, but there is a USB-C power port on the left leg to deliver power up to 100 watts.
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Most small USB-C hubs have short-circuited cables. This is fine if your laptop is on a desk and not on a laptop stand i that table has enough space right next to the USB-C port of your laptop. For those who might use the extra cable range, the Lention C37 is ideal.
The USB device is still compact and lightweight, but has a 1 meter cable (3.3 feet). It has two USB-C ports with a power of 60 watts, two USB-A ports, microSD and SD card slots and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Finally, there is an HDMI output that supports 4K at 30Hz or lower resolutions at 60Hz. This is also a great option for desktop-based desktops.
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Extremely compact docking station that shows what is possible with a single Thunderbolt 4 port. Just connect the SD5700T with the included cable to your Windows 10 laptop with Thunderbolt 4 (or Thunderbolt 3 MacBook running MacOS 11 or later) and you’ll get 11 ports for fast data, video and audio.
In terms of data, it can handle transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps – perfect for working with large files such as photos and videos. The Dock also has a Gigabit Ethernet port and a UHS-II SD 4.0 card slot. For monitors, you can connect two 4K screens at 60Hz, one 5K screen at 60Hz or one at 8K at 30Hz. There are also four USB-A ports: three on the back which are USB 3.2 Gen 2 (for speeds up to 10Gbps) and one USB 2.0 on the front for fast charging devices. You will also find a combined headphone jack in front.
One Thunderbolt 4 port on the front supports power delivery of up to 90 watts, so I was able to connect the latest Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and keep it charged while running the UltraSharp PremierColor monitor at 4K at 60 Hz from one of the three downstream Thunderbolt 4 connector on the back. I also connected another USB-C screen in full-HD resolution at 60Hz to another downstream port. The Ethernet port allowed me to take advantage of my wired Gigabit connection. The USB ports used a 4K webcam, an external storage device, and a wireless receiver for my mouse and keyboard, which can be used to wake the computer. And again, all this with just one laptop cable.
However, the SD5700T is a forward-looking dock, so you won’t find older DisplayPort or HDMI connections on it. And it needs a lot of energy to handle everything you connect to it, so the docking station itself has a large 180-watt power supply. Still, the SD5700T is surprisingly compact and lightweight compared to the Thunderbolt 3 stations I’ve tested with similar features as the Anker on this list. The SD5700T can even be attached to a monitor with an optional bracket, and there are two locking holes that you can use to attach it to your desk.
You will not need any drivers or other software to work. However, the Kensington DockWorks software included is a nice add-on that will automatically switch from Wi-Fi to Ethernet when you connect to a docking station to get the highest possible connection speed.
The docking station may cost $ 445, but it guarantees that you will take full advantage of your Thunderbolt 4 connection in the future.
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Accell’s simple low-profile design won’t tip over like vertical docking stations and is easier to blindly connect to its connectors. If you have limited desk space, it could fit on the base of your monitor. Plus, the slim, lightweight case and its small power adapter fit snugly into your bag if you need to travel with them.
In the back you will find three USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports type-A, two HDMI ports (one 4K, one 1080p), Ethernet port and sockets for microphone input and headphone output. One USB-C port is on the right. Accell includes USB-C-to-USB-C and USB-C-to-USB-A cables for connecting to your laptop.
According to its name, you can connect it to your laptop and it will almost immediately start copying your screen without first installing the driver. However, if you want to expand the screens, you will need to download a driver for MacOS or Windows; Accell practically stores them on board; when you connect to the docking station, a screen appears giving you the option to install it.
It also works with Chromebooks and if you have an Android phone or tablet, you can download the free Accell app and then connect to a docking station to display your device’s screen on a single 1080p monitor and also use the keyboard and mouse if you wish. There is a slight delay, but it worked well.
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If you want to expand the port options of your laptop, as well as connect your Nintendo Switch, the $ 70 Dock Pro 60 is all you need. The slim, small and lightweight docking station has two USB-C ports, one of which supports the power input. Connect your laptop (or Switch) to another USB-C port and use the HDMI port of the docking station to connect to a TV or external (resolutions up to 4K UHD at 30Hz will work) and you’re all ready to get started or play friends and family on larger screen. There are also two USB-A ports.
Note, however, that this requires a 15-volt, 2.6-amp USB-C power supply if you use it as a switch docking station, such as the one that comes with the switch. With a laptop, you can use a USB-C power adapter with a 60-watt transient dock power supply.
Bonus for Samsung Galaxy users: The Dock Pro 60 supports Samsung DeX so you can use your phone or tablet with an external screen and desktop-style experience.
Is the USB-C port the same as the USB port?
The USB port that is most familiar is the USB Type-A. Sometimes called a standard or regular USB port, it is rectangular and requires you to plug the cable right-side up so that the tabs inside the connector are properly aligned. The newer USB-C port is a small oval that uses a reversible connector so you don’t have to rotate it to get the correct position.
Are all USB-C ports the same?
Although USB-C ports may look the same from device to device, they are not. Even USB-C ports on the same laptop can have different capabilities. For example, Thunderbolt 3 or 4 devices will only be fully supported by computers with the appropriate Thunderbolt USB-C port. Unfortunately, you can’t just look at the port and know exactly what you have. Before you buy a USB-C dock or adapter, check with your computer manufacturer to see what your laptop (or desktop) model supports.