The contempo about-face to USB-C connectivity in adaptable accessories and laptops agency that manufacturers can actualize thinner and lighter devices. But while USB-C acceptance is accretion rapidly, it’s far from all-over at this point. Indeed, it’s acceptable that anybody with a accent that has alone USB-C ports additionally has non USB-C devices: USB-A mice and keyboards, alien adamantine drives, HDMI monitors, Ethernet-based arrangement connections, etc.
This makes it about a call for USB-C-based laptop owners to additionally aces up a USB-C hub or dock. These accessories affix to your laptop via a distinct USB-C cable and again action assorted added ports and connectivity options. There’s no curtailment of USB-C hubs and docks available, but we were asked to appraise one such hub from Inateck, an electronics accent aggregation we’ve rated able-bodied in the past.
The Inateck USB-C hub has the account of alms a acceptable alternative of ports accumulated with a bunched admeasurement and almost low amount point ($46.99 as of the date of this review’s publication). It connects to your laptop (we activated it with a 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro) via a congenital 6-inch USB-C cable and is “plug and play” with both macOS and Windows, acceptation that it doesn’t crave any appropriate drivers or software to work.
Once affiliated to your device, the hub offers assorted ports for data, video, and connectivity:
2 x USB-A USB 3.01 x HDMI 1.4 (up to 4K30 output)1 x Gigabit Ethernet1 x SD Card1 x microSD Card1 x USB-C ascribe (power and data)
The accent will assignment as a accepted hub aloof by active it into your USB-C laptop, but there’s additionally the advantage to use the hub’s USB-C anchorage for adeptness delivery. When affiliated to a accordant adeptness adapter such as the Inateck 60W USB-C charger ($36.99), the hub can accumulation up to 60 watts of charging adeptness to your laptop. That’s not abundant to allegation power-hungry laptops like the 15-inch MacBook Pro at abounding speed, but it’s added than able for accessories like the 12-inch MacBook, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Dell XPS 13.
The adeptness to admission the hub’s ports and accumulation adeptness accompanying is abnormally acceptation for those with laptops that alone accept a distinct USB-C or Thundert 3 port, such as the above 12-inch MacBook Pro. If you don’t charge the adeptness commitment features, you can use the hub’s USB-C anchorage to affix addition USB-C device, such as an alien adamantine drive.
In agreement of performance, we activated all of the hub’s ports and begin that aggregate formed acceptably. Arrangement speeds on our active gigabit arrangement accomplished their aiguille real-world limit, and appointment pictures and videos via the SD Agenda clairvoyant was aloof as abrupt as application our committed USB-based agenda reader.
Data transfers via the USB-A ports were slightly slower than native, however. For example, our Samsung T5 SSD offers the adeptness to affix via both USB-C and USB-A. When natively affiliated to the MacBook Pro via USB-C, we saw aiguille achievement of about 500MB/s. When affiliated via USB-A to the Inateck hub, aiguille achievement was alone about 400MB/s, pointing to a absolute in the USB chipset included in the hub. Losing 100MB/s is not insignificant, but in the case area you accept an alien drive that doesn’t accept a USB-C option, the adeptness to use it via the Inateck hub, alike at a slower aiguille speed, is absolutely bigger than not actuality able to use it all.
Finally, agenda that while you can accomplish video achievement via the HDMI anchorage at up to 4K resolution, you’re bound to aloof a 30Hz brace rate. This is accomplished for productivity-based tasks like chat processing, web browsing, and spreadsheets, but not ideal for gaming or aerial brace amount video applications.
Overall, the Inateck USB-C hub isn’t the cheapest available, but it offers a acceptable anchorage alternative and body affection for the price. Pair it with a aerial wattage charger and you’ll accept aggregate you charge to ensure best connectivity for your USB-C laptop.
You can aces up the Inateck HB5002 Multi-Port USB-C Hub now from Amazon for $46.99 while the 60W USB-C charger is accessible alone for $36.99. Both are accessible via Amazon or the company’s website.
Review Disclosure: Both the USB-C Hub and USB-C charger were loaned to TekRevue by Inateck for the purpose of this review. Neither Inateck nor anyone alfresco of TekRevue were consulted above-mentioned to this review’s publication, and neither TekRevue nor its advisers were compensated in any way for the advertisement of this review.
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