Apple MacBook and Microsoft Surface line of products are aiming actively to redefine portability. Unlike the full-featured laptops, these machines are thin, light, and powerful. But those improvements come at the cost of the ports. Thankfully, there are enough USB-C adapters and hubs in the market to help bridge the gap.
These USB-C hubs are versatile devices that let you extend the functionality of your USB-C laptop. However, not all USB-C hubs are built equal. While some have several USB-A ports, others concentrate on video ports like HDMI and DisplayPort.
In this article, we will focus on USB-C hubs with both Ethernet and HDMI ports. Not only you will be able to experience interference-free Internet connectivity, but you will also have the advantage of connecting your laptop to an external display.
Now, that's settled, let's see some of the best USB-C hubs with ethernet and HDMI ports.
The Anker USB-C Hub is a simple device that makes your laptop more versatile. One of its biggest cruces is that it's slim, which adds to the portability factor. The slim factor doesn't mean it compromises the functionality. Apart from the HDMI and Ethernet ports, it also bundles 3 USB-A 3.0 ports.
However, if you have a 4K display connected to your laptop, this might not be the best USB-C hub since it supports 4K only at 30Hz. Nevertheless, if you have a WQHD display or an FHD monitor, this will work just fine.
The Anker USB-C Hub is both affordable and adds just the right amount of flex to your laptop. If you plan to use the HDMI connection or the Ethernet port sparingly, this is the right one to get for your laptop.
2. Totu USB C Hub
Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port, 1 x USB , 1 x SD card slot, 1 x TF card slot
The Totu USB C Hub brings increased flexibility to the table and makes you forget that your laptop actually lacks ports. This one packs a surprising number of ports and also brings in the advantage of USB-C Power Delivery. Crazy, right?
If we talk numbers, it can passthrough 87W of power to charge the connected laptop, thereby removing the hassle of connecting an additional wire to charge your MacBook. But do note that you will also need to use a compatible power adapter.
Like the Anker USB-C hub above, the 4K streaming through the HDMI port is limited to only 30Hz. Nevertheless, the other ports make up for the versatility of this product.
From SD card readers to USB-C ports and USB-A ports, all of those things are fairly distributed . The best part is the price and the design.
The Totu USB-C Hub is priced just below $30, which makes it a pretty good deal.
However, the hub is not as slim as the Anker hub in the list above, primarily for the addition of so many ports. At the same time, do remember not to use any converter while connecting the hub as it can cause it to malfunction.
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3. VAVA USB-C Hub
Ports: 2 x USB 3.0 , 1 x USB 2.0, 4K HDMI, 1 x RJ 45 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x SD/TF card slot
Another affordable but highly functional USB-C hub is the Vava USB-C Hub. It comes with a total of 8 ports and has a mix of USB 3.0 and USB-C ports to connect your wired accessories. You will find a single HDMI port to extend or duplicate the display and the good news is that it supports 4K. The slightly bad news is that you will get UHD resolution only at 30Hz like the rest of the hubs above.
The HDMI connection works flawlessly. Again, like the other adapters, you have to make sure that the USB-C port on your laptop supports USB alt mode, or else you won't be able to extend or duplicate the display.
While the USB-C port can provide power up to 100W, you can also use it to power another display. For that, you will either need a USB-C to HDMI adapter to make the transition. Again, do make sure not to overload the hub when using an adapter.
The Vava USB-C hub is designed well, has a flat design, and matches most business laptops' looks. And hey, the USB 3.0 ports support high-speed data transfers as well.
4. Aukey USB-C Hub
Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x VGA, 1 x Ethernet, 2 x HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x SD/TF card slot
The Aukey USB-C Hub takes things to the next level. This 12-in-1 hub not only lets you effortlessly transfer data or connect your accessories but also displays 4K content at 60Hz. There's a slight catch. This Aukey USB-C hub only works at its best when connected to Thunderbolt 3 ports. This means you will either need to have a Mac or one of the HP laptops that supports Thunderbolt 3.
If you are a Windows user, you can use the MST or Multi Stream Transport, and it supports up to three monitors in both extend mode and mirror mode.
Aside from the above, it brings you a wealth of ports. There's a VGA port as well, should you have a slightly older monitor with you.
It has received many reviews so far, with users liking it for its performance and flexibility. The ability to connect your wired accessories, hard drives, or driving a couple of external displays is what makes this USB-C hub popular among its user base.
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5. Belkin USB-C Hub
Ports: 2 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 1 xHDMI, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x SD card slot
The Belkin USB-C hub keeps things calm and simple. It may not have all the frills such as VGA ports or dual HDMI ports, but it has what it takes to make a laptop versatile. It bundles a single HDMI port and a couple of USB-A ports along with the aforementioned Ethernet port.
Again, you won't get the 60Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution, but you will be able to get the full refresh rates on lower resolutions.
More importantly, this USB-C hub also lets you charge your laptop at 60W. While it may not be enough for your MacBook Pro, it's enough to sustain it.
Being a Belkin device, it's sure not one of the affordable ones out there. But if you want the durability and the premium look that Belkin offers, this one isn't a bad deal, especially f you are looking to keep things simple.
6. Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter
Ports: 1 x 4K HDMI, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x USB-C Pass-Through, 1 x SD Card Reader, 3 x USB 3.0
Last but not least, we have Satechi's Multi-Port Adapter. This one is the most expensive one on the list, but you can rest assured that it offers a solid performance. Plus, this one brings a premium look to the table with its flat design and low-profile design. Again, it's not the one for you if you plan to run a 4K display at 60Hz.
At the same time, you can worry less about charging since it bundles passthrough charging of 60W.
But for its price, there are some limitations. For one, there are no extra USB-C ports for high-speed transfers. Instead, you will have to make do with the three USB 3.0 ports.
Do note that this Satechi hub doesn't play well with the new 2020 Macbook Pro.
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Enter the Flexibility
The best thing about USB-C hubs is that they add flexibility to your laptop at a much reasonable cost than laptop docking stations. Plus, they are super lightweight, which makes them ultra-portable. All you need to do is throw them in your laptop bag, and that's about it.
The mantra is to pick a USB-C hub with a mix of good high-speed USB ports and ports for video signals. After all, connecting your keyboards or mouse is also a priority.
Most of these USB-C hubs do not support 4K at 60Hz. However, if that's your first priority have a look at the article below to see some of the best laptop docking stations.
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