With devices listed above, you can connect up to 4 display monitors: 1 native + 3 externals via DisplayLink technology.
You have to have device that supports DisplayLink technology.
To a surprise to many, new M1 MacBooks have hardware limitation of only 1 native display.
If you do have MacBook powered by M1 chip and you are trying to connect the second additional display - you are blocked by hardware limitation of new Macs.
Refer to DisplayLink page, select your operating system and download required drivers (DisplayLink Manager).
You need USB-C Multiport Adapter to do so. But If you don't have it already, we suggest considering hub or a docking station instead.
Yes - it's possible BUT only with specific devices. We have listed most of compatible ones above.
DisplayLink technology creates a "fake" display buffer in RAM in order to overcome hardware limitations. Refer to the official site and FAQ for more information.
Overall quality is good for a daily use. There could be a slight difference between natively connected display and software accelerated one. Most of the devices can run 2.5k at 50-60 Hz - make sure to check those details directly on a product page.
What we liked
Why you should trust me
I’ve been covering mobile and computer accessories for more than a decade. During my tenure, I’ve reviewed more than 1,000 iOS and Mac products, including dozens of hubs and docks over several iterations of this guide.
Who this is for
USB-C hubs and docks let you hook your old stuff up to your new stuff. Many new computers, including Apple’s MacBook models and Dell’s XPS 13, have only USB-C ports. If you need to connect flash drives, printers, an Ethernet cable, a display, or any other accessories you already own, a USB-C hub or dock lets you hook them all up to a single USB-C port at once. If you just need more USB-A ports, a hub or dock that accepts that cable standard is still a great choice.
If you’re looking for a more-powerful desktop docking option and your computer’s USB-C ports also support Thunderbolt 3, you might consider a Thunderbolt 3 dock, which can connect to more monitors and transfer data faster, though you have to pay quite a bit more for the privilege. If you’re simply looking for a way to get more USB-C ports, unfortunately you’re out of luck: As of mid-2021, we have yet to find any USB-C hubs or docks that add extra USB-C data ports.
How we picked
We researched and tested hubs with a number of different port layouts, ranging from models with just USB-A ports to those with USB-A plus power pass-through, video output, Ethernet connectors, and SD card slots.
We tested each hub with a MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019). Our tests included the following:
- USB-A speed: Although USB-A ports generally don’t support data-transfer rates as fast as those of USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 connectors, it’s still important to be able to transfer data quickly. We ran AJA System Test speed tests using the Samsung T5 Portable SSD (500 GB) to measure transfer speeds. Since SSDs are faster than spinning hard drives, our use of the T5 ensured that the speeds we measured weren’t hindered by the drive. Most of the hubs we tested advertised USB 3.0 speeds, which max out at 640 megabytes per second on paper. Our measured speeds landed largely in the 400 to 425 MB/s range; we eliminated any model that was noticeably slower.
- HDMI: A hub can be very useful at a desk, especially if you want to hook your computer up to an external monitor. We connected each of the hubs via HDMI to a Philips 272P7VUBNB/27 monitor with the resolution set to 4K, and we used the Blur Busters UFO Motion Test to confirm the refresh rate. Most hubs support only a 30 Hz refresh rate (the image refreshes 30 times a second) at 4K resolution, but a handful now support a smoother 60 Hz rate, and we prefer those hubs that do.
- Ethernet: A wired Ethernet connection is almost always faster than Wi-Fi and is more reliable, too. Most hubs with Ethernet ports support gigabit speeds, meaning data can transfer at up to 1,000 megabits a second. For each model in the test group, we verified the connection speed in Network Utility on a Mac, which displays the maximum link speed. (Note that unless you have reliable Gigabit Ethernet service, you won’t be able to measure if the port is actually performing at full speed.)
- Heat: Because hubs and adapters can get hot during use—especially, judging from our experience, when Ethernet is in use—we also measured the temperatures of our picks with an infrared thermometer after 15 minutes of continuous data and Ethernet use to make sure they weren’t dangerously hot. As a representative from Satechi (a prolific hub and accessory maker responsible for one of our former picks) explained to us: “All the bandwidth that goes to Ethernet, HDMI, USB and SD card ports requires energy consumption and that’s transferred to heat. Operating temperatures between 86-122 degrees Fahrenheit … are normal.” We didn’t measure anything at or even close to 122 degrees, but we would have disqualified any model going over that temperature as a safety hazard.
- Power pass-through: All the hubs we considered also have a USB-C port that allows you to plug in your charger without taking up a second port on the computer itself (if it even has a second port). USB-C supports power at up to 100 watts, while laptops take anywhere from 30 watts (for a small machine such as the MacBook Air) to 45 watts (for many midrange laptops, as Chromebooks tend to be) to 97 watts (for the 16-inch MacBook Pro). We’ve found the Power tab in macOS’s System Report to accurately report the wattage of the power source, and in our tests we compared the figures stated there against what each company advertised.
- SD card: Photo and video files can be quite large, so with a fast SD-card transfer rate you won’t have to wait around to import a day’s worth of shots from your card. Since SD cards are less commonly used than USB ports these days, this feature isn’t as important. We ran AJA System Test on a 64 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro, the fastest UHS-I card we tested in 2020. We’ve measured read and write rates with this card at 93.78 MB/s and 84.58 MB/s, respectively, in other tests; with these hubs, the fastest read speeds were about 89 MB/s, and write speeds reached 75 MB/s.
- microSD card: Taking what we knew about SD cards, we applied the same thinking toward microSD cards, which are used less frequently these days and are naturally slower. We ran the same test as above using the SanDisk MicroSDXC card for Nintendo Switch. Figures for the best-performing hubs came close to what we’ve seen in other tests, with read speeds around 89 MB/s and write speeds maxing out at about 59 MB/s.
We also took size into consideration. People often use their hubs with a portable setup, so the smaller and lighter a hub is, the better.
The best USB-C hub: Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C PD 10Gbps Data Hub
Unlike other hubs we tested, the Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C PD 10Gbps Data Hub can send a clear, crisp image to high-resolution 4K monitors without sacrificing the smooth movement and animation of a high screen-refresh rate. It’s the best way to add the widest array and greatest number of the fastest ports to your USB-C–based computer. Plus, the sturdy and highly portable design makes it handy on the go or even as a semipermanent desk accessory.
Ports and features
The most noteworthy feature of the PowerExpand 8-in-1 is the video output from its HDMI port. Since this product category launched, we’ve been disappointed to see that every hub has limited its video signal to a 30 Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution. But this Anker hub is one of a handful of newer models that—finally—allow for 60 Hz, so they permit 60 refreshes of the display per second, or double the number of images per second compared with a 30 Hz refresh rate. The result is an experience as smooth as you get on the screens of most laptops, and it’s far nicer than the jerkier 30 Hz movement we’re used to.
|Read (MB/s)||Write (MB/s)|
Read and write speeds on the Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 Data Hub, in megabytes per second.
There are some kinds of ports that all hubs must have, and some that are nice but not necessary; the PowerExpand 8-in-1 hub has the essentials and omits anything superfluous. In our tests, this Anker model’s ports worked as expected. Its USB read and write speeds were faster than those of USB 3.1 Gen 1 models (that is, pretty much all the other hubs we tested) by about 22% for reading data and 12% for writing—on a par with the speeds of other USB 3.2 Gen 2 models we’ve tested. The Ethernet port, which is useful if you need a hardwired internet connection, measured at 1 gigabit per second, as advertised.
From left: the PowerExpand 8-in-1’s HDMI port and its USB-C data and PD ports. Photo: Michael Hession
From left: the PowerExpand 8-in-1’s microSD and SD card slots and its USB-A ports. Photo: Michael Hession
The PowerExpand 8-in-1’s Ethernet connector. Photo: Sarah Kobos
The PowerExpand 8-in-1 also has SD and microSD card slots on one edge for photo and video transfers. Their speeds match the fastest we’ve seen in our tests over the past several years.
When we connected Nekteck’s 100W PD 3.0 GaN Wall Charger to the hub, our 16-inch MacBook Pro reported receiving 85 watts—enough for the MacBook Pro to stay powered and to charge at just a little slower than full speed. The PowerExpand 8-in-1 can pass enough power for most laptops to charge at full speed, whether the laptop is a Chromebook, an ultrabook, or just about any smaller MacBook.
This aluminum hub is a bit larger than comparable devices, at 4.8 inches long, 2.2 inches wide, and 0.6 inch thick. Its 7-inch USB-C cable is long enough that you should be able to position the hub as needed, and the cable feels sturdy but not so stiff that it’s hard to keep the cord where you want it.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
This Anker hub’s price has jumped dramatically in 2021, from a usual selling price of $60 to $90 at this writing. Such a price hike isn’t unique to this particular product or to Anker, though, as chip shortages, shipping delays, and Amazon’s brand delistings have thrown a major wrench into the works for hubs and docks. If you can’t justify spending nearly $100 on a hub, consider our budget pick.
The PowerExpand 8-in-1’s two USB-A ports are somewhat tightly arranged side by side, so you may not be able to connect multiple flash drives or thicker plugs at a time.
Like many USB-C hubs we’ve tested, the PowerExpand 8-in-1 gets hot during use. We measured it at 108.7 °F after 15 minutes with the USB-C power cable and a USB drive plugged in. That’s warm enough to be noticeable when you touch the hub, but not so much that it’s dangerous—as we noted above, that’s within the normal operating temperature for this kind of accessory. Your laptop’s charger probably gets hotter than that.
A great array of data ports at a lower price: Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C PD Media Hub
If you need to hook up a lot of USB-A accessories at once: Anker 10-Port 60W USB 3.0 Hub
The Anker 10-Port 60W USB 3.0 Hub is the best hub for most people who need to connect a lot of devices at once. It has a great, usable design that most competitors lack: Sporting seven upright-facing USB-A data ports (3.1 Gen 1) plus three USB-A charging ports each capable of supplying 12 watts, it’s one of the few multiport USB-A hubs we trust that are still available as USB-C becomes the new standard.
We connected seven of our favorite flash drives to the hub and transferred data to them while also charging an iPad on one of the hub’s charging ports. It was just as speedy as the best of the other large hubs we tested—but they all had worse designs in one way or another.
All 10 of the hub’s ports face upward to reduce desk clutter, so you don’t have a bunch of USB plugs sticking out in every direction. Although Anker advertises the three charging ports as providing 2.1 amps (or 10.5 watts) each, we measured them at 2.4 amps each (12 watts). Anker told us that when all the ports are in use, individual ports “might not reach the max 2.4A value,” so the company under-promises on performance. This hub’s measured results indicate that it can charge even power-hungry tablets, as well as smartphones and other devices, at fast rates. (There’s no harm in plugging your phone into a 12-watt charging port—the phone will draw only as much current as it needs.) This Anker hub also kept all our devices connected and charging—we didn’t experience any unexplained disconnections during our tests. And the charging ports work even if the hub is connected only to its AC adapter and not to a computer.
It’s still just a black rectangle, but it’s sturdy, designed with an LED indicator for each data port, and equipped with lengthy AC and USB cords for easy setup. It’s also covered by an 18-month warranty. Note that this 10-port hub comes with a USB-A cable, so if you’re looking to connect it to a USB-C–based computer, you’ll need a USB-C–to–USB-B cable.
Anker’s USB hubs are especially reliable. One Wirecutter editor has been actively using a variant of this pick since 2013, and it’s still working well, so we’re confident this hub will last you.
Ugreen’s 9-in-1 USB C Hub was our former upgrade pick for an Ethernet connection, but like all of the other models we’ve dismissed, its video output is limited to 30 Hz at high resolution.
Vava’s VA-UC010 and Aukey’s Link PD Pro USB-C Hub (CB-C71) are a little slower than our picks. Of their three USB-A ports, only two support USB 3.0 speeds, with the last limited to 2.0 rates. But they each have an Ethernet port, so if that’s of value to you and one of these models pops up at a great price, go for it.
Aukey’s 12-in-1 USB-C Hub (CB-C78) is large and expensive—for the price, you get two HDMI ports and four USB-A ports, among others. In our testing, its SD and microSD read and write speeds were much slower than those of other models.
Despite advertising 60-watt power pass-through, Anker’s PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Hub (similarities in name aside, this model is different from our budget pick) put out only 48 watts in our tests.
Twelve South’s StayGo comes with both a short USB-C cable (which you can store inside the unit) and a longer cable; the combination allows you to easily use the hub at your desk or on the go. Unfortunately, at 5 inches long and 2.4 inches wide, this model is larger than most of the hubs we’ve seen, and in our testing it didn’t produce a proper 30 Hz refresh rate even at 1080p resolution, let alone 60 Hz at 4K. It’s also the most expensive hub we tested.
Kingston’s Nucleum is one of the few USB-C hubs to feature a USB-C data port in addition to one for power, but it lacks an Ethernet connection. If you value that extra USB-C port and don’t need Ethernet, consider it.
About your guide
Nick Guy is a senior staff writer covering Apple and accessories at Wirecutter. He has been reviewing iPhones, iPads, and related tech since 2011—and stopped counting after he tested his 1,000th case. It’s impossible for him not to mentally catalog any case he sees. He once had the bright idea to build and burn down a room to test fireproof safes.
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Best Thunderbolt 3 docks for your new Mac with the M1 processor
Apple announced a series of new Macs running Apple Silicon, but they have limited ports. AppleInsider has gathered the best Thunderbolt 3 docks to pair with your new Mac.
The new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini have only two Thunderbolt 3 ports for charging and connecting peripherals. If you need to connect more to your devices, you'll need a dedicated hub.
The Mac mini has an additional auxiliary jack, Ethernet port, HDMI port, and two USB-A ports, but for some desktop users this still won't be enough.
You can find dozens of docks online, but very few will actually meet an individuals requirements. So it is important to understand why you'd want a dock and what to look for when shopping before even making a purchase.
Read below to find out more about Thunderbolt 3 docks, or skip ahead to the list of docks recommended by AppleInsider.
What does a Thunderbolt 3 dock do?
You'll probably need more than just the two ports on the MacBook Air with an M1 processor
Simply put, a Thunderbolt 3 dock plugs into a Thunderbolt 3 port via USB-C, and in exchange provides a multitude of other connections. Think of it as a USB hub, but instead of simply providing more of the same port, the dock usually includes a selection of commonly-used connections, alongside another Thunderbolt 3-capable port.
This selection typically includes USB Type-A ports, USB-C, video outputs like DisplayPort or HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, and memory card slots. Some models also offer legacy connections, including eSATA, VGA, and occasionally FireWire, which may have limited utility for most users, but could be essential for people with older hardware that simply doesn't support newer variants.
Some Thunderbolt 3 docks offer Power Delivery too, which means your portable Macs will be able to receive power via the dock, as well as power all peripherals without draining the battery. The single cable will attach you to all of your needs without fighting cables or finding outlets.
Even though many docks offer multiple video connections like HDMI and Displayport, your M1 powered Mac can only connect to one external display via Thunderbolt.
Why do I need one?
The Mac mini with an M1 processor has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI port, and two USB-A ports
The simplest answer is to have more connection options. Each of the new M1 powered Macs have only two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be rather limiting. Even with the Mac mini's additional ports, users may need even more ports or legacy connections in order to get the job done.
There's also something to be said about using it as a central docking point for a home setup. If the display, network, external drives, speakers, and peripherals are all connected up to the dock, the user could simply connect all of them at once to the MacBook Pro using a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. One cable attachment and you're fully connected to everything, even if you're using an 18-port hub.
This fast connection is also accompanied by a quick disconnection routine, as users could simply unplug the dock and take their MacBook Pro with them, while still leaving a fully-usable desktop setup at home or in the office, ready and waiting for their return.
What should I look for?
The MacBook Pro with an M1 processor has two Thunderbolt 3 ports
The first consideration is what ports are required. This will largely be determined by the user's present hardware needs, though they will also have to take into account any future items they may need ports for. It's typically better to go over the top with ports than to stick with just what you need.
Don't be afraid to "future proof" either. Just because you don't need a certain port now doesn't mean that you won't need it later. Consider all possibilities, especially with relatively new specs.
In the same vein, remember to take into account the data needs of the devices that you are plugging into the dock. Thunderbolt 3 offers 40Gbps of bandwidth, which is a considerable amount to use, but while it is more than enough for a Gigabit Ethernet connection, a display, and a smattering of slower connections, it can still be overwhelmed in some situations.
Remember to take advantage of the second Thunderbolt 3 port too. Connect a bunch of peripherals to the dock then leave that spare Thunderbolt 3 port for a direct connection to your external storage for optimum speeds.
Take note of what wattage your device needs to receive a charge before buying a dock with Power Delivery. In effect, you need a dock with at least 30W power delivery to fully power a MacBook Air, a 60W version for a 13-inch MacBook Pro, 87W for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and 96W for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The Mac mini is constantly connected to power so you don't need Power Delivery if purchasing for that machine.
And finally, pay attention to the specifications of the dock's ports. If you need DisplayPort or want to connect HDMI2.0 via your dock, look for those specs. Some USB-A ports will be USB 2.0 and not the faster USB 3.2, so know your needs there. If connecting a microphone or keyboard, USB 2.0 is fine, but anything else may want a better spec.
|Elgato 4-in-1 Mini dock||The Elgato Mini Dock has four basic ports for your convenience and an integrated cable for improved portability. It has a Displayport, HDMI, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.||$99.99|
|OWC Mini 5-in-1 dock||The OWC mini dock has two HDMI ports, one USB 3 Type-A port, one USB 2 Type-A port, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. While you'll only be using one of the HDMI ports, it can output 4K video and connect two more devices. It connects to your Mac via an integrated Thunderbolt 3 cable.||$119.99|
|Anker 7-in-1 mini dock||This compact Anker dock is equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, USB-C and USB-A data ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet port, and SD card/microSD card slots. It can charge your device up to 45W, unless every port is in use, then it only outputs 36W.||$149.99|
|The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Hub is unique in that it offers multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports. It has the single Thunderbolt 3 input port that connects to your Mac and three Thunderbolt 3 ports for output. They all support the 40GBps transfer rate, and M1 Macs can connect the single monitor and two additional peripherals. This dock also has a USB 3.2 Type-A port.||$149.99|
|Belkin Core 7-in-1 dock||The Belkin Core dock has one USB Type-C port, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, one HDMI 2.0 port, one DisplayPort 1.4, one 3.5mm Audio in/out, and one Gigabit Ethernet port. It has an integrated Thunderbolt 3 cable and can power your Mac up to 60W.||$166.07|
|Anker 13-in-1 dock||This expansive Anker dock is equipped with an 85W laptop-charging Thunderbolt 3 port, a 15W Thunderbolt 3 port, an 18W Power Delivery USB-C port, a USB-C data port, 3 USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, SD/TF card slots, a 3.5 mm AUX port, and a DC input. It can charge your device up to 85W and simultaneously supply 18W to your iPhone. Ships with an 180W power adapter and Thunderbolt 3 cable.||$249.99|
|Caldigit 15-in-1 dock||The Caldigit dock has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2, five USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C ports, one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, one Gigabit Ethernet port, an UHS-II SD Card Slot, Optical Audio (S/PDIF), and 3.5mm Stereo Audio In & Out. The dock provides 87W output to connected devices, with the secondary Thunderbolt 3 port able to provide 15W too.||$249.99|
|Plugable 14-in-1 dock||The dock features 14 ports, which include a micro SD and SD card reader, a USB-C 10 Gbps port, a USB 3.2 type A 10Gbps port, five USB 3.0 Type A ports, an audio in/out port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two DisplayPorts, two HDMI ports, and a Thunderbolt 3 port that supports 96W of charging and up to 40Gbps transfer speeds.||$299.00|
|Hyperdrive 16-in-1 dock||The HyperDrive 16-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 dock is a monster of a dock, turning one port in your Mac into 16 while also providing 180W of total power to everything connected. This dock features a Thunderbolt 3 port, DisplayPort, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port with 18W PD, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, three USB 2.0 ports, an RJ45 port with Gigabit Ethernet, coaxial connection, optical TOSLINK port, 3.5mm mic/headphone port, an SD and microSD card slot, and the 180W DC power port.||$349.99|
|Belkin Express 9-in-1 dock||The Belkin Express dock has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one Displayport, one Audio in/out port, one Audio out port, and one Gigabit Ethernet port. The dock can output 85W to the connected Mac.||$349.99|
|Elgato Pro 12-in-1 dock||The Elgato Pro dock has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, an SD and Micro SD Card Reader, one Audio I/O, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. This dock provides 85W to the Mac and up to 15W to connected devices.||$349.99|
Again, docks with multiple display-out options will still only support one of those connections at a time when using an M1 powered Mac. Docks with three or more display-out connections may not be worth the extra cash unless they include crucial ports for your work. Dock manufacturers will likely consider this limitation in future models of their Mac-specific docks.
Best USB-C hubs for MacBook Pro in 2021
Apple’s MacBook Pro models have been the best laptops on the market for years with the recent 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 being the cream of the crop (for now). But even the best laptops have their shortcomings.
As good as they are, you’ll find every MacBook Pro’s weakness is its lack of ports. In fact, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 only boasts a headphone jack and a pair of Thunderbolt ports — one of which is used to charge the laptop. This isn’t ideal for those who want to use, well, any other peripheral.
If you want to use a mouse, plug in a different keyboard, or connect your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air to a USB-C monitor, you’ll need to get yourself a USB-C hub. With this nifty connector, you can change how your laptop is used entirely — all by adding the necessary ports.
A USB-C hub will easily let you connect to one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro.
If you’re looking to transform your laptop into a full-blown desktop setup, the best docking stations will do the trick. Better yet, if you're after the best docking stations for MacBook, we've got you covered. At this point, are you asking yourself “what in the world is the difference between a USB-C hub and a docking station?” Here’s a brief explanation.
USB-C Hub vs. Docking Station: What’s the difference?
The difference between these two connectors is, when it comes down to it, minuscule. Both have been designed to extend the range of peripherals your laptop can connect to. While many laptops may already sport multiple ports — from USB-C and HDMI 2.0 to the most recent Thunderbolt 4 connectivity — many of the best laptops sacrifice these for a more stylish, lightweight form factor (we’re looking at you, MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13).
A USB-C hub is mainly used to expand the number of ports on your laptop and is generally powered by the laptop itself. A good hub is typically small and lightweight to match the portability of a laptop, and is perfect for professionals who are constantly on the move. While they mainly offer more USB-A 3.0 ports, seeing as most PC peripherals rely on USB-A connectivity, you’ll find plenty of the best hubs with SD card slots, HDMI and DisplayPort inputs, and Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Docking stations are a step up from USB-C hubs in some ways, but are generally less portable and more expensive. These deliver connectivity for everything, offering upwards of ten ports for all kinds of peripherals. They are mainly used to turn your laptop into a desktop replacement, being able to support up to 8K resolution or dual 4K at 60Hz, audio connectivity, SD card readers, and a lot of USB-A or USB-C devices. Docking stations can power all these at once, along with your laptop, as they are plugged into the wall to deliver power.
If you’re in need of power, the best docking stations will sort you out. However, when it comes to MacBooks, USB-C hubs make for the perfect laptop accessory. Apple’s premium laptops can only connect to a single external display, meaning they don’t require all the ports a docking station boasts. Besides, USB-C hubs are a lot more portable and much easier on the wallet.
Without further ado, check out the best USB-C hubs for Apple’s MacBook Pro.
The best USB-C Hub for MacBook Pro you can buy today
1. Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub
The best overall USB-C hub for MacBooks
Ports: 3 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI v1.4, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x microSD
Reasons to buy
+Multiple ports+4K HDMI support+Small and lightweight+Very affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Dodgy pass-through power delivery
Plugable is known to deliver quality USB-C hubs and docking stations, but its USB-C 7-in-1 Hub knocks it out of the park. At its price (currently listed at $27) and the number of different ports and features it sports, this USB-C hub is a steal.
With three USB 3.0 ports with 5Gbps transfer speeds, HDMI 1.4 connectivity which can support 4K resolution at 30Hz, and two SD card readers, there’s not much else a laptop user who is on the move will need. It’s a shame the USB-C 87W pass-through charging is dodgy, but there are many laptops with a separate power supply for charging, anyway.
See our full Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub review
2. Dell DA300 6-in-1 USB-C Hub
The best portable USB-C hub for MacBook owners
Ports: 1 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x VGA, 1 x RJ45 Ethernet
Reasons to buy
+Wide-variety of ports +Petite design +Concealed cable
Reasons to avoid
-Not enough USB-A ports -Pricey
The Dell DA300 is one of the smallest and most portable USB-C hubs around, thanks to its circular shape and retractable cable. It features an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, a VGA port, an RJ45 Ethernet port, one USB Type-C port, and one USB 3.1 port. While it may not have enough ports, especially when it comes to USB-A, the variety it boasts more than makes up for it. Overall, it's a great USB-C hub to take on the go, as long as you're okay with the relatively steep price.
3. Kensington SD1600P USB-C Mobile Dock
The best hybrid dock for MacBook
Ports: 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen1, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen, 1 x HDMI v1.4, 1 x HD VGA, Gigabit Ethernet Port
Reasons to buy
+USB-C pass-through power +Easily transportable +4K output +Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Could use more ports -Awkward port placement -Flimsy design
The Kensington SD1600P USB-C Mobile Dock is unique as it acts as a viable docking station and an excellent USB-C hub for MacBook users on the move. Its USB-C passthrough power supply and additional ports will free up all your other laptop inputs while charging your laptop and any other devices connected to it. Don’t need a power supply? That’s fine, as it can also be powered by your laptop.
One major downside is the mobile dock’s power pass-through functionality doesn’t work on the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2020). But, it does work with Apple's recent line of M1 Macbook models and other MacBook models.
If you can excuse the awkward port placement and don’t have a 16-inch MacBook Pro (2020), this mobile dock is a solid purchase for traveling professionals.
See our full Kensington SD1600P USB-C Mobile Dock review
4. Kingston Nucleum USB-C hub
Fantastic USB-C hub with plenty of ports
Ports: 2 x USB-A 3.0, 2 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x SD card slot, 1 x microSD card slot
Reasons to buy
+Great selection of ports +Lightweight design +USB-C pass-through charging
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey -Pass-through charging isn’t as powerful
Kingston’s Nucleum USB-C hub is small and slick, with access to two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, an SD card and microSD card slot, one USB-C with 60W pass-through charging, and one regular USB-C port. It doesn’t feel too lightweight or cheaply made, and even the cable is sturdy. The Nucleum is an overall quality hub, but it is pretty expensive considering the pass-through power it delivers isn’t as high as other USB-C hubs.
5. Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C Hub
Quality USB Type-C hub for MacBook users
Ports: 2 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x SD card slot, 1 x microSD card slot, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
Reasons to buy
+Port variety +USB-C pass-through charging +4K output +Ethernet connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-USB-C port only for power delivery
This Anker USB-C hub delivers great power in such a lightweight device, thanks to its multiple ports and USB-C pass-through power delivery. With two USB 3.0 ports, 4K output at 30Hz, both kinds of SD card readers, and even a Gigabit Ethernet cable connectivity for those looking for faster internet speeds, MacBook owners won’t be disappointed.
However, keep in mind that its USB-C port is solely used for power delivery and not data transfer, which means you won’t get any added USB-C connectivity once you plug it in. That said, that’s what the other USB-C port on your MacBook is for.
6. Euasoo 9-in-1 USB-C Hub
A brilliant USB Type-C hub with a few hiccups
Ports: 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45 Ethernet, 1 x SD card slot, 1 x microSD card slot, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
Reasons to buy
+A huge amount of ports +USB-C pass-through for charging
Reasons to avoid
-Audio jack is unreliable
The Euasoo hub has a slim, sleek design with a plentiful amount of ports for a decent price. That includes a USB-C charging port, three USB 3.0 ports, a 4K HDMI port, RJ45 Ethernet port, a microSD card slot, an SD card slot, and a headphone/mic jack.
The spacing between the USB ports is enough so that the connectors don’t touch, but the wire connecting to the laptop is annoyingly short. We also found that the audio jack was unreliable in producing sound through both left and right earphones, as the right ear would only produce sound if I held the cord a certain way and even the mic won’t work at all.
7. Landhoo 5-in-1 USB Type-C Hub
An slick and adaptable USB-Type C Hub
Ports: 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x SD card slot, 1 x microSD card slot, 1 x USB Type-C (charging)
Reasons to buy
+Fits nicely with MacBook Pro+Type-C charging port+Adds HDMI, SD memory ports
Reasons to avoid
-Not the strongest connection
You may not have heard of accessory-maker Landhoo before, but this snap-on hub, available in silver, space gray, black, gold and rose gold, is starting the company out on the right foot with us.
Not only does it offer an HDMI output port, dual USB 3.0 ports, an SD memory reader, and a microSD memory reader, but its pass-through-charging Type-C port means it's good for those with only one Type-C port. The only thing we disliked is that its connection didn't feel as stable as others, as it jiggled uncomfortably when trying to connect to different devices.
M1 macbook hub pro
The best USB-C adapters October 2021: top deals on USB-C hubs for Macbook Pro and lapto users
These days, the best USB-C hubs are now a vital part of any setup, especially portable ones. While devices are getting slimmer and more portable for convenience, the number of ports they’re making available to their users are also dwindling – as is the variety, with more and more laptops now relying on the power of USB-C.
That’s great and all – USB-C connections are much faster and more reliable, after all – but many peripherals still rely on USB Type-A, HDMI or other types of connections. That’s where the best USB-C hubs come in. They’ll let you expand the number of ports you’ll have access to as well as give you a great variety as well, making your setup a bit more versatile.
It’s never been more important to invest in one of the best USB-C hubs and docks. In fact, we at TechRadar rely on them ourselves for our daily workloads, which means we know which ones work and which ones don’t. We’ve even collected our favorite ones right here.
If you’re looking for a USB-C display, take a look at ourbest monitor for MacBook Pros guide. We'll also be rounding up all the top offers we spot throughout Black Friday 2021 once the sales get underway in the coming weeks.
- These are our top picks for the best mouse in 2021
The best USB-C adapter deals
Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Adapter
The best USB-C adapter at an affordable price
Ports: 1x USB-C data, 1x USB-C charging, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1 4K HDMI port, a micro SD card slot, and an SD card slot | Passthrough charging: No | Weight: 99g | Power: 85W
A variety of ports
No USB 3.0 passthrough charging
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a deal on USB-C hubs better than Anker’s PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C Adapter. This portable hub pretty much has you set on all the ports you’ll need, including a 4K HDMI port and USB-C charging.
That makes this an indispensable tool for creative professionals who need a variety of ports for their variety of devices. Best of all, it’s also incredibly lightweight at 99g, which makes it easy to slip into one of your laptop bag pockets without adding to the weight when you’re commuting or traveling. Of course, it also comes with Anker’s 18-month warranty so you can swap yours out if it stops working.
Kingston Nucleum USB-C hub
Best cheap USB-C hub with pass-through charging
Ports: 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x SD card slot, 1x microSD card slot, 2x USB-C | Passthrough charging: Yes | Weight: 136g | Power: 60W
Good range of ports
Less power than others
The Kingston Nucleum USB-C hub covers a massive variety of bases. Not only are you getting plenty of ports here, but with passthrough charging you'll still have access to your USB-C port as well. That's particularly important if you're working with a machine with only one port available in the first place.
It's a little pricier for that extra charging capability, but we regularly see this model on sale as well, so if you spot a price below that $49.99 / £49.99 MSRP we'd recommend jumping on it.
Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter
The best USB-C adapter for Apple fans
Ports: Thunderbolt USB-C, 1 USB 3.0, 4K HDMI | Passthrough charging: Yes | Weight: 23g
Official high quality-build Apple product
Not many ports
If you're a loyal Apple superfan then you'll be wanting the official Apple USB-C adapter for your MacBook or MacBook Pro. There's no denying the excellent build quality Apple provides on its hardware and accessories, but this is very much a case of paying more for the label rather than the usefulness of the product itself. This official option is seriously lacking ports compared to the other USB-C adaptors on this page, which are often cheaper too. If you only need the three though and want the reliability of an official product, then you'll find the best prices below.
Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD
The best USB-C hub for smaller desks
Ports: Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), three USB-A 3.0 (1.5A charging each), display, audio in/out, audio out, Gigabit ethernet | Display support: Dual 4K (60fps), Single 5K (30fps) | Data transfer speed: 40Gbps | Cable length: 1m
Small form factor
Double previous transfer speeds
More expensive than previous model
It might be one of the smallest USB-C hubs around, but the Beklin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD is packed with ports and supports full-strength passthrough charging. The smaller form-factor is certainly worth considering if you're going to need it away from the desk too. Belkin have been one of the most reliable manufacturers of third-party Apple products for years if you're looking for a little extra assurance. The main improvement over the older (and admittedly cheaper) Thunderbolt 2 [UK price / US price] is the doubling of the file transfer speed to 40Gbps.
Dell DA300 6-in-1 USB-C hub
The best USB-C adapter for traveling
Ports: 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x VGA, 1x RJ45 Ethernet, 1x USB Type-C, 1x USB 3.1 | Passthrough charging: Yes | Weight: 79g
Compact and lightweight
A little pricey
No MicroSD or SD card ports
If you're looking for a powerful USB-C hub that will sit just as nicely on your desk as it will your backpack, this Dell DA300 offers a wide range of ports and an extendable cable that provides excellent flexibility as well. Though it's a little pricier than smaller options, you're getting both DisplayPort and Ethernet connectivity here, though sacrificing MicroSD and SD Card functionality.
This is one for hooking up your laptop to new systems quickly and easily, rather than offering extra ports for photography or media editing.
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