As laptops get smaller and thinner, more and more applause is found in their port selection – this can be quite frustrating for those working from home and wrestling towards the best setup. Many ultraportable laptops have worked with Ethernet and HDMI ports, while a few have gone further, except for old-school USB ports for newer USB-C slots. So what do you do when you don’t have enough connections to your old peripherals, external monitor or SD card? Okay, you can grab a dongle for that one device – USB-C to HDMI and USB-C to USB-A adapters are a dime a dozen – or you can get a docking station to rule them all Can.
Simply put, a USB hub or docking station, through an adapter, expands the number of ports on your laptop. So you can connect multiple USB devices, SD cards, HDMI displays, Ethernet connections or other devices to your laptop after plugging that laptop into just one USB port on your laptop. Some may allow you to charge your laptop through them, your actual laptop can plug into the charger hub itself.
Best USB Hub Composite: Anchor
1. Anchor 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub
For laptops that do not have enough USB ports, grab this simple 4-port USB hub from the anchor. It is slim, inexpensive and supports USB 3.0 speed to quickly transfer data to your flash drive. It also receives a 4.7-star average rating from over 50,000 reviewers on Amazon. Anchor has a more desktop-friendly model if you want something simple to access in your workspace.
Best 8-in-1 USB-C Hub: AUKEY
2. aUKEY USB C Hub 8-in-1 adapter with Ethernet port
If you have built yourself a good telecommuting workstation, you may need more than an additional USB port. This 8-in-1AUK hub combines additional USB ports, an Ethernet jack for faster Internet, an HDMI port for your additional monitor, an SD card slot, and a USB-C port for charging in a hub. (USB-C port does not support data transfer, just charging). And it also connects your laptop to USB-C, so it should also work with older models that have dropped the old school USB-A.
Best USB Hub for MacBook: Anchor
3. Acer PowerExpand Direct 8-in-2 USB C Hub for MacBook
USB hubs are useful, but may be a bit clunky for extra hardware flopping around on your desk. That’s why Anchor built all-in-one expansion adapters for the latest MacBooks, allowing you to turn USB devices, SD cards, and an HDMI monitor into a slim hub that’s on the right side of your laptop. To make sure it fits properly on your machine, you can check compatibility on its Amazon page.
Not all hubs are built with different ports with equal spacing.
Simple USB hubs, for example, draw power from the laptop itself and may not be able to provide enough juice to power-hungry peripherals like external DVD drives. In those cases, you’ll either need a USB hub that plugs into the wall – this enables more power to be drawn to those devices – or you’ll need to plug the device into the wall (such as the DVD drive that its Comes with) own power cable).
In addition, some may allow you to plug your laptop’s power adapter into the hub, but it may not charge as quickly or efficiently as if it were plugged directly into the laptop. So your mileage may vary depending on the laptop you use.
Things get even more complicated when you add displays to the mix. Most USB hubs will connect right to the external display, giving you more screen to fit your work. But if you want to connect multiple displays to your laptop – especially high-resolution 4K displays – then you’ll need a hub capable of pushing those pixels. And not all USB hubs.
Best USB Hub and Laptop Razor with Multiple USB Ports: LENTION
4. LENTION USB C 11-in-1 docking station with 100W PD
This multi-port hub of LENTION is extremely versatile, with additional USB ports, an Ethernet port, SD card slot, and multiple display hookups allowing you to connect an external monitor or two – on a stand that your laptop (or phone) keeps. place. Note that while you can hook up multiple monitors to this docking station, not all configurations will necessarily work so check its product page for more information about what type of setup it supports.
Best USB Hub for Most Thunderbolt Power: CalDigit
5.Caldies TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock
If you are a power user with a lot of devices to connect, then you can consider the Thunderbolt dock. Thunderbolt is a more powerful protocol that uses the same connector as USB-C. While they look similar and plug into similar ports, Thunderbolt allows for faster data transfer and more high-resolution displays. You will need thunderbolt on the hub And To work on these features on your laptop, so check your laptop’s special page or manual to see if its ports are Thunderbolt or just USB-C.
At the end of the day, the vast majority of users are going to be fine with a simple, inexpensive USB-C hub like any of the options above. If you have more specific requirements, you may want to search through user reviews for the user cases you plan to encounter – such as running a dual 4K display at 60Hz (some can dock CalDies, but many Other hubs cannot).
But if you occasionally need a flash drive and SD card, find an inexpensive model that fits well in your bag (and on your desk) and you’ll be good to go.
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