USB-C is, in my mind, the point where our USB as a connection standard has reached its peak. We have a small, incredibly fast and REVERSIBLE connection that can run just about anything. It can deliver enough power to charge a laptop and, with the right protocol support, even connect an external GPU. Unfortunately, we are in a transitional phase. There are plenty of devices out there you might want to hook up to your USB-C port that still use the big USB-A connector from the very first iteration of USB.
The problem is that modern Mac hardware has been so forward-thinking that the company has decided to put only USB-C connectors on its products. The Third-generation iPad Pro tablets have ended the reign of the Lightning port, sporting a single USB-C.
That’s fine for a mobile device. For the new generation of Apple laptops, however, the shift to only USB-C ports has been the target of online scorn. If you have an Apple laptop you’ll have one or (at best) two USB-C connectors. Through this single connector, you have to essentially connect all peripherals, which has lead to the rise of the USB-C “dongle” and the #DongleLife hashtag.
But #DongleLife doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you pick the right USB-C hub then you can have the best of both worlds. On the one hand you have a thin, sleek device with only two tiny ports “spoiling” it’s exterior. On the other, you’ll have a compact hub you can throw into your bag which will open up a world of options wherever you go. Or you can permanently set up a hub on your desk and just plug in a single cable to get it all running instantly.
The hubs we are looking at here are some of the most popular on the web. Clearly plenty of people love these devices, but how good are they? Let’s give them a closer look, shall we?