The best USB-C hubs and dongles answer the question: How do I connect printers, mice, and keyboards to my laptop if it doesn’t have a rectangular USB-A port?
A good USB-C hub or dongle is relatively cheap, but adds a smorgasbord of additional ports for memory sticks, cards, display connections, and more. Our recommendations dive into the benefits of each dongle, which we’ve tested and reviewed in all cases.
We’ve organized our USB-C recommendations this way: traditional USB-C hubs on top, followed by our picks for the best USB-C docking stations. USB-C ports can conceal even more capabilities, and one of the more recent innovations has been the emergence of DisplayLink docks, which use a special compression chip to push more data over the connection. More advanced features lie within the best Thunderbolt docks, which we’ve listed separately.
It can all be a little confusing, so we’ve included an expanded FAQ and a buying guide at the bottom. Here’s the short answer: If you want to connect your laptop to a printer, an SD card or microSD card, mouse, keyboard, or leg-acy 1080p monitor, stick with a 10Gbps USB-C hub. If you want to add a pair of additional displays (especially 4K), or high-speed SSD drives, we’d recommend you look at our list of 10Gbps DisplayLink docks at the bottom of this page or 40Gbps Thunderbolt docking stations. Generally, the larger, powered docks offer more features, but that may change.
We frequently review new products, but they don’t always deliver enough to make it to this list of recommended USB-C hubs. StarTech’s USB-C Triple Monitor Hub, which we reviewed in late October, didn’t quite make the cut, largely because of the strength of the competition.
Anker 7-in-1 USB-C Hub (A83460A2)
Can a USB-C hub feel elegant? This one does. Anker’s 7-in-1 USB-C hub feels surprisingly weighty (3.5 ounces), with a premium metallic (aluminum and polycarbonate) sheen. It’s also a bit more expensive than its rivals. Anker’s hub was among the coolest we’ve tested under load, at about 87 degrees.
Overall, Anker’s hub is well designed, with adequate spacing between the two 5Gbps USB-A ports. There’s also a 5Gbps USB-C connection for data, plus a second USB-C port for power input at up to 85W rated. (The charger allows up to 100W in, but supplies 85W.) An HDMI port allows for 4K/30Hz video or 1080p/60Hz video to a single external display, standard for the category. Ethernet is excluded, however, so you’ll need to use Wi-Fi instead. Cord length is about 8.5 inches, above the standard 6-inch length.
Anker’s hub was among the fastest we tested to deliver data under load, including simultaneous data transfer between USB-A ports while the SD ports were active. The hub offers an 18-month warranty, and it even ships with a carrying pouch.
Yeolibo 9-in-1 USB-C Hub (RU9A)
Yeolibo may not be a name you recognize, but this USB-C hub is impressively detailed, with a small but extremely informative manual, clearly labeled ports, and well-rounded functionality.
This hub offers three USB 3.0 (5Gb/s) Type A ports, one USB 2.0 Type A port, a USB-C (5Gb/s) port, a USB-C PD charging port rated at 100W of input power, and an HDMI port. There are also microSD and SD slots capable of SDXC cards up to 2TB and SDR25 (25MB/s) data rates. There’s no ethernet connection. The USB-C cable measures a comfortable six inches, though the connector at the end was a little stiff and took some fiddling to insert.
We didn’t have a 100W USB-C charger on hand to test, but the hub accepted 62.5W from our 65W USB-C charger. It stayed cool throughout. The hub played back protected content via its HDMI port, as expected, but dropped more frames than we hoped for when playing back 4K content over YouTube. (Only 4K30 resolutions are supported, but that’s not unusual.)
Lasuney Triple Display USB Type C HUB
Lasuney’s 10-in-1 hub (two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI 1.2 ports (4K@30Hz), DisplayPort gigabit ethernet, microSD/SD, USB-C power input) offers a lot for your money, including an unusual mix of not one, but two HDMI ports, and even a DisplayPort. Thanks to ethernet support, the hub can replace many of your wired connections. Power input is rated at 100W in, with about 87W available to the laptop.
But the USB-C bus the hub runs on top of simply won’t support all of the ports being used at once, which is a bit of a gotcha. While we really like the pair of HDMI ports for dual-display configurations, the fact is, you’ll probably need to limit yourself to a pair of 1080p displays to avoid saturating the bus and slowing down the connection. Customers on Amazon have reported that they only got one to work, probably because the bus itself was saturated. The other problem we found is that the SD card slot is way too slow. It took twice as long to transfer data compared to other hubs we tested. In all fairness, our other disk-to-disk tests took about the same amount of time.
Lasuney’s hub is well made, with good port spacing. It doesn’t get uncomfortably warm, either. Just be realistic: We really like the flexibility that the Lasuney hub offers, but don’t buy it thinking you’ll be able to use everything at once. If you need that capability, look at one of the more expensive USB-C docking stations, below.
Cyber Acoustics DS-1000 Docking Station
Recent laptops have begun offering a USB-C technology called HBR3 with DSC, which we’ll explain more fully in the sections following our recommendations. The bottom line is that the technology offers something similar to the DisplayLink technology below, but as an industry standard. In our experience, although the technology is somewhat supported in laptops with 11th-gen Core processors, it works best in 12th- or 13th-gen laptops.
This slim plastic dock measures a hair over 6 inches wide and about 3 inches deep. It lacks a stand, and warms rather sharply under load. But it packs a pair of HDMI ports on the rear, four 5Gbps USB-A ports on the back, as well as gigabit ethernet. The USB-C cable, measuring about 2.5 feet, snakes out from the side of the dock. (CA’s manual and documentation is lousy, by the way, so we’re not quite clear what HDMI port technology it uses.) On the front is another USB Type A port and a USB-C port, too.
The latter USB-C port can be used to charge your smartphone, as it puts out 6.7W of charging power, or enough to fast-charge a smartphone. Otherwise, this is a powered dock, and it will supply 90W of charging power to your laptop, too.
Dockcase Smart USB-C Hub 10-in-1 Explorer Edition
Part of me loves the sheer nerdiness of the Dockcase 10-in-1 Dock, if only because I’ve never seen anything like it in terms of the information it offers.
Not only is the hub larger than most, with multiple external connectors that designate a premium hub, but there’s an actual display: a small LCD screen that provides a detailed look at what devices are connected to each port and what their capabilities are. Put another way, the Dockcase Smart USB-C Hub 10-in-1 feels more like an OBD2 diagnostic device for your car, or a USB multimeter.
As a dock, it’s excellent. As a tool, it can use some improvement: The interface is extremely clunky, and Dockcase really doesn’t even have a manual that explains it all.
IOGEAR Travel Pro USB-C Mini Dock (GUD3C460)
At 2.8 x 0.31 x 1.22 inches, IOgear’s Travel Pro Mini Dock is an odd duck: an inexpensive, relatively tiny USB-C dock that plugs directly into your laptop, without a connecting cord.
“There’s no way this will work,” you might think—but it does, with just enough room for your laptop’s USB-C charger to sneak in one side of the dock, next to an HDMI cord, then a USB key or cord, and a 3.5mm jack. (The Mini Dock supports up to 60W of power in from an external charger.)
That’s fine, of course, if your laptop’s USB-C port is all by its lonesome. Otherwise, the Travel Pro Mini Dock will block ports as it tries to offer expansion capabilities—and that’s a problem for laptops like the Asus ZenBook, which forego a 3.5mm headphone jack but cram their USB-C ports too close together to make IOgear’s dock feasible.
Ugreen 9-in-1 USB-C (Revodok) Docking Station CM615
This is our top pick for an upgraded DisplayLink dock, which has its own pros and cons—slightly more expensive than a USB-C docking station, but more features, too.
Ugreen’s 9-in-1 USB-C docking station is typical of the brand: quality design and manufacture, obtuse naming, and pricing that seems to vary from one vendor to the next. But this DisplayLink dock offers an excellent mix of port flexibility at a solid price. There is one catch: It lacks any power input at all, and you’ll need to use your laptop’s USB-C power supply (or buy one) to charge both this dock and the laptop itself.
Sonnet Echo 13 Triple 4K Display Dock
Sonnet’s Echo 13 Triple 4K Display Dock’s built-in compression means you can connect to three 4K displays, without penalty. And yes, it works as advertised, though with one issue that holds it back: spotty audio that really needs to be fixed. (If you use your laptop’s headphone jack, there’s no issue.) But this DisplayLink dock gets it done.
There was a tiny bit of instability, but performance was excellent. If this dock doesn’t suit you, Plugable’s UD-650PDZ offes triple-display alternative. The advantage Sonnet provides is a front-mounted USB-C charging/data port (Plugable’s dock does not) and a SD card slot.