The best USB-C hubs for your laptop or tablet

Connect all of your legacy devices to your modern USB-C notebook.

usb c primary
Mark Hachman / IDG

A USB-C hub is quickly becoming an indispensable piece of gear. Though we like to mock Apple for its rat’s nest of wired dongles for connecting legacy peripherals, more and more PC laptop and tablet makers are adopting USB-C, making it a headache to connect devices like older hard drives or mice.

In fact, most ultrabooks and tablets now include just one or two USB-C ports, often without high-speed Thunderbolt capabilities. Fortunately, there are so many USB-C hubs available with various combinations of legacy I/O that finding one to meet your particular needs is as easy as ordering off a menu: a few USB-A ports here, an SD card slot there, and possibly HDMI and ethernet, too. Some even allow you to charge your laptop via a pass-through USB-C port. 

We’ve divided our picks into two categories: basic and full-featured, with the latter denoting hubs that offer greater extensibility, including charging. Below our picks you can find information on how to choose a USB-C hub and how we tested these hubs in our evaluations.

The best basic USB-C hubs

You shouldn’t have to think too hard about a basic USB-C hub. Look for a good price, consider whether you want to pay a little extra for something like ethernet, and try to find products with a good warranty for added peace of mind. 

Aukey CB-C65 3-Port USB Hub

CB-C65 3-Port USB Hub

If you’re considering a USB-C to USB-A hub like the AmazonBasics L6LUD012-CS-R, it’s worth weighing Aukey’s hub first. That’s because (at press time) Aukey’s hub was cheaper and gave you more: the same three USB-A connections that Amazon offers, plus SD and microSD slots.

While the CB-C65’s compact (3.75 inches long by 1.25 inches wide) plastic casing admittedly looks and feels cheap, it’s not janky. The 7.5-inch cord is longer than most, though the hub may still dangle from the side-mounted USB-C port on many tablets.

There are some quirks. You’ll have to insert the microSD card upside down to put it in, though Aukey thankfully does away with the awkward spring-loaded slot that sucks your card into many competing products. As this is a basic hub, there’s no charging input, which means that your laptop or tablet will need a second USB-C port or a dedicated power cord for charging while using the hub.

We checked the spacing between the two USB ports and SD slot mounted on the hub’s side (a third USB port is on the end) and found it sufficient. Overheating won’t be an issue. Aukey even doubles the 12-month warranty its competitors offer to 24 months.  In all, we believe Aukey’s CB-C65 3-port USB-C hub adds up to a solid value.

 

AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type C to 3 Port USB Hub with Ethernet (L6LUD001-CS-R)

AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type C to 3 Port USB Hub with Ethernet (L6LUD001-CS-R)

The AmazonBasics L6LUD001-CS-R provides three USB 3.1 Type A ports, plus Gigabit ethernet, to your laptop’s existing USB-C port. There’s no HDMI or charging inputs; this is merely an incremental step up from the AmazonBasics L6LUD012-CS-R, which forgoes the ethernet capabilities.

This hub is handy for those who don’t have or don’t trust Wi-Fi on the go; the lengthy 14-inch cord adds some flexibility to your desktop layout. Otherwise, there’s not much to say; the hub performed comparably to the others we’ve tested, and there weren’t any issues with temperature or power.

At press time, the price was only $3 or so above the price of the aforementioned AmazonBasics L6LUD012-CS-R, which makes this a no-brainer if you just want a basic hub. Though the hub ships in both black and white, we noticed Amazon will occasionally discount one or the other by a few dollars.

 

 

The best full-featured USB-C hubs

Upper-tier USB-C hubs typically feature even more ports, including ethernet, HDMI, and power inputs. This is essentially the dongle equivalent of a docking station. Unfortunately, many of these more expensive hubs share the same basic 6-inch cable of their cheaper cousins, meaning that these dongles may still dangle from tablets and some laptops. We tested a variety of hubs to find those we liked best.

VAVA VA-UC008

VAVA VA-UC008
MSRP $59.99
See it

The VAVA VA-UC008 provides virtually all of the connectivity you'll need: three USB-A ports, separate microSD/SD slots, 4K (at 30 Hz) HDMI capabilities, and Gigabit Ethernet. It also allows you to charge your laptop through a separate USB-C power input.

At about five inches long and two inches wide, the VA-UC008 is a bit larger than some other hubs, and the six inches of cord length is still a bit too short if your laptop's USB-C port is mounted alongside the display panel. But the USB-A ports are smartly divvied up so that even fat novelty USB sticks shouldn't interfere with other connectors.

Even under load, the hub's outside temperature never climbed above lukewarm, and the performance was even slightly faster than the competition. The VA-UC008 offers a compete docking station within an attractive, professional chassis that's priced affordably. 

Ucouso UC-H16a

ucouso uc h16a

Ucouso’s UC-H16a USB-C hub provides almost all of the I/O connections of its pricier rivals, but at a fraction of the price. Instead of three USB 3.0 Type A ports, you’ll find two. Nevertheless, the hub includes microSD and SD slots, Gigabit ethernet, and a HDMI (4K at 30Hz) port, plus a dedicated USB-C charging port for charging your laptop.

You’ll appreciate the compact form factor (3.5 inches by about 2 inches), the professional metal chassis, and the optional drawstring travel bag that’s included, too. 

Downsides include no obvious warranty support in the package, though there’s a 12-month warranty advertised via Amazon. Like some other hubs, the SD card can only be inserted upside down. The USB-C cord is a bit less than the standard 6 inches, meaning it may dangle from a tablet’s USB-C port. We’d also prefer three USB ports.

We can overlook these quirks though. In general, the UC-H16a makes excellent use of its available space, and its performance was on par with its competition. Surface temperatures climbed to 87 degrees under load—warm, but not especially worrisome. At the price Amazon is selling it for, we think the UC-H16a represents a solid value.

Other USB-C hubs we tested

Just because we didn’t call out a particular hub doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Remember, some hubs mix and match different port types, and different form factors, too. Pay attention to our ratings, prices, and the quirks of each hub to find alternatives that may fit your specific needs. 

1 2 Page 1
Page 1 of 2
  
Shop Tech Products at Amazon