The USB-C connector type is a narrow, point-symmetrical USB connector that can be plugged in in both directions. So, it doesn't matter which way around you place the cable.
USB C docking station hubs are plugs that turn one USB port into several. Since this is often referred to as a USB-C adapter, we have also included it in our comparison. The adapters not only inevitably contain USB connections of a different type, but also completely new connections, such as micro-HDMI or an SD slot.
If you want to buy a USB-C hub to charge mobile devices, you should check whether the device supports charging a cell phone, iPad, or laptop at all. You can tell by the Battery Charging or Power Delivery labels.
Smaller, faster, and point-symmetrical: the USB-C connector in profile:
Many best USB-C docking station reviews agree that the most distinctive feature of a USB-C connector is its point-symmetric construction.
The connection is still built in such a way that it could be used with all mobile devices. Furthermore, it creates the possibility of transmitting such a high current with the 3.1 generation that charging notebooks and external hard drives via USB is possible. Large power packs and chargers are therefore obsolete.
A good data transfer rate for mobile phones can also be achieved with Type C. Due to its small dimensions, it also allows mobile phones to be built even narrower, for example. In summary, the USB-C standard is able to replace previous USB ports as well as jack and other ports.
In the following, we have listed the advantages of USB-C compared to its predecessor models again in our purchase advice:
- Easy to use: no more "wrong" insertion possible
- With USB 3.0 and 3.1, a transmission speed of up to 10 Gbit/s can theoretically be achieved
- Playing videos in 4K from an external device is possible
- With USB 3.0 and 3.1, smartphones can be charged faster
- Notebooks can also be charged – another charging cable is no longer necessary
- Connector type is suitable for audio, video, power, and data transmission
- Small dimensions enable even flatter construction of devices
Purchase criteria for a USB-C hub:
Interfaces: Ethernet and HDMI are rare:
MacBook docking station dual monitor hub with Ethernet connection Depending on the application you are looking for, e.g. a USB-C hub for the Macbook Pro, you should look out for the appropriate connections on the USB-C adapter.
For example, if you have to connect many devices with USB type A - such as a mouse or keyboard - and be connected to the projector at the same time, a USB-C hub with an HDMI interface and USB slots is ideal.
Attention: If you occupy many interfaces of your hub without a power supply via power supply unit and socket, the transmission rate and the charging current of the individual outputs will be reduced.
Surge protection prevents damage:
USB C docking station tests show: If, for example, a USB-C hub for the MacBook Pro is equipped with overvoltage protection, it is armed against excessive electrical voltages. This means that the connected devices are not damaged if the hub is overloaded.
USB Power Delivery: Devices with this feature can charge tablets:
USB Power Delivery, or USB-PD for short, is a specification for charging electronic devices via a USB cable. Previously, only smartphones could be charged via USB. In the future, PD should also be able to supply laptops with electricity.
But that's not easy: Depending on the device, power supply unit, and cable, some devices are charged, but perhaps only slowly. In order for everything to work smoothly, you need an active USB cable with electronic components in the plug, so that more than 3 amps of current are allowed to pass through. Because only then is effective, fast charging possible.
For example, if the USB-C hub for Apple offers PD, you should make sure you also have a compatible C-cable to get the full charging performance from your charging USB-C hub.
Nature of the cable: Hubs with detachable cables are easier to stow away:
The length of the USB-C cable determines how portable you are with the hub. If you need this to charge several devices from the socket, a long cable (25 cm) is an advantage, as you can conveniently place the hub where it does not get in the way. However, if you are using the USB Type-C adapter on the laptop, the cable can also be shorter (10 cm) so that you can swap slots quickly if necessary.
You should also consider whether you would like to be able to detach the cable. The specimens that have this option are easier to store and a cable breakage is less likely.