The best USB-C hubs are an increasing necessity in 2023, because while we all love sleek, ultrathin laptops, they don't tend to come with have a lot of ports.
The Apple Macbook Air M2 (2022), for instance, has just two USB-C ports and an audio jack. And that's it. No, really!
So if you want to connect more than a couple of things at a time, what do you do? You buy one the best USB-C hubs, that's what. These clever devices will take up just one of your laptop's USB-C slots, but give you oodles in return. That means you'll be able to connect up a printer, mouse, phone, tablet, external hard drive... pretty much anything you like, as well as accessing an SD card, microSD card, Ethernet connection and more.
It's important to note that a USB-C hub differs from a docking station, in that it doesn't need to be plugged into the wall. USB-C hubs also tend to be a lot cheaper than docking stations.
To help you choose the best USB-hub, we've listed our current favourites below. Each of these hubs offers something slightly different, in terms of the type and number of ports, so whatever your needs, you're sure to find what you seek.
- See also Best laptop docking stations
The best USB-C hubs
The EZQuest 8-port USB-C Multimedia Hub is our pick as the best USB-C hub overall. In a device that's impressively light (at just 85g) you get all the ports most people are likely to need: namely, three USB-A 3.0 ports, one USB-C port, one HDMI output, an SDHC card reader, a Micro SDHC card reader and a Gigabit Ethernet port. All this, plus 100W of passthrough charging, Thunderbolt 3 compatibility, and support for 4K (at 30Hz) means that although it costs a bit more than others, this USB-C hub is difficult to beat.
See our guide to the best USB-C cables
This USB-C hub is a little cheaper than our number one pick, and yet it ticks a ton of boxes. It has a seven ports in total, and offers pass-through charging via one of the two USB-C ones. That will let you to charge your laptop with up to 60W of juice. You can also use one of the USB-A slots to charge any older devices.
There are slots for both SD and microSD cards, making it a great choice for working photographers. There's a HDMI port to output to a 4K or HD monitor or projector. The aluminum case is sturdy, durable and smart looking. It’s small and relatively lightweight (at 120g). And the price is fair and affordable. Note, though, that there's no Ethernet port.
Want to spend a little less less than our number one pick? Then you can get a similarly generous eight ports for a lower price. The selection here includes a USB-C Power Delivery input port, a built-in 7.48-inch USB-C cable, a USB-C data port, 2 USB-A data ports, a 4K HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a microSD/SD card reader. Yes it's a little heavier than its EZ Quest rival, at 127g, and the passthrough charging is slightly less powerful at 85W. But as long as those things don't bother you, the lower price could make this a better buy.
This USB-C hub is another good value choice. It's similarly priced to the Kingston Nucleum (above), and you get an Ethernet connection too. However, note that there’s just one USB-C port in this hub, and passthrough taps out at a maximum of 48W, so it’ll take longer to charge things. On the plus side, this device is lovely and light, at 99g, you get SD and microSD slots, and there's an 18-month warranty to boot.
If you're a MacBook user, this 7-in-1 one USB-C hub is a fantastic budget-beater. Not only is it very affordable, but it hosts a wide range of ports, including three USB 3.0 ports with fast 5Gbps transfer speeds, an HDMI 1.4 port that supports 4K resolution at 30Hz, and two SD card readers. It’s fabulously tiny and light (10g) too. Note that you can’t remove the USB cable, but on the plus side that means you can’t lose it either.
Not sure whether you want a docking station for the office, or a USB-C hub for when you’re travelling? The Kensington SD1600P USB-C Mobile Dock is a hybrid device that basically gives you the best of both. While it’s ostensibly a docking station, it can also be powered by your laptop’s battery, making it viable as a USB-C hub.
There are output options for HDMI (4K at 30Hz) or VGA Full HD (1920x1080p) to an external monitor, TV or projector. You also get two USB 3.0 ports, supporting up to 5Gbps, and an extra USB-C port for data synchronization, supporting up to 5Gbps. And a built-in charging hub allows you to charge mobile devices (up to 2.4A) when you’re not using it as a dock. You will pay a little more for all this, though, compared with most of the USB-C hubs on this list.
This Dell DA300 6-in-1 USB-C Hub is arguably the best looking on our list; both small and beautifully formed, with an attractive circular design and a retractable cable. It's also very portable, weighing just under 82g, and includes six ports which cover most bases.an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, a VGA port, an RJ45 Ethernet port, an USB Type-C port and an USB 3.1 port. Note that it doesn't offer passthrough charging, though, and there are no slots for SD and microSD cards.
Some people like to stick to all-Apple kit where possible. So if you’re a true Apple fan, there’s no doubt about it: you’re going to want the brand’s official USB-C hub. Admittedly, there are only three ports here: a Thunderbolt USB-C port, a USB-A (USB 3.0) port, and a 4K HDMI port. But if that’s all you need, then you’ll be able to avoid sullying your set up with non-Apple equipment, and you certainly won’t have any worries about compatibility.
USB-C hubs explained
What is USB-C?
USB connectors all used to look the same a few years ago. However, a new type of connector emerged called USB-C that delivers faster transfer speeds than its older brother, USB-A.
USB-C is now the industry standard, enabling users to transfer data in a speedy fashion and output video at higher resolutions and faster refresh rates. It's worth noting that the fastest USB-C connectors support the Thunderbolt protocol, so look for this if you're in need of a particularly zippy USB-C hub.
Why do some USB-C hubs cost more?
The best USB-C hubs can actually vary wildly in price – but what's the reason for this? Well, aside from a superior build quality, more expensive hubs will typically feature a wider variety of ports and more ports in total. If you have a lot of different devices that you regularly use, then it'll likely be worth investing in a more expensive model.
You'll also find that high end USB-C hubs will also feature passthrough charging. This means that you can use the USB-C hub to charge your laptop at the same time as connecting your other devices. This is particularly useful if your laptop only has one USB-C slot, as otherwise you'd need to choose between charging your battery or using your USB hub (and if you're ever on a deadline, this will be a particularly frustrating choice to have to make!).
However, if you really only need a small selection of ports and you have at least two USB-C ports, then you might want to consider saving your cash and investing in a more affordable model instead. To help you decide, we've listed the exact ports that each model features above.
Best photo editing laptops
The best video editing monitor
Best student laptops
Best video editing keyboard
Best mouse for editing
Best internal SSDs
Best laptop backpacks
Best laptop stands