The best USB-C hubs in 2023: connect more things to your laptop at once

USB hub connected to laptop on desk
(Image credit: Kensington)

The best USB-C hubs are becoming increasingly popular, because many modern laptops don't have a lot of ports. 

The Apple Macbook Air M2 (2022), for instance, has just two USB-C ports and a headphone jack. So if you want to connect more than a couple of devices at a time (printer, phone, mouse, external drive...), upload images from an SD card, output to a monitor via HDMI, use an Ethernet cable, or team your laptop with a USB-A device, what do you do? 

The answer is that you buy one the best USB-C hubs, which will instantly make all this possible, and more. 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, we've brought together the very best USB-C hubs in the article below. Each offers something slightly different, in terms of the type and number of ports, so you can find exactly what you're looking for.

The best USB-C hubs

Product shot of the EZQuest USB-C 8 Port Hub, one of the best USB-C hubs

(Image credit: EZQuest)

1. EZQuest 8-port USB-C Multimedia Hub

The best USB-C hub overall

Specifications

Total ports: 8
Ports: Three USB-A 3.0, one USB-C, one HDMI output, one SDHC card reader, one Micro SDHC card reader, one Gigabit Ethernet
Passthrough charging: Yes (100W)
Size: 52mm x 105 x 13mm (2 x 4.1 x 0.5 inches)
Weight: 85g (3oz)

Reasons to buy

+
100W power delivery
+
Supports 4K
+
Small and light 

Reasons to avoid

-
No dual-screen port

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 this USB-C hub offers excellent value. 

Kingston Nucleum USB-C Hub

(Image credit: Kingston)

2. Kingston Nucleum USB-C Hub

The best USB-C hub for value

Specifications

Total ports: 7
Ports: One USB-C data port, one USB-C charging port, two USB-A (USB 3.0) ports, one 4K HDMI port, one SD card slot, one microSD card slot
Passthrough charging: Yes (60W)
Size: 12.7 x 4.5 x 1.42cm (5 x 1.77 x 0.56 inches)
Weight: 120g (4.2oz)

Reasons to buy

+
Wide range of ports
+
Small and portable
+
Affordable price

Reasons to avoid

-
No Ethernet port

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.

Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Adapter

(Image credit: Anker)

3. Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Adapter

The best USB-C hub for value with Ethernet

Specifications

Total ports: 7
Ports: Two USB-A (USB 3.0) ports, one 4K HDMI port, one USB-C port, one Ethernet port, one micro SD card slot, one SD card slot
Passthrough charging: Yes (up to 48W)
Size: 11.7 x 5.3 x 1.6cm (4.61 x 2.1 x 0.65 inches)
Weight: 99g

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap
+
Ethernet connection

Reasons to avoid

-
Charges at 48W

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.

(Image credit: Plugable)
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4. Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub

The best USB-C hub for MacBook

Specifications

Total ports: 7
Ports: Three USB-A 3.0 ports, one USB-C port, one HDMI v1.4 port, one microSD slot, one SD card slot
Passthrough charging: Yes
Size: 24.1 x 5.1 x 1.3 cm (9.5 x 2 x 0.5 inches)
Weight: 10g (3.84oz)

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of ports 
+
4K HDMI support 
+
Small and lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Cable not removable

If you're a MacBook user, this 7-in-1 one USB-C hub is a fantastic buy. 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.

(Image credit: Kensington)
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5. Kensington SD1600P USB-C Mobile Dock

The best USB-C hub that's also a docking station

Specifications

Total ports: 6
Ports: Two USB-A 3.2 ports, one USB-C 3.2 port, one HDMI v1.4 port, one HD VGA port, Gigabit Ethernet Port
Passthrough charging: Yes
Size: 16 x 75 x 135 mm (0.63 x 2.95 x 5.31 inches)
Weight: 190g (6.7oz)

Reasons to buy

+
Use in the office
+
Use on the move
+
Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Overkill if you don't travel

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.

(Image credit: Kingston)
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The best customizable USB-C hub

Specifications

Total number of ports: Customizable; up to 8
Ports: Customizable; SD, microSD, USB-C, USB-A
Passthrough charging: No
Size: 160.27 x 70.27 x 55.77mm (6.31 x 2.76 x 2.19 inches)
Weight: 292g (0.64 lbs)

Reasons to buy

+
Completely customizable
+
Transfer 8 data sources simultaneously 

Reasons to avoid

-
No ethernet, HDMI, CFexpress
-
Modules involve extra cost

If you're a photographers or similar creative whose priority is fast data transfer, the customizable Kingston Workflow Station is well thought-out and versatile option. Build it with exactly the connections you want, transfer to and from them all simultaneously if you want to, and relax safe in the knowledge that you're getting the speed and reliability of one of the biggest names in data. 

It's a minor quibble that the dock can't be used without power, and there are currently only three connections offered (USB-A, USB-C, SD and microSD) – we'd love to see a CFexpress Module, for instance. And this is strictly a solution for data transfer – so there are no HDMI or ethernet options. Regardless, this is a brilliant hub that will genuinely improve the way you handle transfers to and from memory cards and cameras. For more details, see our Kingston Workflow Station review.

(Image credit: Dell)
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7. Dell DA300 6-in-1 USB-C Hub

The best looking USB-C hub

Specifications

Total number of ports: 6
Ports: One HDMI, one DisplayPort, one VGA, one RJ45 Ethernet, one USB Type-C, one USB-A (USB 3.1)
Passthrough charging: No
Size: 7 x 7 x 2.5cm (2.75 x 2.75 x 1 inches)
Weight: 81.6g (2.9 lbs)

Reasons to buy

+
Small and light 
+
Hidden cable 

Reasons to avoid

-
No MicroSD or SD card ports 
-
No passthrough charging

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.

(Image credit: Apple)
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8. Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

The best USB-C adapter for Apple loyalists

Specifications

Number of ports: 3
Ports: One Thunderbolt USB-C port, one USB-A (USB 3.0) port, one 4K HDMI port
Passthrough charging: Yes
Size: 7 x 3 x 1cm (2.6 x 0.67 x 6.1 inches)
Weight: 59g (2.08oz)

Reasons to buy

+
Official Apple product 
+
Sleek looks 
+
Thunderbolt support

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited ports

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. 

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Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specializing in art, photography, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq (opens in new tab), and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, T3, Heat, Company and Bella.