The best USB-C hubs are now a vital part of any computer setup. Unlike before when they used to be a boon mostly for creatives and professionals, they’re now a necessity to general consumers. Unfortunately, having to carry more accessories is the ironic side-effect of trying to keep laptops thinner, lighter and more minimalist.
With more laptops keeping things compact while making good use of the faster and more universally compatible USB-C port, the best USB-C hubs are more important than ever. After all, most people still use peripherals that utilize USB Type-A, HDMI and other older connections. And, USB-C hubs are the ideal solutions for connecting such peripherals and devices to your laptop without hassle.
So, it’s definitely a good idea to invest in an excellent USB-C adapter, whether you plan on picking up a laptop that only utilizes USB-C like a MacBook Pro 13-inch or a Dell XPS 13, or you already have. To help you, here are the best USB-C hubs and adapters for 2020.
The best USB-C adapter deals
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a deal on USB-C hubs better than Anker’s PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C Adapter. This portable hub pretty much has you set on all the ports you’ll need, including a 4K HDMI port and USB-C charging. That makes this an indispensable tool for creative professionals who need a variety of ports for their variety of devices. Best of all, it’s also incredibly lightweight at 99g, which makes it easy to slip into one of your laptop bag pockets without adding to the weight when you’re commuting or traveling. Of course, it also comes with Anker’s 18-month warranty so you can swap yours out if it stops working.
Take a look at the TOTU 9-In-1 Type C Hub if you’ve a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air 2019 or later. This versatile USB-C hub boasts a whopping nine-port option that includes an Ethernet port with full 10/100/1000 Mbps delivery and a USB 2.0 Type A port if you’ve got an even older device. It doesn’t offer USB 3.0 passthrough charging, but it does offer fast charging via one UBC-C port, and it is a bit heavier than our top two options. But, at less than $50 a pop, it’s definitely a great deal.
Those with a more flexible budget should take a look at Belkin’s offering. The Belkin USB-C Hub may only offer six ports, but it does have a good selection of them that includes an Ethernet port and an HDMI port that supports 4K 30Hz monitors. More importantly, it offers passthrough charging of up to 60W, making it the most versatile option on this list. Of course, that does come with a hefty price tag though, but it’s worth it if that passthrough charging feature is a must for your computing needs.
If you're a loyal Apple superfan then you'll be wanting the official Apple USB-C adapter for your MacBook or MacBook Pro. There's no denying the excellent build quality Apple provides on its hardware and accessories, but this is very much a case of paying more for the label rather than the usefulness of the product itself. This official option is seriously lacking ports compared to the other USB-C adaptors on this page, which are often cheaper too. If you only need the three though and want the reliability of an official product, then you'll find the best prices below.
It might be one of the smallest USB-C hubs around, but the Beklin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD is packed with ports and supports full-strength passthrough charging. The smaller form-factor is certainly worth considering if you're going to need it away from the desk too. Belkin have been one of the most reliable manufacturers of third-party Apple products for years if you're looking for a little extra assurance. The main improvement over the older (and admittedly cheaper) Thunderbolt 2 [UK price / US price] is the doubling of the file transfer speed to 40Gbps.
Dell laptops are popular picks in offices around the world and it often makes sense to get an official Dell USB-C hub to go with it if you're looking to take care of charging, external displays and extra USB ports in one go. The Dell WD15 USB-C hub is a reasonably priced option, although the lack of any extra USB-C ports may make you consider other options if you're looking to upgrade more equipment with the new Type-C connection.
The Dell D6000 dock is one of the best USB-C hubs around for the modern professional Dell user. It can be used on old and new laptops thanks to an adapter on the connection cable allowing it to connect via the newer USB-C port, or a legacy USB-A slot. The D6000 looks firmly towards the future for display options by ditching the VGA port and instead focusing on support for up to three HD/4K monitors, or one 5K monitor - all running at a smooth 60fps. If running multiple high resolution monitors at once is a key requirement on your Dell laptop, the D6000 USB-C hub is the one to go for.
What to look for in cheap USB-C adapters
While shopping for cheap USB-C adapters, you'll find many hubs and docks offer different things for your cash. The right device for you will largely depend on how you plan to use your USB-C hub. If you're looking to expand ports for USB devices or micro-SD cards and you don't need an ultra-low latency connection a $30 - $40 adapter will easily suffice. However, if you're looking to dock your MacBook or laptop and run a high definition display through your USB-C adapter, you might want to think about putting some more money on the table for high speed ports, pass-through charging, and cable management.
What's the difference between a USB-C hub and a USB-C adapter?
USB-C hubs (also known as USB-C docks in some parts) are generally geared towards increased performance, faster data transfer speeds and multiple external displays - along with higher Hz support or frames-per-second than USB-C adapters can provide. However, you'll find various manufacturers throwing words like 'adapter', 'hub' and 'dock' around with reckless abandon, often making it difficult to search for something for your exact needs.
So on the models above we've included a list of all the ports included along with technical specifications on read speeds and displays supported so you can be sure you're getting what you want. Be sure to check the item itself on the retailer page to make sure the spec hasn't changed.