These days, the best USB-C hubs are now a vital part of any setup, especially portable ones. While devices are getting slimmer and more portable for convenience, the number of ports they’re making available to their users are also dwindling – as is the variety, with more and more laptops now relying on the power of USB-C.
That’s great and all – USB-C connections are much faster and more reliable, after all – but many peripherals still rely on USB Type-A, HDMI or other types of connections. That’s where the best USB-C hubs come in. They’ll let you expand the number of ports you’ll have access to as well as give you a great variety as well, making your setup a bit more versatile.
It’s never been more important to invest in one of the best USB-C hubs and docks. In fact, we at TechRadar rely on them ourselves for our daily workloads, which means we know which ones work and which ones don’t. We’ve even collected our favorite ones right here.
If you’re looking for a USB-C display, take a look at our best monitor for MacBook Pros guide. We'll also be rounding up all the top offers we spot throughout Black Friday 2021 once the sales get underway in the coming weeks.
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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.
The Kingston Nucleum USB-C hub covers a massive variety of bases. Not only are you getting plenty of ports here, but with passthrough charging you'll still have access to your USB-C port as well. That's particularly important if you're working with a machine with only one port available in the first place.
It's a little pricier for that extra charging capability, but we regularly see this model on sale as well, so if you spot a price below that $49.99 / £49.99 MSRP we'd recommend jumping on it.
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.
If you're looking for a powerful USB-C hub that will sit just as nicely on your desk as it will your backpack, this Dell DA300 offers a wide range of ports and an extendable cable that provides excellent flexibility as well. Though it's a little pricier than smaller options, you're getting both DisplayPort and Ethernet connectivity here, though sacrificing MicroSD and SD Card functionality.
This is one for hooking up your laptop to new systems quickly and easily, rather than offering extra ports for photography or media editing.
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.