In the old days, laptops used to have lots of connectors and ports dotted along their sides. But recently, makers have slimmed down their devices even more and left no room for such things as an HDMI output or Ethernet socket.
Indeed, more and more laptops (including Apple MacBooks and Dell’s XPS line) and tablets (such as Apple’s iPad Pro) use the latest USB-C connection standard—or its faster Thunderbolt 3 or 4 and USB4 siblings—because it’s small and versatile: the port can be used for a variety of things including connecting peripherals, displays and charging.
But if you still need to connect non-USB-C devices or connections to your USB-C laptop or tablet you’ll need a USB-C hub or adapter. This will let you attach external hard drives, memory sticks, DVD drives, phone chargers, wired Gigabit Ethernet connections, and external displays or a projector for meetings.
An adapter usually just replaces one port, while a hub offers multiple ports. For more serious, but less portable, multiport solutions, look for a fully fledged USB-C docking station.
Below the list of our favorites, we explain all the different ports you might require on the hub or adapter; such as USB-A, USB-C, Gigabit Ethernet, SD and microSD card readers, HDMI, DisplayPort, power and audio.
The great news is there is a wide choice of quality USB-C adapters and hubs now available at reasonable prices. Keep reading for all our recommendations as there should be the perfect USB-C hub or adapter here for you—from a simple USB-C to USB-A adapter, to hubs with up to 11 ports and adapter with multiple video connections.
Baseus 8-in-1 USB-C Hub – Best value USB-C hub
8 ports inc Ethernet, 4K HDMI
3x USB-A (5Gbps)
You get 8 ports to add to your laptop with Baseus’s good-looking 8-in-1 USB-C Hub. It features excellent PD USB-C pass-through charging (up to 100W) so you don’t lose a valuable USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 port on the laptop if you need to charge or sync. There are three USB-A ports pushing data at 5Gbps but a little underwhelming on device charging at 7.5W each.
There are SD and MicroSD (TF) slots for storage cards, so you can slot in a camera card, or use the flash memory for extra laptop storage. They are UHS-I (104MBps) rather than UHS-II (312MBps) that you’ll find on some hubs.
Gigabit Ethernet is there, too, as is an HDMI port that can support 4K displays at 30Hz—not a refresh rate to excite gamers but enough for most of us.
The business end of the integrated USB-C cable can be stored in a special slot, creating a handy loop to keep things tidy, and could also be used to hang from a hook, if desired. And there’s an LED indicator to show activity.
Baseus has a range of USB-C hubs if you want fewer or more ports; available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
EZQuest USB-C Multimedia 10-in-1 Gen 2 Hub – Best USB-C hub for fast ports
10 ports inc Ethernet, 4K HDMI at 60Hz
2x USB-C (10Gbps, 1 at 7.5W)
2x USB-A (5Gbps, 7.5W)
This USB-C hub is bristling with high-end ports, including 4K HDMI at 60Hz (if your device supports DP 1.4) and Gigabit Ethernet.
There are three USB-C ports, one for 100W passthrough charging (88W to the laptop and 10W to the hub for USB device charging) and two rated at 10Gbps for fast data transfer. One of the USB-C ports and both of the 5Gbps USB-A ports can charge connected devices at 7.5W.
Both SD card and MicroSD card readers are included, but at the slower UHS-I speed. A 3.5mm combo In/Out audio port rounds off the impressive 10 ports.
The strong integrated cable measures nearly a foot long, which is longer than on most USB-C hubs reviewed here.
Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Multifuction hub – Affordable Multiport USB-C hub
7 ports inc. 4K HDMI
1x USB-C (passthrough charging)
3x USB-A (5Gbps, 7.5W)
The compact and very affordable 7-port Plugable USB-C Multifunction Hub has seven ports from one integrated USB-C connection, including a 4K HDMI output for adding an external display, power pass-through (at an impressive 87W) to charge connected devices, three 5Gbps USB-A ports, and SD and microSD slots.
You can use the HDMI 1.4 port to output to a 4K (at 30Hz) or Full HD 1080p monitor or projector.
Pass-through charging is especially handy if your laptop or USB-C device has just one USB-C port. The 87W power is more than you get from most hubs.
At 88g, it’s lightweight, and, as with many hubs, features a short integrated cable so works well as a portable travel device.
There are a generous three USB-A ports that can also provide 7.5W power pass-through to charge other devices.
There’s just one USB-C port, so look elsewhere if you need more of the newer USB standard.
Wired Internet is also not present, but, fear not, Plugable has a longer 7-in-1 USB-C Hub that drops a USB-A port for Gigabit Ethernet.
Nonda USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapter – Best simple USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter
This is your simplest solution to needing to add a USB-A (USB 3.0) device to the USB-C slot on your laptop, Mac or PC.
Quite simply, it’s a one-port male USB-C to female USB 3.0 adapter, rated at 5Gbps. Attach a charging cable, memory stick, or keyboard, etc.
Other adapters have a bunch of ports. This has just the one, and that might be all you need. Actually, it is sold in a pack of two, so it’s doubly useful at a great price.
Satechi USB4 Multiport Adapter w/2.5G Ethernet – Best USB4 hub for speed
4K HDMI at 60Hz
2x USB-C (10Gbps)
1x USB-A (10Gbps)
Not the cheapest
No card reader
This hub isn’t just USB-C, it’s the latest USB4, so offers full 40Gbps bandwidth for USB4 and Thunderbolt computers, but is also backwards compatible with any USB-C laptop or PC.
It’s built for speed everywhere. Its two USB-C ports (one offering 100W passthrough charging) and one USB-A port are rated at 10Gbps, and the HDMI port can connect an external 4K display at 60Hz—and up to 8K at 60Hz for Windows computers.
Its really special feature is its MultiGig 2.5G Ethernet, 2.5x as fast as Gigabit Ethernet, and perfect for the every latest WiFi 6 routers and networks.
Plugable USB-C 11-in-1 Hub – Best USB-C hub for dual HDMI (Windows)
11 ports inc. dual 4K HDMI at 60Hz
Dual Mirrored displays on Mac
This hub wins on having the highest number of ports (an incredible 11) of any port reviewed here. This also makes it the longest hub (8.7 inches, 22cm) we have tested.
Its two HDMI ports can support dual 4K external monitors at 60Hz for Windows laptops, but only one at that specification for Mac or two Mac displays that are Mirrored rather than Extended.
The USB ports (1x USB-C and 3x USB-A) are rated at 5Gbps. Some hubs we reviewed boast faster 10Gbps USB ports.
There’s Gigabit Ethernet and SD and MicroSD card readers (only UHS-I rather than faster UHS-II).
Ugreen 11-in-1 USB-C Multifunction Adapter
11 ports inc. dual 4K HDMI at 60Hz
10Gbps USB-C and USB-A
Not the cheapest
Dual Mirrored displays on Mac
This hub from Ugreen is similar to the Plugable USB-=C 11-in-1 Hub, with 11 ports and dual 4K display support at 60Hz.
It beats the Plugable hub on data-transfer speed (10Gbps compared to 5Gbps) and is more compact.
It only loses the battle on price—$109 vs $79. If the speedier data rates appeal, then it’s worth spending the extra, and look out for deals in our price comparison links above.
It features two HDMI ports that can support dual 4K external monitors at 60Hz for Windows laptops, but, like the Plugable hub, only one or two Mac displays that are Mirrored rather than Extended.
The USB ports (1x USB-C and 3x USB-A) are rated at 10Gbps, which is a definite plus point over Plugable. There’s Gigabit Ethernet and SD and MicroSD card readers (only UHS-I rather than faster UHS-II).
Hyperdrive Dual 4K HDMI 10-in-1 USB-C Hub – Best USB-C hub for dual HDMI (Mac)
Supports two external displays at 4K
10 ports, inc. 5Gbps USB-C and USB-A
Second 4K display is 30Hz rather than 60Hz
If you don’t want to pay for a full docking station but require more than one external display, this 10-port hub is as close as you’ll get to a portable dock that supports two monitors. Caldigit’s Thunderbolt 4 Element Hub is another but will require adapters to connect the displays to its Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Owners of Apple’s plain M1 or M2 MacBooks will be delighted that this hub gets past the MacBook’s one-display limitation via some smart InstantView software.
Windows users, however, might find better value with Plugable’s cheaper USB-C 11-in-1 Hub, which is not as great for Mac users owing to it not offering two Extended displays with a Mac.
There are one USB-C and two USB-A ports, all at a decent if not super-fast 5Gbps, and a further USB-C port that can passthrough power to the connected devices at 100W (85W to the laptop).
Gigabit Ethernet, UHS-I SD and MicroSD card readers and a combo audio port complete the impressive 10 ports on offer.
Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport Adapter – Best USB-C adapter with SSD enclosure
4K HDMI at 60Hz
2x USB-A (10Gbps)
The Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport Adapter isn’t just a 4-port USB-C hub. Its hidden secret is its enclosure that allows you to add SSD storage to boost memory space, backup data, and transfer files at 5Gbps, without taking up an additional USB-C port.
Of course, you can add an SSD drive to most USB-C hubs but this one allows you to carry just one gadget around with you, as the SSD fits inside the adapter. It supports SATA M.2 SSD only (no SSD is included in the price).
There is a 100W USB-C PD charging port (15W is required to run the hub itself), and an impressive 4K 60Hz HDMI display output to connect a single external monitor. The two USB-A 3.1 ports support fast data transfer at up to 10Gbps.
Hyperdrive 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Stand – Best combo USB-C hub and laptop stand
7 ports inc 4K HDMI
2x USB-A (5Gbps)
This clever hybrid device is both a laptop stand and a 7-port USB-C hub. It may be all you need to carry around with you when travelling and works just as well sat in the home or office.
The portable stand is lightweight and collapsible, raising a laptop (up to 17in) to a healthier viewing angle, with five ergonomic settings.
Along one side are the six built-in ports, and a USB-C PD (100W) to keep your laptop charged via the integrated cable.
There are one 5Gbps USB-C port, two 5Gbps USB-A ports, a 4K 30Hz HDMI video port, and SD and microSD card readers (104MBps UHS-I).
Caldigit Thunderbolt 4 Element Hub – Best Thunderbolt 4 hub
4x top-end Thunderbolt 4 ports (40Gbps, 15W)
4x speedy USB-A ports (10Gbps, 7.5W)
May require extra adapters for displays and Ethernet
Backwards compatible and foreseeable-future-proof, Caldigit’s Thunderbolt 4 Element Hub is great for modern laptops that can feel the benefits of the latest connectivity standard. As such, it’s the ultimate USB-C hub.
It boasts four 40GBps Thunderbolt 4 ports (compatible with USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4) plus four 10Gbps USB-A ports. One of the TB4 ports is upstream, so connects to the computer; the other three are downstream for connecting other devices.
Power delivery to external devices is more impressive than other hubs reviewed here, up to 15W on the Thunderbolt ports.
You can use the TB4 ports to add external USB-C displays or, with a USB-C display adapter, to multiple HDMI or DisplayPort monitors—as well as other devices, all at top speeds. When connected to a Thunderbolt computer the Element Hub can add a monitor up to 8K resolution, or dual 4K 60Hz monitors.
If you need wired Internet access, you can add a USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet adapter.
Read our full
Caldigit Thunderbolt 4 Element Hub review
Satechi 4-Port USB-C Hub – Best USB-C hub for multiple USB-C
Simple USB-C (5Gbps) hub
No passthrough charging
Low port charging
Laptops often have just two USB-C or Thunderbolt ports, so some users will yearn for more of the modern connectors.
Satechi’s well-named 4-Port USB-C Hub boasts four USB-C, which will at least double most laptops’ port count and help add Type-C SSD drives, flash drives, and other peripherals.
The USB-C is rated at 5Gbps.
The 7-port EZQuest USB-C Gen 2 Hub reviewed later is more expensive but includes 4x USB-C ports and 3x USB-A ports, plus 100W passthrough charging.
UGreen USB-C to 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub – Best USB-C hub for old-school USB ports
Simple USB-A hub
No extra USB-C port
No passthrough laptop charging
If all you need is a bunch of older, standard USB-A ports to add a phone charging cable, memory stick or external hard drive, then you won’t need a more versatile hub—just an adapter with a row of USB 3.0 ports.
There are plenty of these about, but for a quality brand take a look at the UGreen USB-C to 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub, which is inexpensive and ultra-portable.
It has four USB 3.0 ports, and even a 12W micro-USB power port for extra power supply for devices that require it—although this is weak and nowhere near enough to charge a laptop!
Even with this handy extra, you should really just consider most of the four ports for data transfer rather than powered devices.
There’s no HDMI, no extra USB-C port for passthrough charging, no memory card slots or Gigabit Ethernet. But who cares: you just want a few old-style USB ports, and this has enough to satisfy the most ardent accessory fan.
HyperDrive 6-in-1 USB-C Hub for iPad Pro and Air – Best USB-C hub for iPad
Built for USB-C iPads
6 ports inc 4K HDMI at 60Hz
Works with any USB-C computer
Non iPads must connect via cable
iPad Pro and Air (2018 and 2020) users will appreciate this aluminum USB-C hub that turns the tablet’s single USB-C port into six ports: 5Gbps and 60W PD charger, 5Gbps USB-A, 3.5mm audio, HDMI (4K at 60Hz), and UHS-I MicroSD and SD Card readers.
Hyper claims it was the world’s most crowdfunded iPad Pro accessory and USB-C hub.
Available in iPad pro-matching Space Gray or Silver, this good-looking hub features a grip that secures it onto an iPad Pro without damaging the surface. You can remove the grip if you use a third-party iPad case.
It comes with a USB-C extender cable so you can also use it as a USB-C hub for your computers other than the iPad, too, including MacBooks, Windows laptops and other tablets.
Plugable USB-C Dual 4K HDMI MST Adapter – Best budget Dual 4K HDMI
Dual 4K HDMI at 60Hz
Supports HDCP for streaming services
Only one extended display for Macs
The USBC-MSTH2 is a simple, driverless solution for those looking to add screens to their laptop through a single USB-C or Thunderbolt port.
It uses Windows and Chromebook-friendly MST (Multi-Stream Transport) technology that lets users extend or mirror their display onto two additional screens at up to 3840×2160 at 60Hz refresh rate. The laptop needs to support DP 1.4 to support 4K. Laptops with DP 1.2 are limited to HD (1080p) 60Hz across both displays.
Due to the lack of MST, Macs are limited to just one extended display, with a second only mirroring the laptop’s screen.
The adapter supports playback from High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), a copy-protection scheme that stops the capturing digital content from the source to the display. This means that, unlike some HDMI adapters, it works well with streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu and ESPN.
Monoprice 13-in-1 Dual-HDMI + DP MST Dock
Multiple display possibilities for PC
Tons of ports
Numerous high-speed ports can get clogged by the main 10Gbps USB-C connection
Not for Macs
This USB-C hub calls itself a “dock” but without an external power supply or non-cabled USB-C PD port, it’s really just a hub—albeit one with an enormous number of ports.
The host of ports includes five USB-A ports (three transferring data at 5Gbps, and two at legacy 480Mbps speeds), SD and microSD readers (both transferring data at a poky 104MB/s, or UHS-I speeds), an audio/mic jack, and Gigabit Ethernet, plus the HDMI and DisplayPort ports. One HDMI port supports 60Hz; the other, 30Hz.
The dock saves money by not supplying a power brick, but attaching your laptop’s USB-C charger to the input port works fine—up to 100W of power delivery.
Read our full
Monoprice 13-in-1 Dual-HDMI + DP MST Dock review
EZQuest USB-C Gen 2 Hub Adapter 7-Ports
4x USB-C (3 at 10Gbps)
3x USB-A (5Gbps)
USB-C ports just 2.5W charging
No card reader
This USB-C hub eschews HDMI or Ethernet ports for a solid seven USB ports: four modern USB-C and three USB-A, so you can connect old and new devices as you see fit, including Ethernet or HDMI adapters if you need those too. While you may need to buy extra adapters, this hub offers more flexibility.
Three of the USB-C ports are rated at a speedy 10GBps (USB 3.2 Gen. 2) for fast data transfer, with the other at 5Gbps but aimed at 100W pass-through charging for your laptop. The three USB-A ports all offer 5Gbps bandwidth.
The data transfer is excellent but the charging capacity of all but one of the 7 ports is weak.
The integrated USB-C cable is 22cm (9in) long.
Kingston Nucleum 7-port USB-C adapter – 7-port USB-C hub with two USB-C
7 ports inc 4K HDMI
2x USB-A (5Gbps)
2x USB-C (5Gbps)
The quality 7-port Kingston Nucleum boasts seven ports from one USB-C connection, including a 4K HDMI output (30Hz), power pass-through (60W) to charge connected devices, two USB-C (5Gbps) ports, two 5Gbps USB-A ports, and SD and microSD slots.
You can power up a USB-C laptop while also connecting to a USB Flash drive and charging your smartphone. It’s compact in size and lightweight, and features a short built-in cable so works well as a travel accessory.
The two old-school USB-A ports also provide power pass-through to charge devices such as your smartphone or Bluetooth headphones.
One USB-C port on the Nucleum can be used for charging, and the extra USB-C port can connect your other more modern devices for data.
One port it does lack is Gigabit Ethernet. If you’re happy with Wi-Fi, this won’t matter, of course.
Startech.com USB-C Multiport 4-in-1 Video Adapter – Best USB-C adapter for display port choice
Multiple display options
4K at 60Hz via miniDP
No downstream USB ports
The Startech.com USB-C Multiport 4-in-1 Video Adapter can connect your USB-C laptop to a VGA, DVI, HDMI or Mini DisplayPort (mDP) display. It has pretty much every vbideo connection except full DisplayPort.
The short breakout cable features a magnetic retainer that secures it in place while you’re not using it.
The HDMI and mDP outputs support UHD 4K resolutions. All of the outputs (HDMI, mDP, VGA, DVI) support high-definition resolutions up to 1920 x 1200. The adapter is compatible with USB-C DP Alt Mode devices.
It’s available in Aluminum, Rose Gold, and Space Gray trim, which will please owners of Apple MacBooks—but it will work with Windows laptops too, of course.
TrendNet TUC-ET5G – Best for super-fast Ethernet
Many of the USB-C adapters tested here have a Gigabit Ethernet port, but none except the TrendNet TUC-ET5G can boast 5X gigabit speed for the absolute fastest wired transfers.
This is the first-to-market USB-C to 5GBASE-T (5Gps) Ethernet Adapter that is compatible with existing Cat5e cabling or better. Now you can add super-fast Ethernet (which you usually find only on top-end workstations such as the Mac Pro) to your laptop.
It’s not cheap, but it is the fastest. TrendNet also sells a TUC-ET2G model that can handle 2.5GBASE-T (2.5Gbps), which is about half the price and still 2.5X faster than Gigabit Ethernet. But if you want the very fastest only the TUC-ET5G will do.
Startech.com USB-C Audio & Charge Adapter – Best audio jack adapter
Simple audio jack adapter
May cover other ports
If your laptop, tablet or even USB-C phone lacks a 3.5mm audio jack, then this simple and compact 2-in-1 adapter is what you need if you still use wired headphones, speaker or microphone.
It doesn’t just feature the audio jack, it has a USB-C port for pass-through 60W power delivery (PD). You can attach it to your USB-C wall charger, or untethered it can be bus-powered.
Long in length and connecting directly rather than by cable, it may cover up other ports on your computer.
OWC USB-C Travel Dock E – Mini USB-C dock
4K HDMI at 60Hz
Fast card reader
Short upstream cable
The OWC USB-C 6-Port Travel Dock E is tiny, but includes at least one of each port you might need, whether out and about or just on your desk at home or in the office.
There are two 5Gbps USB-A ports, one pass-through USB-C PD port (100W), HDMI 2.0, an SD Card reader (fast UHS-II), and Gigabit Ethernet for wired Internet access.
The version 2.0 HDMI is an upgrade on most adapters with HDMI 1.4, and can get to 60Hz with 4K displays.
At 174g, it’s heavier than most of the USB-C adapters tested here, but we like it compact and robust shape.
Note that the USB-C cable that connects to your computer is quite short (15cm) so it will have to sit right next to the host. Of course, the ports can accept any length of cable for the required devices and accessories.
As a mini dock, rather than in-pocket adapter, it’s compact, solid and well built and includes Gigabit Ethernet.
There is also a slightly cheaper model without Ethernet, although we’d argue that wired Internet access is essential for any device calling itself a dock.
Startech.com USB-C Dual Monitor Multiport Adapter
Choice of three display ports
Fast 10Gbps USB-C and USB-A ports
Wraparound integrated USB-C cable
The Startech.com USB-C Dual Monitor Multiport Adapter is portable but quite chunky, and it features a neat wraparound integrated USB-C cable that is rated at a speedy 10Gbps.
It has two display ports: one HDMI 2.0 that can connect to a 4K display at 60Hz, and a VGA port that offers 1080p HD. Next to these is a fast 10Gbps USB-C port that can connect to a 4K display (using DP Alt Mode) at 60Hz. Sadly, you can’t use all three at the same time, but can mix between the three.
Also included are 10Gbps USB-C and USB-A ports, plus a 100W passthrough USB-C PD port (88W to the laptop). To top it off, there’s a Gigabit Ethernet port to round off a generous collection of ports.
Kensington UH1440P USB-C Dual Video Mobile Dock
Choice of three display ports
Dual monitors HD only
The Kensington UH1440P hub has a choice of DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA, although it is limited to a maximum of two external displays, and these would be at 1080p HD only. It does support a single 4K display at 30Hz.
There are three 5Gbps USB-A ports, two of which can charge connected devices at 7.5W. Gigabit Ethernet is included, as is a 3.5mm audio jack, and UHS-I SD and MicroSD card readers.
Passthrough charging via USB-C can power a connected laptop at up to 85W.
Satechi Aluminum Type-C Slim Multi-Port Adapter 4K – Lightweight USB-C hub
4K HDMI at 60Hz
Low USB-A charging
No card reader
Available in a range of colors (silver, gold, rose gold, and Space Gray) that match Apple’s MacBooks—but compatible with any USB-C laptop—the Satechi Aluminum Type-C Slim Multi-Port Adapter 4K is one of the lightest and smallest multiport USB-C hubs we’ve seen.
Weighing just 46g and both slim and short, the hub/adapter boasts dual USB 3.0 ports for standard accessories and a 4K HDMI port for displays and projectors.
It also has an extra USB-C port for 60W pass-through charging, so you can keep your laptop powered up while it’s in use.
The flexible cable is 15cm long.
What is a USB-C hub?
While these products are often described and named as adapters or dongles (as so many devices hang off them) they are really hubs that take one port on the laptop or tablet and add multiple and varied other connection ports.
If you want something more substantial to anchor your laptop to at home or in the office, with a lot more ports and a proper power supply, you should consider a full USB-C docking station that has even more ports and full power delivery (USB PD) that charges your laptop at the same time.
The latest connection standard is Thunderbolt 4 or USB4. We’ve tested the best Thunderbolt 4 hubs and docks.
First, consider what you need from the hub or adapter. Most are multi-port, so have more than one type of connection functionality included.
USB-A: This is the classic non-reversible USB. Do you just need to attach some accessories—memory stick, hard drive, webcam—that use older standard USB connections? If so, there are many simple adapters at a low cost, and nearly all his boast at least one. Speeds range from 480MBps (USB 2.0) to 5Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 1) and 10Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 2).
USB-C: This is the latest reversible USB. There aren’t as many accessories as you’ll find with USB-A, but an extra Type C port can be used for data and, if labelled as such, for pass-through power delivery from a USB-C wall charger.
Thunderbolt: It looks exactly the same as USB-C but Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 are much faster at 40Gbps compared to 5Gbps or 10Gbps. If your laptop boasts either Thunderbolt 3 or 4, it’s wise to buy an adapter, hub or docking station that has the same connection. TB4 is backwards compatible with USB-C and TB3, although some TB3 Windows laptops and PCs might not be supported; all recent Apple MacBooks will be. Check out our roundup of the best Thunderbolt 3 docks and the best Thunderbolt 4 docks.
USB4: Using the same connector as USB-C, USB4 is, like Thunderbolt, a more sophisticated and often faster connection standard.
Make sure you check the USB speed rating when choosing your hub, as they range from 480Mbps (USB 2.0) to 40Gbps (USB4, Thunderbolt 3 or 4). Learn more about the differences between USB-C, USB4, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4.
HDMI: Need an HDMI port for your laptop? There are plenty of USB-C hubs that include HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface), including 4K. Most of the HDMI-packing hubs listed here support 4K displays at 30Hz rather than the fully powered 60Hz 4K that offers higher graphics for sharper video and gaming.
DisplayPort: These, er, display ports are more often found on full docking stations (see link above) but you can buy USB-C DisplayPort adapters.
VGA: This is quite an old video port rarely found on modern displays, but if you are moving between offices a lot (or have an old monitor), then the option might be useful to you.
Power: Some laptops and most tablets have just one USB-C port, so add an adapter and you have nothing left to charge your computer at the same time. In which case, you should look for a hub with an extra USB-C Power Delivery (PD) port so you can continue to power your laptop while using the adapter.
This is known as passthrough charging. 85W and over will power most laptops at full speed. The best docks will offer enough power for the connected devices as well as the laptop, but a well-powered hub might be enough if you don’t use all the ports at the same time. Remember that for most you will need a separate wall charger to supply this pass-through power—your laptop charger should suffice. Check out our Best USB-C Chargers roundup for a selection of recommended PD chargers.
Tablets mostly require less power. For example, the 12in iPad Pro will charge at full speed at around 40W.
Ethernet: Even with Wi-Fi so prevalent you still can’t beat the speed of a wired Ethernet connection, still found in hotels and of course from your router. If so, you want a hub with an RJ45 Ethernet port – and make sure it’s a Gigabit Ethernet connection for faster data transfer. Much more expensive adapters use the latest 2.5GBASE-T or 5GBASE-T ports that provide multi-gigabit speeds capable of up to 5Gbps over existing Cat5e or better cabling. But 1Gbps Ethernet will be speedy enough for most.
Memory cards: Fewer laptops these days include memory-card slots—certainly none from Apple. If these are important to you, look for SD-, MicroSD- and TF-card slots on the hub or adapter. You can quickly and very cheaply add portable storage to your laptop setup. Most of the USB-C hubs reviewed here offer the slower UHS-I (104MBps) rathr than UHS-II (312MBps). If you want the fastest card redaers, look instead to a USB-C dock.
Audio: Many people use wireless Bluetooth headphones and speakers, but if you want to connect wired headphones or speakers to your laptop, then you need a 3.5mm audio jack on your hub.
Second, think about portability. If it’s your laptop that uses USB-C then you are likely to want the hub to travel with you and not be a giant brick. So, look for portability in size and weight. There are enough small and lightweight adapters that you can slip in your laptop bag or even pocket and not notice.
And third, of course, is the price. There are certainly some very cheap USB-C adapters out there, but we’ve tried to pick the quality end of the market (but still at reasonable prices) so you don’t risk the safety of your device or even home with a dangerously cheap adapter.
Cables: Read our roundup of the best USB-C cables if this is all you’re looking for.
Docking stations: Larger, abler (and usually less portable) docks can include many more ports and connect dual displays at 4K in Extended Mode; see our Best USB-C docking stations roundup for more choices.