AUKEY USB-C Hub Review: Add a Monitor, Ethernet, and More to Your 2-in-1

by Reads (2,096)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Design
      • 9
      • Features
      • 8
      • Performance
      • 9
      • Durability
      • 8
      • Utility
      • 8
      • Total Score:
      • 8.40
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Offers all the most useful ports
    • Quite portable
    • Includes power pass-through port
  • Cons

    • Power/Data cable non-removable

Slim laptops and 2-in-1s are growing in popularity. Their sleek designs don’t have room for many ports though, so USB Type-C is a highlight of just about all of the best offerings. Multi-function adapters like the AUKEY USB-C Hub (B06XFD7VF3) bring access to monitors, wired networks, and many other accessories to these ultra-portable devices.

AUKEY USB-C Hub

AUKEY USB-C Hub Build and Design

This hub is 4.0 by 2.3 by 0.7 inches, and 4.2 ounces, with all its ports on the two ends. Many of the edges are rounded to make it more comfortable to hold and carry. The USB-C Hub fits best in a gear bag or briefcase, as it’s not really pocketable.

Many people won’t need this AUKEY product to be portable at all, as one of the better uses is to live permanently on a desk. There, a large external display, network, keyboard, and mouse can be left plugged in. But even this group should be happy that it won’t take up much room on their desk.

On one end is the USB-C cable, a USB-C port, two USB-A ports, and an Ethernet port. On the opposite end are HDMI and VGA ports.

The closest we can come to a complaint about the design is that the cord with the USB-C connector isn’t removable for transport. This means that this cord takes up about half as much space as the entire Hub.

Most of the exterior of this product is a single block of aluminum that’s painted matte silver. The look is a balance between looking professional and looking cool. And it’s very solidly constructed, with no hint of movement in any of our attempts of bend or flex it. The built-in cord is thick and robust.

AUKEY USB-C Hub Performance

Be aware, not all USB-C ports are created equal. This Hub requires one with support for Thunderbolt for most of its functions to work. We tested this model with a Lenovo Yoga 720 as well as a slightly older Dell laptop and it performed exactly as expected. All the ports functioned normally with both these Windows 10 computers and the AUKEY USB-C Hub is also compatible with newer MacBooks that have USB-C ports.

We connected the USB-C Hub to TVs and monitors, but not at the same time. If two are plugged in simultaneously this AUKEY Hub will default to only sending video to the HDMI port. Using Windows 10 settings, we were able to mirror the computer’s screen on the monitor, or set up dual screens. The HDMI port supports up to 4K resolution at 30Hz, while the VGA port supports up to 1080p.

Unlike the video-out ports, both USB Type-A ports can be used at the same time. We plugged a keyboard and mouse in simultaneously without any issues, and tested flash drives as well.  These SuperSpeed ports support USB 3.0, with data transfers up to 5 Gbps. One port provides 0.9 A and the other 0.5 A, so choose carefully if charging a phone.

Our tests with the RJ45 Ethernet port were equally successful. This supports 10/100/1000Mbps speeds.

Those who prefer to use Wi-Fi instead of Ethernet will be happy to hear that the USB-C Hub doesn’t interfere with wireless networking. We tested the Wi-Fi connection speed of a Lenovo Yoga 720 with and without this accessory connected (using HDMI, both USB ports, and charging the computer) and saw no negative effects.

Some tablets and 2-in-1s have only a single USB-C port for charging and peripherals, and when that’s being taken up by an adapter it can’t be used to charge the computer. AUKEY deals with this by putting a USB-C port on its Hub. This can only be used for charging the computer though, which is why it’s dubbed the Power Delivery Port. It cannot transfer data.

Even when all these ports are in simultaneous use, this multi-function accessory didn’t heat up, and there’s no way for it to make any noise.

AUKEY recommends that users connect the Hub to their PC before connecting peripherals to the Hub, which would making using this accessory as a permanent part of a desktop setup something of a hassle. However, our tests indicate this is just AUKEY being overcautious. We removed the USB-C Hub from our Yoga 720, shut down and restarted the computer, then reattached the hub. The 2-in-1 had no issues immediately working with all the accessories we’d left plugged into the hub: HDMI monitor, keyboard, and mouse, as well as power.

AUKEY USB-C Hub Final Thoughts

Although some people demand a computer with every possible port built into it, there are significant advantages to a super-slim model onto which ports can be added. Those who prefer the second option should consider the AUKEY USB-C Hub. It’s portable but rugged, and enables a basic Windows tablet or MacBook to connect to an external monitor, multiple USB accessories, and Ethernet … all at the same time.

A non-removable cord makes it not quite as portable as it could be though, and a choice of colors might have been nice. But otherwise we have no issues with this product.

AUKEY’s official price for its USB-C Hub is $129.99, but it’s available for $50 off that from amazon.com. The very similar Huawei MateDock is $90.99 from Amazon. The rival Dell DA200 is $62.99, but it lacks a power pass-through port.

Pros:

  • Offers all the most useful ports
  • Quite portable
  • Includes power pass-through port

Cons:

  • Power/Data cable non-removable



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