USB-C hubs are almost a must have with today’s slim laptops. While they may come with two or three USB Type-C ports, one is usually taken for power and there are still many devices or connections that aren’t USB-C. Typically speaking, USB-C hubs fall into two categories: higher quality and more expensive or much cheaper but also poorer build quality.
Plugable has been bringing high-quality accessories at an affordable price for some time now. Our Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub review takes a look at one of their newest that supports up to 87W power delivery and lets you add HDMI, SD card, microSD card, and USB-A ports to your computer.
The Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub has the following features and specifications:
- MODEL: USBC-7IN1
- 7-IN-1 EXPANSION: Enhance your setup with 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 SD and 1 microSD card slots, and a USB-C Power Delivery charging port – all via a single cable
- HIGH DEFINITION: Drive an external monitor to stream video and multitask with support up to 4K 30Hz resolutions
- HIGH-SPEED DATA: USB 3.0 ports support up to 5Gbps data transfer to sync frequently used documents and backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices
- STAY POWERED: USB-C pass-through charging port supports USB-C power adapters up to 100W and can pass through up to 87W of charging power to the host. Not all laptops support USB-C Power Delivery, please confirm with the manufacturer
- COMPATIBILITY: The USB-C 7-in-1 hub is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems that have a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1/ Gen 2 port that supports USB-C DisplayPort Alternate Mode and USB-C Power Delivery or Thunderbolt 3 ports. Popular supported systems include the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, HP Spectre x360, Lenovo Yoga, Lenovo Thinkpad, Dell XPS, Microsoft Surface Pro 7, and Microsoft Surface Laptop 3.
What’s in the box
- Plugable 7-in-1 USB-C Hub
- Quick Start Guide
The Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub is rectangular in shape, and relatively slim. It is roughly 4-inches long, 1 1/2-inches wide, and 1/2-an-inch thick. The entire outer case is made of aluminum so it’s nice and sturdy. The only plastic on the hub is on either end.
One end has a short USB Type-C cable and the other has an HDMI port. The bottom edge has three USB-A ports while the top edge has a USB-C power pass-through port, SD card slot, and microSD card slot. On the top of the hub is the Plugable logo in white. The bottom of the hub is smooth as well with some product info printed in white.
As far as USB-C hubs are concerned, this Plugable hub is nicely designed, sturdy, and fairly compact.
Ease of Use
Like almost all USB Type-C hubs, the Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub is super easy to use. Simply plug it into a free USB Type-C port on your laptop. Once plugged in, connect your USB-A or HDMI devices or insert your microSD or SD card into the appropriate port or slot and you should be good to go.
There’s really not much to say here, the Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub works as intended. The USB-A ports, SD, and microSD slots work just fine. As for HDMI, I was able to use it with a 4K monitor but could only get 4K@30Hz out of it which is a limitation of the HDMI 1.4 used in the hub. An HDMI 2 or 2.1 port for 4K@60Hz and HDR support would have been nice to have but it’s not the end of the world. Finally, the USB-C power pass-through port worked fine on a laptop requiring 45W of power and another requiring 65W of power.
With 7-in-1 USB-C hubs costing upwards of US$70, the $29.95 price point of Plugable’s version is a breath of fresh air. Sure, there are other cheaper 7-in-1 hubs but more often than not, they have a plastic shell and aren’t as good quality.
Not only is the Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub well built, compact, and works as intended, but it is also extremely affordable.