What Is a USB-C Hub and How Can It Declutter Your Desk?
As the world proceeds to advance in technology, tech engineers have presented more and more devices for people to use. And according to one research, more than 66% of Americans own one or several electronic devices (laptops, tablets, phones, and computers.) With the rise of more devices, the emergence of more cable ports arose.
As the years passed, manufacturers started stripping the connection ports from their laptop and tablet models. Nowadays, most new laptops and tablets are left with one, the USB-C port, which gave rise to a new device, the USB-C hub.
What is a USB-C hub? That is what we will explain today. And not only that, but we will also explain why they are the perfect remedy for a messy desk. First, let’s briefly describe the purpose of a USB-C port.
What Is a USB-C Connector?
As with prior USB-C connectors, a USB-C is a connector transferring data and power to and from devices. Just like Apple’s Reversible Lightning Plug, a USB-C is symmetrical, which means you can insert it either way. That means you won’t have to struggle to try to plug it in as most people did with the first generation USBs.
Most newer USB-C ports use USB 3.2 data-transfer standards. USB 3.2 can reach delivery speeds of up to 20Gbps! Some devices even have USB 4.0, the latest generation USB connector that supports delivery speeds of up to 40Gbps. Of course, many older devices use USB 3.1 and can only reach the peak of 5Gbps, some of them reaching 10Gbps.
And with a USB-C Hub that has multiple ports, you’ll be able to transfer numerous things at the same time. But let’s get into more detail about the USB-C hub function later.
Related Article: USB C vs A vs B: Which One Do You Need for Your Product?
Why Was the USB-C Hub Created?
As previously mentioned, manufacturers have made laptops and tablets slimmer and lightweight in order to meet the demand of a more mobile society. That meant removing specific ports and peripherals, which was a great idea as it made laptops and tablets that weighed 4lbs to less than a pound.
But users quickly found out that they could no longer connect necessary things to the laptop or tablet. They could no longer connect their monitors with an HDMI cable, connect to the Internet via an Ethernet cable, or even use their SD cards. That is why USB-C hub was born.
What Is a USB-C Hub?
As you can imagine, the best USB-C hub will offer all the crucial ports to connect peripherals and other things. Most of them are compact, meaning you can take them anywhere you go. A USB-C hub can have five to ten different ports, making it very adaptable to your port needs.
Of course, keep in mind that the more ports your USB-C hub have, the more things you can do with it. Be sure to investigate your current needs to determine better if you need a five, six, nine, or even ten port USB-C hub. But let’s take a more in-depth glimpse at its functions so you can determine how many ports you’ll need.
USB-C Male Connector
This is what you’ll need to connect to your laptop or tablet to keep the USB-C hub powered. Some newer phones can also utilize the connector to power the USB-C hub.
USB-C Female Port
You can use this port on the USB-C hub to power wireless mice, keyboards, speakers, and even fast charge your Laptop up to 100W. The possibilities are endless, especially since more manufacturers are switching to USB-C connectors.
Despite the USB 3.0 being released back in 2008, it’s still the latest Universal Serial Bus type. It offers 5Gbps in data transfer, which will make HD movies or files transfer in just seconds. But it’s not limited to data transfer, as it also works well as a powering port.
USB 3.0 produces up to 900mA, allowing power-hungry devices to now be hub-powered. Also, the 3.0 technology allows greater power performance with less power for idle states or completely eliminating power when not in use. That means you can charge your phone, power bank, or tablet.
The HDMI connector is the current standard for connecting your audio-visual devices (TV, projectors, and monitors.) As you can imagine, most modern laptops no longer come with this kind of port. But a USB-C hub will provide the needed port, and some may even offer 4k UHD.
You can also use the HDMI port to mirror your phone or tablet onto a monitor. The best USB-C hub will provide full HD 1080P and [email protected] video, so if the video quality is essential for you, be sure to check out the USB-C hub specs.
The predecessor of the HDMI, the VGA will be useful for old school displays. You won’t have a crisp 4K resolution like that of an HDMI, but you can enjoy 1080p. It’s an excellent port to have in case you ever need to use an older monitor.
The Registered Jack 45 or more commonly known as an ethernet cable, is one of the most sought out USB-C hub functions. With this port, you’ll be able to connect directly to a router. And as you may know, a device that is connected through an Ethernet cable is a lot more stable and fast than through Wi-Fi.
Some USB-C hub manufacturers offer 1000Mbps (1 Gigabyte) RJ45 Port backward compatible with 100Mbps/10Mbps RJ45 LAN. This is another function you should look into if you need a high-speed internet connection.
TF Card Slot
A TF card or also known as a Micro SD card, functions as a small memory card for phones, tablets, and cameras to store data in digital form. Another benefit of this slot is transferring data from your phone or tablet to your laptop or vice versa.
SD Card Slot
An SD card is relatively larger in size than a Micro SD. People use SD cards in portable devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDA), digital cameras, and multimedia players. USB-C hubs can read SD & TF cards simultaneously.
Related article: TF Card vs. SD Card: What’s the Difference?
Most devices have an audio port, but you may have noticed that many Apple products lack one. That is why a USB-C hub is a great device to have if you’re an Apple enthusiast. Most USB-C hubs come with a 3.5mm audio jack, which will allow you to listen to music, movies, and even use a microphone.
These were the most prominent functions a USB-C hub usually comes with. It never hurts to have more ports, so if you are looking to buy a USB-C hub, try to get one with six or more ports. Now that you understand what a USB-C hub is, let’s move onto the second question, how can it declutter your desk?
Declutter Your Desk With a USB-C Hub
As you may have noticed, a USB-C hub has the same number of ports, sometimes even more, than an average desktop computer. The apparent difference is the size of the hub compared to a desktop computer. So, if you want to declutter your desk, you’ll need to get a USB-C hub.
Many people have changed their desktop PC to a laptop with a USB-C Hub. In fact, 77% of people own a laptop in the US instead of a desktop. It’s obvious why, as it takes a lot less space compared to a desktop computer. And some skilled people have even made the USB-C hub even more of a space saver.
What Should You Look for in a USB-C Hub?
You can use as a guide the previous section about the USB-C hub function. But there are three other things you should also keep in mind when searching for the best USB-C hub. Let’s take a minute to have a look at each of them.
Some USB-C hubs either come with a cable or only a direct connector. And nothing is more frustrating than trying to connect all your things but realizing the hub cable is too short. Make sure you check the cable specs of the USB-C hub you are planning to buy.
And in case you are not sure what cable length you need, we will provide a short explanation for the three different types: long cable, short cable, and no cable.
- Long Cable
If you are utilizing a tablet or phone (or both), you can place the USB-C hub comfortably on a table. But in all honesty, a longer cable will always be useful even if at the moment you may not need it.
- Short Cable
If you’re a desktop or laptop user, as you can rest it on top of the desktop or right next to the laptop. It also makes it easier to put away or even travel with as the cable is shorter. Plus, you will not have all those messy cables lying around and getting tangled up.
- No Cable
Ideal for laptop users, as you can plug it in right next to your laptop’s USB port. For example, our 6-in-2 USB C-Hub has all the needed features Apple MacBook users will want without a cable connection. Do have in mind that you may need to remove your laptop’s protective cover to be able to connect the USB-C hub correctly.
Related article: M1 MacBook Air vs Pro 2020: Which One Should You Buy
Yes, it’s quite clear that aesthetics play no significant role when talking about USB-C hubs. But if PC gamers can pick out pretty RGB lights, so can you when you pick a USB-C hub. Granted, you can’t choose any lights for your hub, but you can decide how the exterior looks.
For example, some USB-C hub manufacturers offer rectangular, square, and even circular hubs. Think about how it will look on top of your desk, pick the design that will make your desk less cluttered. Usually, the rectangular one fits best a desk as you can place it next to your laptop or under a monitor.
Most cheap USB-C hubs are made of cheap plastic material. But you can find affordable yet sleek hubs as well. These hubs come with a metallic covering that makes for a fancy looking device. There is another reason why hub material is relevant, the lifespan.
A hub with cheaper material may work fine at first, but if you are someone who moves around a lot, it will wear out and even break in the long run. That is why investing in a USB-C hub made out of a metallic material will be best, as the hub will be a lot sturdier and more capable of surviving a fall. Aluminum shells are the best as it provides faster heat dissipation and at the same time a strong exterior.
Simplify Your Life With a USB-C Hub
By now, you know what a USB-C hub is, and more importantly, you know that it is the best thing to declutter any desk. So if you genuinely want to live a clutter-free life, whether it is at the office or your home, then get yourself a USB-C hub. Once you buy one, you won’t be able to live without it!
At UGREEN, we are committed to providing a high-quality product, coupled with a premium service to our customers. Don’t hesitate any longer and start decluttering your desk with the best USB-C hub family in the market.