Portable, Packable, and Priced fairly. Enjoy the added utility of the IOGEAR Travel Pro USB-C Mini Dock.
When I purchased my iPad Pro 11″ in 2018, I was ready for the move to USB-C and well-aware that Apple had removed the 3.5mm port. Despite the improved Bluetooth capabilities, the better screen, and the improved processing power, there was still only a single output port. I had previously learned the limitations of the single port with the iPhone Lightning port limitation. Without added dongles, you cannot charge the device and also output to a television or enjoy corded earphones. If you too are frustrated with the need for dongles for everything, I encourage you to watch the Apple Dongle video to add a bit of levity. One solution to the need for individual dongles is to purchase a multi-port hub. The IOGEAR Travel Pro USB-C Mini Dock may be just the device you were looking for. Although it cannot enhance the connectivity or utility of our iPhone’s, it may be a godsend for MacBook Pro and iPad Pro users alike.
The IOGEAR Travel Pro USB-C Mini Dock arrived in a mint-green/white 4 3/8 inches wide by 5 3/4 inches tall by 1 3/16 inches thick retail package. The cover provided the “Travel Pro” name along the top left, the “IOGEAR” company name along the top right, and a colorful image of the USB-C mini dock and iPad Pro along the middle of the panel. Along the bottom section of the cover, IOGEAR provided a 60W PD 2.0 icon, 4K@60Hz icon, and an oblique image of the Travel Pro USB-C mini dock. I loved the visual representations of the docked and undocked device, the layout, and the overall color scheme. The left mint-green colored panel provided the same information as the header on the cover panel, while the right panel listed the product contents (GUD3C460, Quick Start Guide, and warranty card), System Requirements (USB-C, iPad OS, Windows 10, macOS 10.14+), and icons for Mac and PC. The back panel provided the same header as the cover and added a nice diagram of the ports of the Travel Pro doc. Beneath the diagram, the company provided a trilingual description of five features of the device: 1. 4-port ultra-portable travel dock, 2. Compatible with all PD USB-C devices (phones, tablets, laptops). 3. Support a single HDMI monitor up to 4K@60Hz. 4. Type-C female supports 60W Power delivery Pass-through charging. 5. USB 2.0 Data Transmission. Lastly, the company provided a warning about the included Cadmium, listed the model number, a few product manufacturing labels, and a few SKU barcodes. The top mint-green panel housed the clear plastic hanging tab, and the bottom panel provided a triple-language legalese paragraph.
To access the Travel Pro dock, I cut the tape along the top, and then removed the thin plastic tray and the supporting paperwork. Despite the stark contrast between the dark black Travel Pro Dock and the clear plastic tray, my eye was drawn to the large red Stop on the “Read Me First” registration card (www.iogear.com/registration). Before jumping into the product testing, I opened up and perused the 20-panel multi-lingual quick-start manual. The first page provided a list of packaging contents and system requirements. The second and third panels, the most important in the manual, provided a labeled product overview diagram (USB-C connector to host device, 3.5mm combo headphone port, HDMI 4K 60Hz output, USB-A 2.0 port for mouse/peripheral, USB-C port for power delivery pass-through) and a bulleted hardware installation section. Once you plug your travel port into the USB-C port, you gain the option to access the 3.5mm port, HDMI port (Windows 4096 x 2160 @60Hz, MacOS 4096 x 2160 @60Hz, iPad Pro 3rd Gen up to 3840 x 1260 @60Hz), and added USB-C and USB-A ports.
For the initial step, I removed the 1.30-ounce, 2 13/16 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide by 5/16 inches thick IOGEAR Travel Port from the packaging. The glossy black surface was rimmed by a thin shiny grey/silver color and the silver IOGEAR logo was clearly visible upon the middle cover panel. Along the top of the panel, you will find the USB-C male adapter. On the opposing surface, you will find the cutouts for the ports. Interestingly, the port layout of the device was different (3.5mm, USB-A, HDMI, USB-C) than that mentioned in the instruction manual (3.5mm, HDMI, USB-A, USB-C). The bottom silver-grey panel provided the IOGEAR name, Travel Pro USB-C Mini Dock name, the GUD3C460 model number, “Designed in California,” “Assembled in Vietnam,” a few product manufacturing labels, and the S/N # and barcode. When I attempted to plug the Travel Pro USB-C into the USB-C port on my iPad Pro 11”, I found that the device was incompatible with my UAG Scout Series iPad Pro 11” case; the short USB-C port could not access the USB-C port of the iPad Pro 11”. With reservation, I removed the protective shell and tested the device.
With the case removed, I plugged the hub into the USB-C port and noted the blue USB-HUB indicator icon illuminated along the top panel. I plugged a DROK USB-C multimeter into the USB-C output port on my JOTO Power hub and then plugged a USB-C cable from the multimeter into my iPad Pro (The multimeter read 4.87V/2.90A). I plugged a Toshiba 1TB hard drive into the hub and found that there was enough power to activate the device. When I navigated to “Files” on my iPad Pro 11”, I was able to access the “Zeta Prime” drive and the old cartoons that I had saved there. The ability to access the drive, while simultaneously charging was quite convenient. As another bonus, I plugged an HDMI cable into the hub and was able to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Movies, and Movies Anywhere on my bedroom non-smart television. To gain full use of the hub, I tried plugging it into one of the USB-C ports on my MacBook Pro 15”. Unfortunately, just like the iPad experience, the UAG case blocked access to the USB-C ports for the wide device. The short USB-C, coupled with the extra wide footprint, created a difficult situation. I was worried that someone might inadvertently kick the cable and break off the narrow USB-C. Additionally, I was unable to use the hub without first removing my protective cases, which made me uncomfortable. Alas, my workaround was either to remove the case or to purchase a USB-C to USB-C adapter. I cautiously removed the case from my MacBook Pro and plugged the hub into one of the ports. I plugged my Toshiba 1TB USB-3.0 HD into the USB port, accessed the Blackmagicdesign Disk Speed Test, and found the write speed to be 36.1 MB/s and the Read speed to be 39.7MB/s. I was a little saddened by these speeds, considering the device was a USB-2.0 port and should have reached speeds of up to 60 MB/s.
If I was going to design the IOGEAR Travel Pro version 2.0, I would include a USB-C extender. The wide base and the narrow USB-C plug made it more difficult to connect to my iPad Pro 11” and my MacBook Pro 15”. I had no problem with USB-C cables, but the wide base of the HUB decreased the utility for me. For added function, I purchased an Eastwild USB-C adapter from Amazon. Although the device was not available at the time of this review, I believe the $6.96 adapter will allow me to more easily access the ports on my devices. The Travel Pro dock provided the ports that I needed and earned 4.5/5 stars. Coupled with a great packaging and website, I would give the overall experience a 9-9.5/10. I loved that I was able to plug in USB-C power, HDMI out, and gained the function of an extra USB-A port. Again, the idea behind the flush form factor was sound but the stock device did not work with my setup. The device did not have ports for an ethernet cable, nor a card reader. Knowing this before testing the device, I did not find that I missed them and did not feel that it to be a negative factor for the device. I loved that the device was nearly half of the price of the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter ($69). As noted above, I expect the ~$7 add-on to improve the overall feel of the device. I will add comments to the review when I receive the adapter.
Despite the cons to the device, the pros far outweigh the negative aspects. I was able to use the device fully sans cases. For the individual who prefers their devices au naturel, the Travel Pro dock should not be overlooked. It is small, lightweight, easily pocketable, and fit perfectly into my BUBM travel bag. My children loved that I could plug my iPad Pro into my projector for outdoor movie nights. This was yet another added benefit. Beyond the need for a cable extender and the lack of USB 3.0 support, I was impressed with the power of this tiny device. I was actually quite pleased that they included the USB-A port instead of another USB-C port because we are still in a transitional technology state. If you are looking for a way to enhance the function of your iPad/MacBook Pro, look to IOGEAR for your dock/hub needs.