Reliable performance in a compact package.

It’s a fact universally acknowledged that when you start using a MacBook as your main computer, you will need to add in docks and dongles in order to connect to all the devices you need to connect to. I made the transition over to a modern MacBook Pro several years ago and have had to adjust to only having USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports on my computer. When I am stationary in my home office, I simply plug it into a docking station that not only provides a multitude of ports for external device connection, but it also provides power to my laptop. But, when I’m on the go, I need a more portable solution like the Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub with Ethernet. 

DETAILS

The Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub with Ethernet is a compact dock that gives users the option to connect to several different devices at one time when they are on the go. With this hub, a user will have a 4K USB-C to HDMI connection that allow resolutions of 4K at 30Hz. The USB 3.0 ports provide fast transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps and with the USB-C PD port, a user can charge a laptop with up to 87W of power. All the ports can be used at one time. The Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 hub features intelligent power handling so all connected devices can be safely plugged in. 

Video1 x HDMIHDMI 2.0, 3840×2160 @ 60Hz Max Resolution and Referesh Rate
PowerPower Supply
USB-C to Host
Bus Powered, Voltage: Up to 20.0V, Amperage: Up to 5.0A, Wattage: Up to 100W
Voltage: Up to 20.0V, Amperage: Up to 4.4A, Wattage: Up to 87.0W
USB to Devices1 x USB-A
1 x USB-A
USB 3.0 (5GBps) Voltage: Up to 5V, Amperage: 900mA, Wattage: 4.5W
USB 3.0 (5GBps) Voltage: Up to 5V, Amperage: 1500mA, Wattage: 7.5W
Connection to Host1 x USB-CUSB 3.0
Gigabit Ethernet1000BASE-TChipset: RTL8153 Realtek
StorageMicro SD
SD or SDHC
Genesys Logic GL3224
Genesys Logic GL3224

USER EXPERIENCE

The dock comes in a nice retail box. It is mostly green and white to match Plugable’s brand colors. There is a very nice image of the product on the front of the box along with its name. The back of the box features some important information about the key points of the hub along with a list of its ports and connectors. The model number is listed on the box as USBC-7IN1E. I’m assuming the “E” is to designate that the dock includes an Ethernet port. 

The first thing I noticed about the hub is its weight. It weighs approximately 4.2 ounces, but it feels heavier to me that some other hubs I have with similar features. It’s still very compact and slender in comparison to other hubs I have. It does not come with a carrying pouch, which I prefer to have with docks like this that have an attached cable so that the cable doesn’t get damaged or caught on anything while in transit. Something else I noticed quickly was that all the ports of the dock are on one side of the unit – with the exception of the USB-C connecting cable and the Ethernet port. Many of the docks I’ve seen like this have ports that are located on both sides. This actually simplifies operation in my opinion because you actually have an opportunity to control connected cables better than you do when cables are coming out all round the hub. 

When testing the ports, I started with the USB-C PD port. I confirmed that you cannot transfer data through that port. It is only used for power delivery. I am running a 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro, which required 87W of power to charge. I’m happy to report that the hub properly transferred power from the PD port to my laptop so that it was receiving a charge while I was working on this review. The second port I tested was the USB 3.0 port. I plugged in a USB 3.0 flash drive and the computer recognized it right away. I ran Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test using the flash drive as the target drive. I got a result of 25.6 MB/s WRITE and 39.2 MB/s READ. Next, I inserted an SD card into its slot (PNY Elite Performance 16GB Class 10) and ran the same speed test on it. The results were 28.9 MB/s WRITE and 40.9 MB/s READ. After that test was completed I inserted a Micro SD Card (Transcend Premium 400x 16GB Class 10) and had the software test its speed, too. I got a result of 10.8 MB/s WRITE and 41.1 MB/s READ. The HDMI port allowed me to connect to my external monitor quickly and easily and the Ethernet port did a good job connecting me to our local network. 

CONCLUSION

I’ve been very happy with the performance of the Plugable USB-C 7-in-1 Hub with Ethernet. It’s been a reliable hub that provides its user with a number of options for connectivity. I didn’t notice any overheating problems like I usually do with hubs. I do wish it had an LED indicator on it that made the user aware of when something was connected, but that’s not a deal breaker. It’s a very good value for any USB-C laptop user. It’s one of the best options for a hub that I’ve seen. 

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