USB-C Hub provides multiple options for connectivity but creates an abundance of heat.
Connectivity is key. This is especially true when you have a laptop computer that has a limited variety of cable connections like I do with my MacBook Pro. I have one of those special MacBook Pros that only has 4 USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. While I love the speed that these provide, sometimes it’s just not conducive to all types of work. Even though I love how Apple is on the forefront of technology and innovation, it is hard to work as usual when the rest of the world isn’t moving forward quite yet. The USB-C connection is becoming more and more popular, but there are still a lot of USB-A connection types out there that make having a multiport hub a necessity.
Since I got my new MacBook Pro, I have used a handful of hubs and somehow I still find that the portable hubs — the ones that have an integrated USB-C cable — have at least one feature lacking. This is not true with the GN30H Premium USB-C Hub from QacQoc. This hub has just about every connector that you would use on a regular basis included.
- Three (3) USB-A 3.0 ports
- One (1) HDMI 4K 30HZ port
- One (1) TF Card Slot
- One (1) SD Card Slot
- One (1) Gigabit Ethernet Port
- One (1) USB-C port for power delivery
The hub arrived in a simple, but a nicely designed box. It was decorated with the QacQoc branding on it and a minuscule amount of information about the product. Upon opening the box you will find the hub sitting inside from pre-cut foam. I actually really appreciate this packaging because some manufacturers would ship a hub of this size with no padding. Beneath the cushioning, you will find the user manual and a small microfiber bag with a drawstring for the hub. This was actually a really nice touch because I haven’t seen a hub come with a carrying bag like this before and it’s very helpful.
As for the hub itself, the user manual is very, very basic. It tells you about the hub but doesn’t really show you how to operate it. To operate the hub, you simply plug it into one of the ports on your computer and then plug any accessories into it. For my testing purposes, I’m going to focus on the speed of data transfer for the USB 3.0 ports, the SD Card slot and the TF card slot.
The first thing I noticed that that the hub heats up pretty quickly. I plugged it into my laptop and even before I connected the first peripheral, the hub became warm to the touch. I happen to have an infrared thermometer and decided to compare a temperature reading of the hub to my MacBook Pro. The hub before having any accessories plugged in was reading at 100.6º F while the laptop was registering 96.4º F. Even though there was a definite spike in the temperature for the hub, I decided to continue my testing efforts.
NOTE: For the following tests, I used the same 2.36GB movie file for transferring.
USB-A 3.0 PORT: Using the QacQoc hub, I transferred the test file to a USB 3.0 flash drive (Silicon Power Blaze USB 3.0 64GB Flash Drive). The transfer took approximately 34 seconds. I also ran the flash drive through a speed test using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test application. I’ve included the screenshot of the test below. According to the USB 3.0 standard “up to 5 Gb/s” as a data transfer speed, the hub falls quite short of that. The best write speed I got from the speed test was 51.9 Mb/s.
NOTE: After the initial USB 3.0 test, the temperature on the hub registered 105 F.
SD CARD SLOT: I transferred the test file to a 16GB PNY SD Card. I was surprised to find out how far the SD card stuck out of the hub. You barely have to insert it into the slot. The transfer took 40 seconds. I also ran the Blackmagic speed test on the SD Card. The results are posted below. I was registering a maximum write speed of 47 Mb/s. SD cards can transfer at a rate of up to 80 Mb/s in some cases, so I was pretty happy with this reading as an outcome.
TF CARD SLOT: For those who are unaware, TF Card Toshiba MicroSD is the original moniker for microSD Cards. It stands for T-Flash or TransFlash card. So, I used a card for testing the data transfer on that port. Just like other microSD card slots, this one is spring-loaded. So, you have to make sure and press it in all the way. The file transfer took 42 seconds and I was registering a maximum write time of 37.4 Mb/s with the Blackmagic speed test.
POWER DELIVERY: This feature is probably the most questionable because power requirements vary so much between laptop models. My laptop requires 61W of power where my HP Spectre x360 only requires 45W. This hub doesn’t provide the wattage available within its specs (it only shows 14.5V/20V). So, the best way I can test this is to plug my Apple power supply/USB-C cable into the hub and see if it will start to charge my laptop. Because I’ve noted the extreme temperature of the hub, I want to provide a before and after temperature as well.
- Start (104.5º F) – The USB-C cable clicked into place quite easily. I feel that it is secure and will stay in place. The power information in the menu bar shows that it is connected to a power adapter and does appear to be charging. The estimated time until the battery is full (I started at 78%) is 1 hour 13 minutes.
- End (105.4º F) – After 13 minutes and 49 seconds my MacBook Pro had 90% battery.
Despite the heat being put off from the hub, I thought that the hub was pretty efficient as far as power delivery and data transfer. I would be really cautious about hooking too many peripherals up at one time though. As I tested this hub, I used each port separately. I would expect that if you had multiple items connected at once, you would have a rather large temperature increase especially after seeing an increase with the power delivery test. I really do like this hub for all the options it provides.
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