Recommendations for USB hub

I’m probably going to take the plunge and buy one of the 16” MacBook Pros. Any recommendations for a hub which will provide at least 3 old-style USB ports, Ethernet, power and an HDMI port to drive a 2460x1440 monitor (probably a Dell P2418D) would be gratefully received. I’d like one with a cable at least 12"; I could always use a USB-C extension cable, I suppose, if the recommendation has a captive lead.

I’m in the UK, if that’s relevant.

Jeremy

We’ve used this one and it seems to work fine. Not cheap though:

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/docks/owc-thunderbolt-3-dock

I’ve been using the Elgato TB3 dock and I’ve been quite happy with it. Amazon has it for $281. What I like about this dock is that USB charging works even without a computer connected.

The problem with these types of docks is that they’re not going to be ideal for the new 16" MBP with its higher peak power draw (100W vs. 85W on the 15"). We’ll likely have to wait a while till these docks get updated for 100W. Until then, these existing 85W docks will still charge a 16", the issue you could run into is that they’ll charge it slower if the MBP is running at full load.

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For travel, I would recommend a hub similar to the Vava hub at https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-usb-c-hubs-and-docks/. It has USB ports, card slots, HDMI, and Ethernet and is thin. THe cable is short. While it has a USB-C charging port, the capacity is less than needed for full-speed charging on the new MacBook Pros. However, even with the hub plugged in, there are still 3 other USB-C ports on the computer, any of which could be used for charging. The main things missing are Thunderbolt capability, a Displayport port, and being able to handle 4K video above 30 fps. I’m not sure that any small portable hubs can do that (if they can do Displayport, they usually can’t do HDMI).

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I have the Totu 8-1 Hub that seems okay at around $50. It’s cord is only about five or six inches though. I do have a hard drive attached that can lose its contact if the hub gets a bit of rough handling. I’ve used all its ports and they work fine.

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It’s likely overkill for most folks most of the time, but this one has it all, and it is a thing of beauty: https://www.caldigit.com/ts3-plus

I never buy anything any more without at least checking WireCutter:

An issue that is rarely mentioned in advertisements and on review sites is that extremely few USB 3.0 hubs will allow you to boot from a connected hard drive. In fact, even though a fellow on the Mac Consultants List tested every USB 3.0 hub he could find, the only two that allowed booting have since been discontinued. However, some of the docks (not hubs) allow booting from a connected hard drive. If this is something that is important to you, you may want to get assurances from the developer before purchasing a USB 3.0 hub you are considering.

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Holy cow! Wirecutter seems infatuated with the CalDigit’s reduced desk footprint which is not something I’d be worried about. But that is no doubt a very capable dock with a huge number of ports for just $250. :+1: :slight_smile:

When I switched to my current MBPr, which is my first Thunderbolt 3 machine, I splurged on the CalDigit, and it’s a great choice. The typical configuration is with a slightly older NEC MultiSync connected via HDMI, keyboard and mouse via USB, and a Universal Audio Apollo via Thunderbolt 2 with the help of an Apple TB2-2-TB3 dongle. And since it provides power via the TB3 connection, there’s a single cable between the Mac and the docking station.

If you consider investing in a more feature-rich TB docking station, definitely have a look at CalDigit’s offerings.

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