What USB-C hub/dongle/expansion are you using for connectivity?

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
Couldn't find a dedicated thread on this topic (probably exists...) but am looking to see what others are using for on-the-go connectivity and expansion. I have a few USB-A to USB-C converters that I purchased off Amazon but am thinking of getting a hub-type product to include HDMI/USB/SD/microSD all in one type solutions.

I know there are a few on the market:

Hootoo: https://www.amazon.com/HooToo-Adapter-Charging-MacBook-Chromebook/dp/B019R9ILTG
HyperDrive: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hypershop/hyperdrivetm-compact-thunderbolt-3-usb-c-hub-for-m
Satechi: http://www.satechi.net/index.php/computer/connectivity/hubs/pro-hub-space-gray

Anyone have experience with one or multiple versions of these, and if so - which one would you recommend?

Appreciate all input!
 

New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
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If you're wanting to plug a few things in a dock is a good idea. I personally wouldn't get anything with a simple pin connection, as it could be knocked and cause other damage, as well as physically blocking the adjacent port that it's occupying. So not Hyperdrive/Satechi.

There's loads out there and they're all much of the same, grab one that has the ports you need really. Just note most of them (Cheap ones), support charging of up to 60w and so would not provide through-put charging of a 15" model. Only the significantly more expensive docks usually have that capability, as well as sometimes faster I/O speeds and stuff. But for the average consumer the $50 are fine and probably about what you'd expect.

Also just had a look through that Hyperdrive Kickstarter, seems an odd device to me. It's using 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, and from what I can tell only giving you 1 back. So if you'd like to power the device through it (Which you'd need to with a nTB model), you're kind of loosing the benefits. The USB-C port is a USB-3.1 in USB-C shape for some reason (5Gb/s), so no real point in that alongside 2 USB-A 3.1 ports. I'm sure there's people who would love that but it looks like they've sacrificed a lot to provide 100w charging capability. Again if you got one that didn't physically sit on the computer it's not a problem.
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
If you're wanting to plug a few things in a dock is a good idea. I personally wouldn't get anything with a simple pin connection, as it could be knocked and cause other damage, as well as physically blocking the adjacent port that it's occupying. So not Hyperdrive/Satechi.

There's loads out there and they're all much of the same, grab one that has the ports you need really. Just note most of them (Cheap ones), support charging of up to 60w and so would not provide through-put charging of a 15" model. Only the significantly more expensive docks usually have that capability, as well as sometimes faster I/O speeds and stuff. But for the average consumer the $50 are fine and probably about what you'd expect.

Also just had a look through that Hyperdrive Kickstarter, seems an odd device to me. It's using 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, and from what I can tell only giving you 1 back. So if you'd like to power the device through it (Which you'd need to with a nTB model), you're kind of loosing the benefits. The USB-C port is a USB-3.1 in USB-C shape for some reason (5Gb/s), so no real point in that alongside 2 USB-A 3.1 ports. I'm sure there's people who would love that but it looks like they've sacrificed a lot to provide 100w charging capability. Again if you got one that didn't physically sit on the computer it's not a problem.
True - didn't really recognize that. I think the Hootoo is a good option as long as it is reliable... reviews aren't bad and it's decently priced. I think I am just being picky over the aesthetic of the ones that are directly connected on via pins - hmm.

Would've made a big difference for me if that other USB-C port was also TB3 compatible. Though - hypothetically, you could keep the hub on the left side and charge on the right side?
 

New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
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True - didn't really recognize that. I think the Hootoo is a good option as long as it is reliable... reviews aren't bad and it's decently priced. I think I am just being picky over the aesthetic of the ones that are directly connected on via pins - hmm.

Would've made a big difference for me if that other USB-C port was also TB3 compatible. Though - hypothetically, you could keep the hub on the left side and charge on the right side?
I agree they're more aesthetic, just noting inherent problems. As I said it looks great for a consumer but at $50 I think it was, that's who it'll be aimed at.

Of course you could use the other side, I mentioned it could be a pain on the nTB model as it doesn't have the other side. Also the 13" has reduced bandwidth on the right hand side (I think that's still a thing anyway), meaning the left hand side are the best ports. 15" isn't a problem. Also all this means that you'd have to have things connected to the left hand side of the computer, and one of the nice things about these ports is that you can use whichever side is best in your current situation.

Just a thought I had whilst writing this though is that Hyperdrive is very specific to the MacBook Pro, you wouldn't be able to use it with any other USB-C device (Which is the point of USB-C) as it's using 2 ports spaced specifically to the MBP. As a device you're buying just for this computer today again it's fine though, just a note.

So not trying to put you or anybody off! There's just a few things to be aware of before grabbing one :)
 

IllIllIll

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2011
1,048
216
Currently use this inexpensive hub from Monoprice that splits one USB-C port into gigabit ethernet and 3xUSB 3 ports. $29.
 

sosnooly

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2013
10
0
Hyperdrive and Satechi are extremely sensitive to your movements. If you tend to move the laptop over the desk, don't even bother.
 

IllIllIll

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2011
1,048
216
I got a j5Create unit from Best Buy. It has:

  • An HDMI port
  • 2 USB C ports
  • A 1000Base/T ethernet connection
  • A USB C power input port.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/j5create-2-port-usb-3-0-hub-with-hdmi-and-gigabit-ethernet-usb-type-c-adapter-silver/5602501.p?skuId=5602501

I haven't had any problems with it. It connected to my HDMI Samsung monitor without problems.
Wow, I need to go out and buy this...it's got about 80% of the functionality of a $200 dock for $59, and passthru charging as well.
 

AaBoy

macrumors newbie
Jun 26, 2017
2
0
I'm looking to buy a new MacBook Pro 15. When I'm looking for a dongle on the web I can't get my head around which is the best. I have two requirements that the dongle can handle two 2k monitors and has min 3 USB port. Does anybody have a good recommendation for around 100 €/£?
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
I'm looking to buy a new MacBook Pro 15. When I'm looking for a dongle on the web I can't get my head around which is the best. I have two requirements that the dongle can handle two 2k monitors and has min 3 USB port. Does anybody have a good recommendation for around 100 €/£?
You're more likely looking for a TB3 dock with those parameters.. I don't think I've seen an adapter that can drive two external monitors via HDMI.
 

psik

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2007
415
31
Wow, I need to go out and buy this...it's got about 80% of the functionality of a $200 dock for $59, and passthru charging as well.
I want to buy this for macbook pro 13" 2017 but their support emailed me the following:

"We have tested the JCA374 with the new MacBook Pro and have found that there are some compatibility issues that we have found.
We have found that the sequence that the JCA374 is connected to the MacBook Pro is significant and may account for the issue with the USB C port though we have not seen the device cause the port to malfunction/not output video.
Please start by disconnecting the JCA374 from your computer, disconnect all connected devices, and then connect the JCA374 in the following manner:
1. Connect the JCA374 to the USB Type-C port,
2. Connect the HDMI cable to the display
3. Connect the HDMI cable to the JCA374.

We have found that other USB-C multi adapter through other manufactures also express this same issue, so it seems that the issue may be on end of the MBP.
Our research and development team is currently looking into this issue and may be resolved through a firmware update.
If you would like, I can certainly notify you once an update is available for your device."

Does anyone have any suggestions for something in the same price that does a good enough job like this one?
 

IllIllIll

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2011
1,048
216
I want to buy this for macbook pro 13" 2017 but their support emailed me the following:

"We have tested the JCA374 with the new MacBook Pro and have found that there are some compatibility issues that we have found.
We have found that the sequence that the JCA374 is connected to the MacBook Pro is significant and may account for the issue with the USB C port though we have not seen the device cause the port to malfunction/not output video.
Please start by disconnecting the JCA374 from your computer, disconnect all connected devices, and then connect the JCA374 in the following manner:
1. Connect the JCA374 to the USB Type-C port,
2. Connect the HDMI cable to the display
3. Connect the HDMI cable to the JCA374.

We have found that other USB-C multi adapter through other manufactures also express this same issue, so it seems that the issue may be on end of the MBP.
Our research and development team is currently looking into this issue and may be resolved through a firmware update.
If you would like, I can certainly notify you once an update is available for your device."

Does anyone have any suggestions for something in the same price that does a good enough job like this one?
I bought this last Friday to use with my brand new 15" tB MBP. Had to install a driver to get the gigabit Ethernet port to work but aside from that it seems to be doing the job very well, and I haven't had any problems with the passthru charging. The specs on the package says passthru charging works at 60W but it appears to work just fine with the OEM 87W Apple charger.
 

psik

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2007
415
31
I bought this last Friday to use with my brand new 15" tB MBP. Had to install a driver to get the gigabit Ethernet port to work but aside from that it seems to be doing the job very well, and I haven't had any problems with the passthru charging. The specs on the package says passthru charging works at 60W but it appears to work just fine with the OEM 87W Apple charger.
True they said only hdmi is problematic, as they indicate in their posted response
 

AppleSmack

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2010
130
38
Cut and paste from my reply to another post asking the same:

I've got one of these GN30H by QacQoc (I'd never heard of them, but it works brilliantly):

3x USB3
HDMI 4k 30Hz – I can live with 30Hz for my work
Gigabit ethernet (works straight out of the box, no drivers required)
Standard SD/Micro SD slot
USBC power in, up to 50W pass through to charge your computer – sufficient for my purposes
And it's connected by a short USBC lead. Personally, I don't like ones like the Satechi that plug straight into the port – the risk of bumping the hub and bending the plug is too high for my liking.