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The Best USB-C Hubs for Your MacBook Pro in 2023

Hey there, fellow MacBook Pro user! If you‘re anything like me, you love the sleek design and powerful performance of your trusty laptop. But sometimes, those limited ports can be a real drag, am I right? That‘s where USB-C hubs come in to save the day, expanding your connectivity and letting you hook up all your favorite peripherals.

But with so many options out there, how do you choose the best USB-C hub for your needs and budget? Fear not, I‘m here to help! I‘ve done the research and rounded up the top USB-C hubs for MacBook Pro, so you can find the perfect one to supercharge your setup.

Why Do You Need a USB-C Hub for Your MacBook Pro?

First, let‘s talk about why you might want a USB-C hub in the first place. Depending on your MacBook Pro model, you might have just one or two USB-C ports to work with. That‘s all well and good if you only need to plug in a charger, but what if you want to connect multiple peripherals like an external display, mouse, keyboard, Ethernet cable, SD card, and more? That‘s where a USB-C hub comes in clutch, providing extra ports to hook up everything you need.

Plus, many USB-C hubs offer additional features beyond just extra ports. Some include Ethernet for speedy wired internet, SD card slots for easily transferring photos and files, and even 4K HDMI output for connecting to an external monitor. With the right hub, you can create a full desktop experience with your MacBook Pro.

What to Look for in a USB-C Hub

When shopping for a USB-C hub for your MacBook Pro, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Number and type of ports: Think about what peripherals you need to connect and make sure the hub has the right combo of USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, and SD card ports to meet your needs.
  • Charging passthrough: If you want to charge your MacBook Pro through the hub, look for one with USB-C Power Delivery (PD) support and at least 60W output.
  • Size and portability: If you plan to travel with your hub, look for a compact model that‘s easy to toss in your bag. Some hubs even have a slim, dongle-style design for maximum portability.
  • Speed and performance: For the best performance, choose a hub with USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds (up to 10Gbps) and HDMI 2.0 support for 60Hz 4K output.
  • Price: USB-C hubs range in price from around $25 to over $100 depending on the features. Decide what ports and features you really need, and don‘t overspend on extras you won‘t use.

The Best USB-C Hubs for MacBook Pro

Now, let‘s get to the good stuff – my top picks for the best USB-C hubs for your MacBook Pro! I‘ve broken them down into categories to help you find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

Best Overall: Anker PowerExpand Direct 7-in-2 USB-C PD Media Hub

For the best balance of performance, features, and price, you can‘t beat the Anker PowerExpand Direct 7-in-2 USB-C PD Media Hub. It has a sleek, compact design that connects directly to your MacBook Pro, taking up minimal desk space.

The hub boasts an impressive array of ports, including:

  • 2 USB-C ports (one with 85W Power Delivery for charging)
  • 2 USB-A ports
  • 1 HDMI port (4K@60Hz)
  • 1 Ethernet port
  • 1 SD card slot
  • 1 microSD card slot

With 10 Gbps data speeds, you can transfer files and photos in a flash. And the direct-connect design means you won‘t have to deal with a dangling cable. It‘s a bit pricier than some other hubs at around $80, but the Anker‘s premium build quality and performance are well worth it.

Best for Power Users: CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock

If you demand the absolute best performance and a ton of ports, the CalDigit TS3 Plus is the hub for you. This powerhouse dock boasts a whopping 15 ports, including:

  • 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports (one with 87W charging)
  • 1 USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port
  • 5 USB-A ports
  • 1 DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 1 SD 4.0 card slot
  • 1 optical audio port
  • 1 analog audio in/out port

With all those ports, you can create the ultimate workstation with multiple displays, super-fast SSDs, and more. The TS3 Plus provides up to 40Gbps data speeds and supports dual 4K displays at 60Hz. It also delivers up to 87W charging to keep your MacBook Pro powered up. At around $250, it‘s definitely a splurge, but well worth it for professionals and power users.

Best Portable Hub: Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C PD Media Hub

When you‘re on the go, you need a hub that‘s compact and lightweight without sacrificing performance. The Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 fits the bill perfectly. Weighing less than 2 ounces and measuring just 4.5 inches long, this slim hub is easy to toss in your laptop bag.

Despite its compact size, it still packs in an array of essential ports:

  • 2 USB-C ports (1 PD, 1 data)
  • 2 USB-A ports
  • 1 HDMI port (4K@30Hz)
  • 1 SD card slot
  • 1 microSD card slot

With up to 100W pass-through charging, you can power your MacBook Pro and your other devices at the same time. And the affordable price of around $35 makes it a great value. The only downside is no Ethernet port, but for most mobile workflows, the PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 has everything you need.

Best on a Budget: Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C PD 10Gbps Data Hub

If you‘re on a tight budget but still want a capable USB-C hub, the Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 is an excellent choice at under $50. It offers a solid selection of ports in a slim, portable design:

  • 1 USB-C port with 100W PD charging
  • 2 USB-A ports (10Gbps)
  • 1 USB-A port (480Mbps)
  • 1 HDMI port (4K@30Hz)
  • 1 Ethernet port
  • 1 SD card slot
  • 1 microSD card slot

You get up to 10Gbps data transfer speeds on the USB-A ports, making it easy to backup files or transfer photos. The HDMI port supports 4K video output, great for connecting to an external display. And with 100W charging output, you can keep your MacBook Pro topped off. It may not have the most USB ports or the fanciest design, but the Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 offers a ton of bang for your buck.

Best for Minimalists: Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub

Want a clean, clutter-free desktop setup? The Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub combines a sleek USB-C hub with an elegant monitor stand, letting you elevate your display and expand your ports at the same time.

Tucked underneath the aluminum stand, you‘ll find a streamlined selection of ports:

  • 1 USB-C port with 60W PD charging
  • 3 USB-A ports
  • 1 HDMI port (4K@60Hz)
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 1 SD/microSD card slot

With the built-in USB-C cable, you can connect the hub to your MacBook Pro with a single plug. The stand supports monitors up to 32 inches and 22 pounds, and raises your display to a comfortable viewing height. At around $90, it‘s pricier than a basic USB-C hub, but the 2-in-1 design is perfect for maintaining a stylish, organized workspace.

Using a USB-C Hub with Your MacBook Pro

Connecting a USB-C hub to your MacBook Pro is a breeze. Just plug the hub into one of your laptop‘s Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C ports, and you‘re ready to start connecting your peripherals.

Most hubs are plug-and-play, so you shouldn‘t need to install any drivers or software. However, it‘s always a good idea to make sure your hub is compatible with your specific MacBook Pro model before buying.

Once you have your hub connected, you can start taking advantage of those extra ports! Plug in your mouse, keyboard, external hard drive, monitor, Ethernet cable, and any other peripherals you need. If your hub has passthrough charging, remember to plug in your MacBook Pro‘s power adapter to keep it charged.

With a USB-C hub, you can turn your MacBook Pro into a versatile desktop workstation or take all your essential peripherals with you on the go. Say goodbye to limited ports and hello to a world of expandability!

The Bottom Line

A USB-C hub is a must-have accessory for any MacBook Pro user looking to expand their connectivity and unlock the full potential of their laptop. Whether you need a ton of ports for a desktop setup or just a few essentials for working on the go, there‘s a USB-C hub out there that‘s perfect for you.

From the jack-of-all-trades Anker PowerExpand Direct 7-in-2 to the power-user CalDigit TS3 Plus and the budget-friendly Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1, I‘ve rounded up the best options for every type of user. And for those seeking a streamlined setup, the Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub offers a stylish 2-in-1 solution.

When shopping for your ideal USB-C hub, remember to consider your specific needs in terms of number and type of ports, size, charging, speed, and price. With the right hub in your arsenal, you‘ll be ready to tackle any task and make the most of your mighty MacBook Pro.

Happy hub hunting, my fellow Apple aficionados! Here‘s to many more years of happy, productive computing with your trusty MacBook Pro and its new best friend – the mighty USB-C hub.