Friday, April 28, 2023

Belkin Connect USB-C Hub

Juli Clover:

Popular Apple accessory maker Belkin recently introduced the Connect 4-Port USB-C Hub, which is the company’s first U.S. product made from post-consumer recycled plastics (PCR).


Made to be compact, the hub includes four USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and it supports pass-through charging of up to 100W.


Belkin says that its new USB-C hub is the only hub on the market able to deliver a maximum of 10Gb/s, which is 2x faster than other available hubs.

This seems like a pretty good deal at $44.99, but if you use one port for PD it really only gives you an additional two USB-C ports. We’re now about eight years into this transition, and there still seems to be no way to attach a large number of USB-C devices without using adapters.

My peripherals still use a mix of ports. Hotels and other public charging places use mostly USB-A. These days I’m carrying cables and adapters for USB-A, USB-C, Micro-USB, Lightning, MagSafe, and Apple Watch. Some devices need multiple cables, because sometimes I want to charge them from my MacBook Pro (USB-C only) but other times from USB-A.


Update (2023-05-01): This is not the first such hub, as I mentioned the Sitecom CN-386 three years ago. However, the reviews for that one weren’t great; I have more faith in this one given Belkin’s reputation. Marco Arment says that perhaps the lack of USB-C hubs with lots of ports is due to the inability to support so many full-speed connections. If so, I would certainly welcome hubs with a mix of fast and slow ports, as were common with earlier versions of USB. That complexity would be a small price to pay to get more ports—and not need to use adapters or daisy-chain hubs.

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I try to buy USB-C devices if it's possible.
And primarily use USB-C to USB-C cables that can do both power and data.
Then, to address all other connectors I use tiny adapters like USB-C Female to Micro-USB Male etc. So an assortment of those tiny adapters, including USB-C F-F takes very little room in my travel tech pouch but provides a lot of flexibility.

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