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The USB-C Debate: Hub vs Dock – Which One is Right for You?

When it comes to expanding your device’s connectivity options, you’re faced with two popular choices: USB-C hubs and USB-C docks. Both types of devices serve a similar purpose – to provide additional USB ports – but they differ in design, functionality, and intended use. In this article, we’ll delve into the differences between USB-C hubs and USB-C docks, helping you make an informed decision about which one is best for your needs.

What’s a USB-C Hub?

A USB-C hub is a simple device that connects to your computer or device via a single USB-C port and provides multiple USB-A, USB-C, and sometimes even HDMI ports. Hubs are great for situations where you need more USB ports, but don’t require anything fancy. They’re perfect for charging your devices, connecting peripherals, and transferring data.

usb-c hub

Pros of USB-C Hubs:

  1. Affordable: USB-C hubs are generally cheaper than USB-C docks.
  2. Easy to use: Plug it in and go – no configuration required.
  3. Simple design: No frills or bells, just a straightforward device that provides more ports.

Cons of USB-C Hubs:

  1. Limited power delivery: Most hubs can only provide up to 60W of power per port, which might not be enough for devices like external hard drives or high-power peripherals.
  2. No smart functionality: Your computer still needs to manage the extra ports and data transmission.

What’s a USB-C Dock?

A USB-C dock is a more advanced device that connects to your computer or device via a single USB-C port and provides multiple USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, and sometimes even Ethernet and SD card slots. Docks are designed to provide a centralized hub for all your peripherals, making it easier to manage your workflow. They often come with smart features like automatic device switching, power delivery up to 100W per port, and priority data transfer.

Pros of USB-C Docks:

  1. Powerful: Many docks can deliver up to 100W of power per port, making them suitable for high-power devices like external hard drives or charging multiple devices at once.
  2. Smart features: Some docks offer smart functionality, such as automatic device switching or prioritizing data transfer based on device type.
  3. Ergonomic design: Docks often have a sleek and compact design that can be placed in a convenient location.

Cons of USB-C Docks:

  1. More expensive: USB-C docks tend to be pricier than hubs due to their advanced features.
  2. Complexity: Some docks may require configuration or setup, which can be overwhelming for some users.
  3. Bulkiness: Some docks can be larger and more cumbersome than simple hubs.

When to Choose a USB-C Hub:

  1. You only need additional USB ports without any fancy features.
  2. Your devices don’t require high-power delivery (e.g., external hard drives).
  3. You’re on a tight budget and want a straightforward, affordable solution.

When to Choose a USB-C Dock:

  1. You need powerful charging capabilities for multiple devices at once.
  2. You require smart functionality, such as automatic device switching or prioritizing data transfer.
  3. Your workflow demands a centralized hub with advanced features.

In conclusion, the choice between a USB-C hub and a USB-C dock depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a simple, affordable solution to provide more USB ports without any extra frills, a USB-C hub is the way to go. However, if you need powerful charging capabilities, smart features, or a centralized hub for managing multiple devices, a USB-C dock is the better choice.

Recommendations

Here are some examples available from Amazon for USB-C Hubs and USB-C Docks:

USB-C Hubs

There are a plethera of USB-C Hubs available, here are a few we have tried.

Most Hubs some support 2 displays but can struggle when you try to use multiple displays and network or transfer files over to a usb stick. If you are contantly doing lots of tasks at the same time then consider a Dock.

USB-C Docks

Most USB-C Docks will come with a separate power supply. This is good when you are taking your laptop with you and want a constant location to dock with.

We tend to supply the matching make to your laptop. However they should work with other brands.

Should you need any assistance choosing the right option, contact us and speak to one of our team.