I don’t know about you, but one of the biggest issues I have with the current crop of laptops are the lack of usable ports. With the trend of laptops getting thinner and thinner, it means that we’re also seeing traditional USB ports being replaced by the smaller USB-C ports. While I will admit that these new USB-C ports are great because of their multi-functional uses, we aren’t getting enough of them. That’s where USB-C docking stations come into play. Take for instance the latest from Plugable, The Cube. The Cube is touted as the smallest docking station on the market while still providing users the ability to connect a single 4K HDMI display, three USB ports for connecting peripherals, a wired gigabit Ethernet connection, all through a single USB-C cable.
When I first received The Cube, I was actually surprised by its size. I knew it was going to be small, but not this small. I’ve looked at a few other docking stations in the past and this one is by far the smallest. At just 2.5 x 2.3 x 1.4 inches, The Cube easy fits in the palm of my hands. On your desk, it’s going to take up very little space.
It has a very minimalist design, being all black with only the Plugable logo up top. You’ll notice this little blue strip along the bottom that doesn’t seem like much at first but when you power up The Cube, the blue strip lights up letting you know it’s on. On front there’s just one little USB-C port and on the rear is where the rest of the ports are. Like I said above, there are three USB ports, one 4K HDMI port, and one wired gigabit Ethernet port.
Other than that, it’s an unassuming little cube that makes your laptop better.
The Cube is pretty much a set it and forget it device. Once you have every set up with your cables, extra monitor, and peripherals you want to use, the last step really is to just plug in your laptop via USB-C cable.
From what I’ve experienced so far, The Cube works quite well. There’s nothing to configure and everything I plugged into it seems to work fine with my laptop. Items like a keyboard, mouse, and flash drives all work and connecting a monitor via HDMI also work as well.
The only issue I have and it’s something that Plugable already warns about is that The Cube may not be able to charge your laptop while plugged in. Instead, you’ll have to use your normal charging procedures on your laptop in these cases. I have an HP Spectre x360 and it won’t charge with The Cube.
Aside from that, Plugable’s The Cube is a very capable docking station that you can leave at home or take with you on the go thanks to its diminutive size.
If you’re looking for a really small laptop docking station, Plugable has you covered with The Cube. I like the fact that when it’s setup on your desk, it doesn’t take up much space at all and in my case where my laptop only has one regular sized USB port, The Cube adds three more. While I do like USB-C, I don’t really have many peripherals that make use of these so those extra USB ports come in handy. Also because The Cube is self powered, you don’t have to worry about items draining your laptop battery while in use.
With that said, The Cube by Plugable is now sits nicely on my desk as my go-to docking station for my laptop. It’s small, adds functionality to most new laptops, and if I wanted to, it’s small enough to take with me if need be.