One of the biggest drawbacks of carrying a thin and light laptop is the lack of ports. These days, most laptops now only come with USB-C ports and they don’t even come with a lot of them. Some come with only one port and if you’re lucky, maybe two or three. It’s also quite possible that the one USB-C port you have is also used for charging so you can’t even use it for anything else if you have a power cable plugged in. That’s why you need a USB-C hub, one that is portable and one that will allow for multiple connection options so you won’t need to sacrifice anything. The Plugable USBC-7IN1E is just that hub allowing for a multitude of different connections in a tiny package. It’s a 7-in-1 USB-C hub that includes Ethernet.
Basically, the Plugable USBC-78IN1 expands your one USB-C port into seven ports. You get 2xUSB-A 3.0 ports, 1xGigabit Ethernet port, a 4K HDMI port, 1xSD and 1XMicroSD port, and 1xUSB-C PD port that is used as a charging passthrough for up to 100W. You get many essential ports that would otherwise be missing in many new thin laptops.
For instance, my HP Spectre 360 only has one USB port and two USB-C ports. It also has one MicroSD reader and that’s it. This Plugable USBC-7IN1E hub adds HDMI, extra USB-A ports, an SD reader, and the Ethernet port to my laptop and is small enough to carry in a bag or even in your pocket.
Not only that, the Plugable USBC-7IN1E is very attractive sporting an aluminum build with a dark grey finish. The build is solid and seems like it’ll hold up well over time. You will have to run this fairly close to your laptop however as the built-in USB-C cable is pretty short.
So what does the Plugable USBC-7IN1E work with? It’ll work with most Chromebook/Windows/Mac/Linux hosts that support DisplayPort Alternate Mode (Alt Mode) video output functionality. You’ll have to check the plugable site here for a list of compatible devices. I can tell you it won’t work on Nintendo Switch or on some Android devices for desktop mode.
Plugable’s USBC-7IN1E hub really packs in the features into a tiny, portable hub. In such a small package, you not only get extra USB ports, but also the 4K HDMI port and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Squeezing in the SD and MicroSD card reader is a bonus that makes the USBC-7IN1E an all-around must have if you travel a lot. Even then, this also makes a great hub to use at home and takes up very little desktop space.