Quick Review - Belkin USB-C 4-Port Mini Hub

Image: Belkin

With USB-C emerging as the new standard for connecting just about everything to your portable computer, the big challenge is both the number of ports and connecting legacy devices. While there are many docking station solutions around, many of those are too large for mobile workers. The Belkin USB-C 4-Port Mini Hub is about half the size of a deck of cards and provides two USB-A and two USB-C ports from a single USB-C connection.

There's not a lot to say about the Mini Hub. I used it with two computers - a Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook.

With Dell, I was able to plug it into one of the two USB-C ports and connect external hard drives, USB sticks and an iPhone. All those devices worked perfectly. The same goes with the MacBook.

However, there was one difference when using the Mini Hub with the Mac. When I connected it to the Mac and then plugged the power cable in, I was able to use the Mini Hub to keep the MacBook charged, effectively giving me pair of USB-A ports and a USB-C port for connecting other devices. With the Dell, I could not use the charging cable with Mini Hub. It wasn't a big deal as that computer has two USB-C ports.

The cable used for connecting to the computer is quite short but it tucks into the side of the Mini Hub so there's no chance of losing it.

Would I buy it?

At $74.95, the Belkin USB-C 4-Port Mini Hub is a handy, but expensive, peripheral. Given some of the options on the market, I really like the compact size of the Mini Hub. But I can't get my head around the fact it's a $74.95 USB hub. If I was buying a regular four-port USB hub, I could go to my local supermarket and pick one up for around $10. But USB-C's ability to carry more power than older USB standards, as well as data, means the manufacturing and certification standards manufacturers should adhere to are far more stringent. this results in more expensive cables and peripherals.

With Apple's cable costing $75 and Dell's $29, Belkin offers more than a single function adapter. That makes it a decent buy compared to what the rest of the market offers.

This is the adapter I'll be carrying if I end up buying a USB-C equipped device.


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