That shiny new notebook you now use in class everyday works well with the school’s network, the online curriculum and the battery lasts all day. It has one serious flaw, though, its single USB C port can’t accommodate a mouse and a keyboard. Enter Anker’s Premium 7-in-1 USB-C Hub that can provide access to the ports you’ve been missing.
Able to move over 5Gbps of data, the dark gray Premium 7-in-1 USB-C Hub has the most needed ports for teachers and students, weighs less than 4 ounces and has an 8.5-inch connection cable that’s just long enough to be able to attach the device to the lid of a notebook with Velcro. When it’s plugged in to a computer, the hub provides a variety of conventional ports.
- A pair of Type A USB 3.1 ports for a mouse, keyboard or flash drive;
- HDMI for sending video to a display or projector at up to 4K resolution;
- Two USB C ports for newer accessories and charging a computer;
- A flash media reader that works with full-size- and micro-SD cards.
In fact, the only thing the Premium 7-in-1 USB-C Hub does without is a built-in RJ-45 connector for tapping into the school’s wired network. With most schools blanketed in Wi-Fi, this should not be a big concern. It can also be easily resolved with an inexpensive USB-to-Ethernet adapter, like Anker’s $18 device.
It is connection central and using the 7-in-1 hub couldn’t be easier: just plug it into the computer and its ready to distribute data and power. There’s no software to load or configuration changes to make. I used it daily with several computers, including a MacBook Air, HP Chromebook X2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 to connect with a mouse, keyboard, flash drive, SD car and Epson PowerLite 700U projector. Unfortunately, doesn’t include first-generation Dell XPS systems and newer iPads that have a USB-C port.
The best part is that hub is self-powered, although this comes at the expense of the battery life of the notebook it’s plugged into. On its own, the hub uses just 0.15-watts. Add in a mouse and keyboard and the power draw rises to 0.6-watts.
If you want the 7-in-1 hub to charge a notebook, tablet or phone, you’ll need to plug an AC adapter into its USB-C port marked PD for power delivery. Able to deliver up to 100-watts, the hub can charge up even the largest laptop. To show it’s delivering data and power, the 7-in-1 hub’s white LED ring lights up.
Despite its name and including a protective travel bag, the price tag on the Premium Anker 7-in-1 USB-C Hub is anything but premium. At $40, it comes with an 18-month warranty, making it one of the best buys among USB hubs. In other words, it’s an inexpensive way to fill in for the things that your new USB-C notebook can’t do on its own.