PLATINUM DUAL USB-C TO 8-PORT HUB

If you are a regular reader on this site and you haven’t read my recent update about Shorter Reviews, I’d encourage you to check that out before reading this review.

As USB-C becomes more ubiquitous (and we have Apple to thank for that), the options for USB-C hubs specifically for MacBook owners is virtually unlimited.  In my estimation, the biggest barrier that exists for these hubs is the price tag, which is annoyingly more than $50 in almost every case.

Platinum’s hub is no different, retailing at $80, which is on the lower side of pricing for better known brands (as opposed to numerous non-recognizable and unfamiliar brands you might find on Amazon).  Now, this isn’t to say that a name brand makes the difference–because what really matters is the performance.

From a design perspective, however, Platinum puts together a nice package, matching the space gray hue of my Macbook Pro.  The dual-port connection to the laptop is an interesting one, as it necessarily limits this product for use only with dual-USB-C-port Macbook models, and not the numerous other brands and models with single USB-C ports.  It does however, in comparison to the single-port hubs, provide a much more stable connection to the laptop.

The hub itself allows connections to the following: gigabit ethernet, two USB 3.0 Type A, HDMI that supports up to 4K resolution at 30Hz, separate standard- AND micro-SD card slots, and two additional USB 3.1 Type C ports (one supports 40Gbps data transfer and 5K resolution, while the other provides power pass-through up to 87 W and 5Gbps data transfer.  Because it passes power at 87 W and the other ports support 4K and 5K, this hub can serve as a docking solution for your Macbook with up to 2 external monitors (of course, additional cables will be required).

Practically, the hub performs as advertised, and there’s not much to complain about when it comes to performance.  For me, though, the fact that the connector is separate from the hub itself (bridged by a short cable) makes the Platinum hub feel more like a complex dongle than it does a hub or docking solution; many dual-port designs on the market today are straight connections to the body of the hub.  I strongly prefer the design of the latter.

Otherwise, Platinum’s hub is a great addition to your cable bag, provided you like this design over the unibody design that has been more popular over the years. 

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