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Product Review: USB-C Hub w/ Ethernet, USB-A, HDMI for MBP 14 2021

Last updated on March 22, 2022

(Please note that this post will contain affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you don’t want to use them, you can search by the ASIN number I’ll include after.)

(This is not a sponsored post. I purchased this item on my own and have had no contact with the manufacturer/vendor at the time of writing this post.)

I just recently picked up a MacBook Pro 14 Inch (ASIN B09JQL8KP9). It replaced my older MacBook Pro 13 Inch 2020 (ASIN B08N5LH3F7) that I had some concerns about with the screen.

It’s a great laptop – bright screen, lots of power under the hood, good amount of storage space, decent amount of USB-C/Thunderbolt ports. However, it lacks some common ports I need from time to time – like gigabit ethernet and USB-A (for things like USB flash drives).

I toiled around a bit, and found this USB hub (in purple, of course, ASIN B09LCHDRP9) with halfway decent reviews. It’s made by a company I’ve not heard from, UtechSmart. They make a bunch of different USB-C style hubs, a gaming mouse, and a gaming mouse pad.

Ordered one, and it came a few days ago.

The UtechSmart 6 In 1 USB C HDMI/Ethernet Hub

So, not bad, off to a good start. It’s metal with a rubberized cord that feels nice and not flimsy. Lets see how it looks to macOS when we plug it in.

macOS 12 System Info

Of particular interest is the AX88179A device, which is the gigabit Ethernet controller. Luckily its fully supported out of the box with no extra drivers needed. It’s also fully supported under iPadOS on my iPad Pro 11inch 2020.

iPadOS 15.4 General Settings -> Ethernet Page

I’ve confirmed that the Ethernet port does work as expected. I haven’t experienced any latency or performance issues that I can see (yet).

The one final thing I needed to verify, was that it would pass USB C PD power through correctly, since it claims to be able to pass up to 100W through.

Plugged directly in, my Apple supplied 65W USB C PD charger supplies 65W:

Directly connected Apple 65W supply

But, when connected through the USB C hub:

Through the USB C hub

So, a little bit of a power drop through the USB C hub. I’m assuming this is to be expected.

All in all, it seems to be a decent device. As I use more of its features, I’ll add to this review. If you have your own experience with this device, let me know in the comments!

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