USB C Portable Hub for MBPro M1

I have a OWC hub and a Cal digital hub in my office but was looking for a travel hub that is reliable for my MacBook Pro 2021.

I have two of them now but they are not that reliable and I have experienced some disk corruption and the first thing Apple Support asked me was if there was a hub involved. I gather that they can cause some problems.

I’d like to spend about $65-$100 for one that is reliable and that hopefully has USBA 3.1 GEN2 ports as well as additional USB-C ports and card readers. I don’t need additional HDMI ports but if they came with it would like it to support the latest standard, HDMI 2??

When the hub only has one USBC port marked PD does that mean it’s for power? Can you daisy chain a USBC drive.

I would like the ethernet port but do not need any USB2 ports

PD means Power Delivery. A port that is labeled that way is a port that is able to handle higher wattages im comparison to the usual USB port. It typically makes sense if you have a device like a display with a USB port that is labeled as capable of PD: the display is able to charge the MBPro then (depending on the actual amount of power that is being delivered through the port). But do not forget: this port will only deliver as much power as is available to the USB hub. If there is not much power going into the hub, the hub will not deliver much power. What is USB Power Delivery?

The question is not so much if you can, but if you should… My opinion: Daisy chaining USB drives is not a good idea. It can result in data loss and disk corruption like you already have experienced. Why? Well, power consumption and data transfer rate. It is complicated. You are not only sharing the data transfer rate with all other connected devices, but also the power. Have a look at (do not stop reading at the top)

I never would daisy chain a USB C drive. If you connect a USB C drive to a hub, the hub should have a power supply on its own. If you can, you always should connect a USB drive directly to the MBPro or the USB should have an independent power supply. If this is not feasible: A SSD drive will work better than a spinning hard drive connected to a Hub, but… It only works, when it is working. There are limits and you may only discover those limits when it is already too late (data corruption and so on).

I think that you will have to check the technical information of the hub in order to answer that question. Keep in mind that HDMI 2 can mean a lot of things. There is HDMI 2.0a, HDMI 2.0b and HDMI 2.1.
HDMI 2 is able to handle huge data transfer rates (What Is HDMI 2.0b?). Depending on how the hub is connected to the MBPro and what else is connected to it, there very well may be bottlenecks.

On a side note: when I read about a USB 13 in 1 “docking station” without an external power supply, it makes me cringe… :slight_smile: Maybe, somebody has a good suggestion for a specific USB Hub. A more general suggestion: Go for an USB hub that has the ports you need - and not much more. A USB hub without external power supply is a good thing for reading SD cards, connecting keyboards, a trackpad, a mouse, an Ethernet cable, an external display and maybe a USB flash drive and stuff like that. But you should keep the number of devices that are connected via the hub at the same time to a minimum in order to achieve good results.

A USB hub always is a compromise. There is a reason why Apple is selling adapters, but no USB hubs. Everybody is using USB hubs of course. They are nice tools like a Swiss Army Knife is one. But, a USB hub can also be a cause for issues with devices connected to it. You always have to be aware of the devices and their needs. You will have to keep in mind that all of those devices will share the data bandwith and the power that is available.

Thunderbolt hubs have brought more reliability to the hub world - and they share the same USB-C plug with the cheap USB-C hubs. But those hubs very often are meant for your desk and they have an external power supply for a reason.

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