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Thursday, January 20, 2022

10 Best USB-C Hubs/Dongles for iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini

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As working professionals who travel, people on the move value portability and design. The newest line of the iPad Pro has ensured that this demand is met by a big margin. Packing state-of-the-art technology with the M1 chip, the iPad Pro can pretty much do anything. However, users who like to travel light also want room for expansion when they sit down to work. This is where USB-C hubs for the iPad. You can hook up your iPad to multiple storages and connected devices, including external monitors, by attaching a hub to your device. If you’re in the market for a USB-C hub for your iPad Pro, iPad Air, or the new iPad mini, keep reading as we have compiled a list just for you.

Best USB-C Hubs/Dongles for iPad Pro and Air

The list below contains a wide variety of USB-C hubs for the iPad Pro and the iPad Air. If you’re certain of a specific brand or model, use the table below to find it on the list. However, if you’re new do read on what to look for in a USB-C hub.

Does My iPad Support a USB-C Hub/Dongle

Apple’s change to the USB-C ports on the iPad Pro and Air design is breath of fresh air for users who want to increase its capability. However, that inherently means that your iPad model needs to have a USB-C port to be able to connect to the hubs below. Currently, the following models have a USB-C port:

  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation) or later
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) or later
  • iPad Air (4th generation)

If your iPad qualifies from the above list, keep reading the best USB-C hubs you can get for it.

What to Look for in USB-C Hubs

Buying a USB-C hub/dongle can be confusing. If you’ve been looking at the various models online, you already know they are all chock full of various ports. However, to ensure you’re not overwhelmed by the options, we have created a small checklist of the things you should look for in a USB-C port. Have a look below:

Since the iPad Pro/Air comes with a single USB-C port, it will occupy that no matter what hub you connect to it. While your iPad might be able to power all the devices for some time, its battery is still finite. Make sure whatever USB-C hub you buy for your iPad has an additional Type-C port that supports Power Delivery (PD).

A PD-compatible Type-C port will help you charge your iPad while connected to everything else. Moreover, make sure to look out for your USB-C hub to have a high wattage. Hubs with a wattage of 20W onwards can fast charge your iPad but the more the better.

2. Gigabit Ethernet

If you’re using a USB-C Hub for your iPad Pro/Air, you’re most likely sitting at a desk while working. And chances are you’ve got access to a wired Internet connection you can plugin. A USB-C hub with a Gigabit Ethernet port will make you can tap into that wired Internet speed and get access to insane amounts of bandwidth. Look out for it.

3. A Thunderbolt Connector

While the new iPad Pro uses a Type-C port, it supports a Thunderbolt connection which provides extremely fast bandwidth compared to USB. If you’re the owner of the new iPad Pro, make sure the USB-C hub you get has a Thunderbolt port that can support high speeds for connecting to displays and devices.

4. USB-A Ports

While the USB-C connector is slowly but surely taking over the world, the classic USB-A connection is still used by the majority of everyday devices. If you’re going to be using your iPad for office work, you’ll most likely connect it to external hard and pen drives that require USB-A. Make sure the USB-C hub you get has USB-A ports that support the connection.

These are just some of the things you can look out for. If you prefer other stuff such as connection to external displays and the like, look for an HDMI port in your USB-C hub for iPad.

10 Best USB-C Hubs for iPad Pro and Air

Now that you know a bit more about USB-C hubs, here are the best of them for your iPad models. Check them out:

1. HyperDrive 9-in-1 USB-C Hub

Picture Courtesy: Hyper

Starting with the perfect combination of functionality and design, the HyperDrive 9-in-1 USB-C Hub tops our list of the best you can get for the iPad. Packing a stylish and modular design that accents well with the iPad Pro, the USB-C Hub sits quietly beside the iPad while plugged in the Type-C port.

The HyperDrive Hub ticks all the boxes we discussed up above. The hub packs many ports, including Gigabit Ethernet, 3 USB 3.1 ports, a MicroSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Moreover, it even has an HDMI port that supports 4K @30Hz. If you’re concerned about charging, be assured in knowing that this 9-in-1 USB-C Hub for the iPad supports power delivery of up to 60 Watts which is more than enough.

While the small cable makes it very hard to use this hub in Portrait mode, the HyperDrive USB-C Hub for the iPad makes up for it with its attractive design, strong build quality, and a world full of ports. If you’ve been looking for the best USB-C hub for your iPad, you just found it.

Pros:

  • A plethora of various ports 
  • 60watt PD 
  • MicroSD card reader 
  • Has an HDMI port 

Cons:

  • Hard to use in portrait mode 

Buy from Amazon: $99.95

2. Satechi Aluminum Stand & Hub

Satechi Aluminum usb-c hub for ipad

The Satechi Aluminium USB-C is another fine choice for the iPad Pro/Air with a chock-full of features and a unique design that makes things comfortable. The Satechi Hub works double duty and props up the iPad on a stand while doing everything else. The stand also has protective padding along the side to prevent any damage.

When it comes to ports, the USB-C hub for the iPad has plenty. This 6-in-1 hub has 1 USB-A port, 2 MicroSD card readers for photographers, a PD port with up to 60 Watts, a 3.5mm jack, and a 4K port that goes up to 60Hz. Users looking to get behind editing high frame rate videos will get behind the HDMI port and the multiple card readers specifically.

While the Satechi USB-C hub for the iPad has no Ethernet port which can be a downside to some users, its unique design and high frame rate capability make it a worthwhile purchase. Check it out.

Pros:

  • Supports [email protected]
  • 60 Watt PD 
  • Dual MicroSD card readers
  • Unique stand design 

Cons:

  • No Ethernet port
  • Design not for everyone 

Buy from Amazon: $99.99

3. Baseus 6-in-1 Adapter for iPad

Baseus 6-in-1

Users looking for a USB-C hub that all but disappears with their iPad will love this Baseus 6-in-1. Featuring a design that rounds the iPad’s corner and simply tucks away, this USB-C does its work and stays out of the way. This is made possible by the L-shaped holder that props up against the iPad’s corner and easily connects. See that small switch near the iPad’s port? You can toggle it and turn off the entire hub if you want to. Pretty neat right?

Speaking of connection, the Baseus 6-in-1 USB-C hub contains  2 USB-A 3.0 ports, a two-in-one 3.1mm jack that supports audio and mic, a PD USB-C with 60Watts, a MicroSD card reader, and an HDMI with 4K up to 30Hz. While we realize the frame rate capability is down by 30fps, you won’t need it unless you’re doing high editing work. The Baseus USB-C hub for the iPad Pro/Air provides plenty of ports with excellent display mirroring.

If you’ve been looking for a hub with a design like this, we strongly recommend this one. Get yourself a Baesus 6-in-1.

Pros:

  • Unobtrusive design
  • 2-in-1 3.5mm jack
  • 60watt PD 

Cons:

  • No Ethernet port
  • 4K only at 30Hz 

Buy from Amazon: $49.98

4. Belkin USB C Hub, 7-in-1 MultiPort Adapter Dock

Belkin usb-c hub for iPad

We have no doubt you’re heard of Belkin and its long history of creating accessories. This intuitive 7-in-1 USB-C hub for the iPad is one of them. This hub employs the same standard design you saw in HyperDrive. However, what separates this hub is its massive Type-C PD rate.

In addition to having a 4K HDMI 1.4, 2x USB-A 3.0, 3.5 mm audio in/out, the hub has a MicroSD and an SD 3.0 card reader. So no matter what form factor of a card you have, you can fit it in this hub. Moreover, the provided USB-C PD port is packed with 100Watts of power for all your needs. So you can fast charge your iPad and connects all the devices you could want.

The Belkin USB-C Hub for the iPad Pro/Air contains a comfortable amount of high-tech ports coupled with a slim yet stylish design. While we would have preferred the cable to be longer, we trust Belkin a lot to endorse it. Go for this USB-C hub for your iPad.

Pros:

  • MicroSD and SD card readers
  • Massive 100Watt PD
  • Trusted brand 

Cons:

  • No Ethernet port
  • Short cable 

Buy from Amazon: $44.99

5. HyperDrive iPad Pro USB C Hub Adapter 6-in-1 Dongle

Hyperdrive 6-in-1

The Hyperdrive 6-in-1 is a different take on the same USB-C hub for the iPad. Considering another unobtrusive design that instead sits flat on the port, the HyperDrive is a good choice for your iPad. To make the design accessible to all iPad models with various attachments like the Smart Folio, the Hyperdrive USB-C hub comes with interchangeable grips.

Connectivity-wise the hub packs plenty of options. You get a single USB-A port to connect an external drive. You also get a USB-C with PD that supports up to 60Watts. While you again get Micro and SD card readers, we feel a single one would have sufficed. However, thankfully the hub doesn’t cut out the HDMI port that extended display users might need. The hub also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack for the wired headphone users among us.

The HyperDrive 6-in-1 comes in a neat form factor that packs all the wires tightly. While the extra SD card reader should have been replaced by a USB-A port, this hub is useful for photographers transferring data across the iPad easily.

Pros:

  • MicroSD and SD card readers.
  • Slim design
  • Has interchangeable grips to accommodate designs

Cons:

  • Unnecessary card reader 
  • The design might be too restricted for some 

Buy from Amazon: $69.99

6. Satechi Aluminum Type-C Mobile Pro Hub

Satechi Compact

If you’ve been looking at the USB-C hubs above but don’t want so many ports in one go, consider this Satechi model. This Satechi 4-in-1 USB-C hub is for iPad Pro/Air users who want a step above minimum functionality.

The model packs four essential ports and that’s all. A 3.5mm audio jack port is present for your headphone needs. You get an HDMI which is 4K 60Hz capable to connect to a high-resolution display. You also get a single USB-A port for the keyboard and DCIM data transfer (Media). Even though the hub won’t take that much power, you get a USB-C PD port with 60Watts of power capacity to charge your iPad Pro/Air and other devices.

The Satechi 4-in-1 USB-C Hub is an excellent choice for minimalist users working their iPads on a desk. Simply connect the bare necessities and get to work without worry.

Pros:

Cons:

  • A bit barebones 
  • Not for power users 

Buy from Amazon: $59.99

7. NOVOO USB C Hub 8 in 1

NOVOO usb-c hub for ipad

The NoVoo USB-C Hub is another entry in hubs for the iPad Pro/Air that come with an Ethernet port. However, that’s not the special thing about this one. This particular USB-C port has a special hidden cable that wraps around its chassis while not in use. Whenever you feel like connecting the hub to your iPad, simply pull out the cable and hook it up.

Besides the Gigabit Ethernet port on this hub, the NoVoo comes with a USB-C PD of 100Watts so you can ever power your Macbook Pro directly if you wanted to. You also get an HDMI 4K @ 30Hz, 3 USB-A 3.0 ports, and dual SD and MicroSD (TF) card slots.

Combined with extremely aggressive pricing that puts this entire combination under 40 dollars, the NoVoo USB-C Hub for the iPad line has immense potential and definitely one we recommend. Check it out:

Pros:

  • Gigabit Ethernet port 
  • Dual SD/MicroSD card slots
  • High 100Watts USB-C PD

Cons:

  • No 60Hz
  • The cable might break with use

Buy from Amazon: $49.99

8. Anker USB C Hub for iPad Pro

Anker Hub

Aesthetically designed for the iPad 2018 and 2020 series, the Anker USB-C Hub is an excellent addition to our list. However, before we go into detail do be aware this hub does not support the 2021 iPad Pro so skip this product if that’s what you want.

The Anker USB-C Hub is a good advantage for previous iPad owners to hook up their devices to other peripherals. The Anker Hub comes with a total of 6 different ports across a category of audio, video, and storage. Besides getting a USB-A 3.0 port, you get access to SD/microSD card readers, a USB-C port with 60Watts PD, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an HDMI port that goes up to 60Hz at 4K.

If you’ve been looking for a trusted brand besides Belkin for your older iPad Pro, you’ll love the Anker USB C Hub. While not built for the newer models, it’s impressive the hub supports [email protected] at such competitive pricing. Check it out:

Pros:

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support the 2021 iPad Pro

Buy from Amazon: $49.99

9. UGREEN USB C Hub 6 in 1 Dongle

UGreen Hub

We found this one under Reddit threads and this USB-C Hub is loved for a good reason. Being extremely affordable and functional, the UGreen Hub puts storage capabilities above everything else.

This USB-C Hub for iPad while small in design has three different USB A 3.0 ports for storage opportunities. Users looking to hook up pen drives and multiple external drives will find plenty of room to do so. The USB-C Hub also comes with dual SD/MicroSD card readers for even more data transfer routes. If you feel your iPad’s screen is not enough, feel free to hook it up to an external display through the given HDMI port that gives 4K @ 30Hz. You can even hook it up to your Macbook or an XPS if you need it.

While users who focus on data transfer will love this hub, there are some sacrifices one has to make for affordability. This USB-C does not come with a USB-C PD port for pass-through charging. So if you find your iPad Pro/Air running out of battery, you will have to unplug the port to charge it. Moreover, you might notice the hub getting a bit warm but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Pros:

Cons:

  • No USB-C PD
  • Gets a bit warm mid-operation

Buy from Amazon: $21.99

10. Zedela USB C HUB

Zedela usb-c hub for ipad

The Zedela USB-C is based in a similar vein to the UGreen model above but is instead bolstered with a USB-C PD port. While the design is not as modern as we would like it to be, we understand it is foolish to judge a book by its cover.

The Zedela USB-C Hub prioritizes storage devices too and hence comes with three USB 3.0 A Ports for fast data transfer. However, to take things up a notch, the Zedela USB hub comes with not one but two USB-C ports with one of each supporting data transfer and power delivery of up to 80Watts. So you can charge your Macbook or other devices with one port and transfer high-speed data with the other. And finally, to top things off, the Hub also comes with an HDMI port that supports 4K up to 30Hz for display mirroring.

While the Zedela is not the most feature-rich USB-C Hubs for the iPad Pro/Air, the inclusion of two separate Type-C ports is a big plus for power users. Combine that with three USB-A ports, you have yourself an efficient machine. Get it right now.

Pros:

  • Two separate USB-C ports (PD and data transfer)
  • Three USB-A ports 
  • HDMI [email protected]

Cons:

  • No Ethernet 
  • Design is decent

Buy from Amazon: $31.99

Get the Best USB-C Hub/Dongle for Your iPad Pro and iPad Air

Well, those were the 10 best USB-C hubs and dongles you can get for your iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini with a USB-C port. We have included USB type-C dongles in various price segments, and with a plentiful curation of ports. So, you should be able to find something that suits your needs. In case we missed out on any good USB C hubs, let us know in the comments and we will include them in the list.

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