I think we can all agree that a dock isn’t the most interesting accessory you can think of. It’s more of a necessity in most cases, used for the sole purpose of enhancing your workflow. Powered hubs are a little more interesting than unpowered ones, but there’s nothing very exciting about them either. The dock we are going to look at today is truly a game-changer. I didn’t know a simple powered hub could amuse me until I came across the Dockcase USB-C High Speed 8-in-1 Smart Hub.
Dockcase is a trusted brand when it comes it USB-C hubs. Hence, I had no doubt that this would be anything less than impressive. Their last dock, the USB-C 7-in-1 Hub was a success. And the 8-in-1 dock having passed its Kickstarter goal six times over only means this one is a success too.
The USB-C hub comes carefully wrapped in generous protective packaging with an accompanying USB 3.2 10Gb FPC cable. I absolutely fell in love with it as soon as the dock caught my eye. It is sleek, sturdy and minimal. Built of premium-quality metal, the USB-C hub looks like it’s worth its $150 price tag.
It is thoughtfully designed with rubber feet on all four edges on its bottom, a generously-sized vent on its right and—I saved the best for the last—an HD display on the top. The hub is simple in its design and, yet, offers a variety of functions. It looks and feels like an accessory that will not just assist you with your workflow, but aestheticize your work setup as well.
Weighing a total of only 180g, the USB-C dock is easily portable. It measures 5.9 by 1.9 inches and is, thus, easily stowable as well.
Utility-wise, the USB-C hub handles a lot. It is the world’s first USB-C hub that hosts a display featuring information about the mode that that the ports work in, hence stating the power inputs and outputs. The dock also features real-time temperature, support for 4K video at 60Hzs and power delivery 3.0 at 100W.
The dock also offers upgradeable firmware. Its smart operating system and the layer of interaction it offers with the user is what makes it so unique. The D-key on the dock allows you to control various functions, switch between different modes and rotate the screen that allows the hub to work in different situations. The different modes include Data Mode, Video Mode, Charging Mode and My Mode. Data Mode prioritizes fast data transfers, Video Mode enhances video viewing experience, Charging Mode, as the name suggests, focuses on fast charging and My Mode is a personal, customized mode for you to choose settings of your liking.
Speaking of modes, the HDMI modes on this device bear mention too. You get two modes: Extreme and Balance. The former converts 4k video played at 30Hz to play at 60Hz, providing 92% increased compatibility as compared to regular hubs. The Balance Mode allows you to play 4K video at 60Hz while ensuring USB data transmission at 10GB at the same time. You also get nine different levels of HDMI output for you to choose from.
Apart from an HDMI port, the USB-C hub offers four USB-A ports, one high-speed USB-C port for data transfer, a 100-watt USB-C port for power delivery and a gigabit ethernet port. Two out of the four USB-A ports offer maximum speeds of 10Gbps for speedy data transfers. The other two ports work in Eco Mode, offering less speeds, and are thus ideal for connecting peripherals such as a mouse or keyboard.
The HD screen is what makes the USB-C hub truly stand out from regular hubs. It informed me about the number of devices that were connected to the dock, providing me with detailed information about each of them. I was concerned about the functionality of one of my USB-C cables. Seeing no output from it on the LED screen, I was instantly sure that it doesn’t work. I didn’t have to go around testing it on various devices.
One Minor Flaw
One gripe I have with the USB-C hub, though, is that it didn’t include a memory card slot. This was particularly important to me since my Lenovo IdeaPad L3 laptop doesn’t have one. It was a little disappointing to see a device do so much, but still not do enough.
All in all, though, I do believe that the Dockcase USB-C hub is a brilliant device. It is fast, portable, convenient and unique. The one small flaw I pointed out isn’t much of a dealbreaker.
Is It Hardcore?
I have never seen a dock with an LED before so Dockcase definitely gets a point for innovation. Combine that with great quality, impressive efficiency and a reasonable price, and you get their 8-in-1 USB-C hub.