For over $1,000, you’d think my new MacBook would come with more than two inputs (one of which is already taken up by the computer charger). And they’re USB-C at that. I’m all for technological advancements and I appreciate the increased speeds of USB-C, along with its ability to carry power, but most of the things I use — my iPhone, iPad, headphones, earbuds, audio recorder, and more — use the traditional USB-A cables. My initial solution was to find the right adapters, but using them means turning your desk into a jumble of dongles, connectors, and chargers, all waiting to be swapped in or out, needing to be charged — but only if I could afford to have my monitor disconnected. However slick the design of my new laptop, it was hard to notice amid the mess.
What finally convinced me to find a better way was the addition of yet another device. After capturing some epic footage of a recent sledding trip on my GoPro, I wanted to download it from the micro SD card to my computer. Instead of buying one more adapter, I looked for a streamlined solution. Most of the hubs I found need to plug into both of the laptop’s USB-C inputs (to provide more power to each device plugged into the hub), cost around $100, and stick inflexibly out the side of the computer. I didn’t want to spend that kind of money, and I didn’t like the rigidity of the setup, with the hub constantly sticking out. After a little searching, however, I discovered the XSPSUS 8-in-1 USB C Hub. It has 4 USB-A and 1 USB-C ports, an HDMI port, and SD and micro SD card readers. For $20.
With the hub using only one of my laptop’s ports, I can still plug my charger directly into my computer. And its flexible 6-inch cord allows me to move my computer around my desk or to pivot it (should I need to adjust my setup for a Zoom angle or to make room for my notebook) without worrying about running into the wall, knocking over my drink, or otherwise having to rearrange. Whatever device I use, I no longer have to pick through a mess of adapters to find the right one or triage charging my iPad or downloading video. I leave the charging cords hanging off the hub, so I know exactly where they are when I need them. Instead of clutter, I have utility. And when I need to plug something in, it no longer comes with a headache.
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