Review

Plugable 7-in-1 USB 3.0 Hub review: solid USB-A options, but not much else

3.5
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The Plugable 7-in-1 USB 3.0 charging hub is an excellent way to add more USB-A ports to your setup, but it lacks other connectivity options like USB-C or HDMI.

Modern Macs focus on USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, so a hub is a great way to expand your peripheral options. If you only need a variety of USB-A ports, this hub by Plugable is a solid choice.

However, if you need additional ports, then you might be better served looking at another device.

Design

The simple, barebones design will fit in a professional office.
The simple, barebones design will fit in a professional office.

The Plugable hub is a no-frills device that aims only to do one job: offer more USB-A connectivity options to your desk setup. To that end, it accomplishes it well.

You won't win any style points with this hub, however. It's made from simple black plastic and sports a bare-bones design. For many users, this might be a plus, as it can easily fit into a professional office setting without drawing attention.

The Plugable 7-in-1 is 76.2 x 12.7 x 2.5 mm (3 x 5 x 1 inches). It weighs a mere 0.3 pounds — so it feels surprisingly lightweight in hand.

The lack of heft is likely because the power supply is stored separately — you'll need to plug in its extended 60W adapter for the device to function. That makes the Plugable ill-suited to be a grab-and-go portable hub. It can do it, but it's not as convenient as a more bag-friendly option.

Connectivity

The rear of the Plugable hub features a USB-B port and the power port.
The rear of the Plugable hub features a USB-B port and the power port.

As its name would suggest, the front side of the Plugable 7-in-1 USB hub features seven USB-A 3.0 ports. That's it.

All seven ports feature both data transfer and charging capabilities. Plugable says its dock can transfer data at speeds up to 5 Gbps. The ports can also deliver 60W of charging power at 12V 5A.

Side note: the USB-A ports are all evenly spaced across the front and feature quite a bit of room between them. That makes plugging in bulkier adapters or cables a breeze.

On the rear side of the hub, you'll find a USB-B port for plugging into your laptop or desktop. The only other connectivity here is the hub's own power adapter port.

Performance

Alongside the power supply, the hub comes with a USB Type-B connector that attaches to your laptop via USB-A or USB-C.
Alongside the power supply, the hub comes with a USB Type-B connector that attaches to your laptop via USB-A or USB-C.

The Plugable 7-in-1 USB hub does what it says on the box: it offers expanded connectivity options with both charging and data transfer in mind.

It certainly nails that simple goal. In our testing, the Plugable featured good data transfer speeds and was able to charge a variety of Apple devices with its 60W output — including an iPad, an iPhone 12 Pro, and an Apple Watch.

The plug-and-play functionality makes this a simple device to slot into your setup. Just plug it in, and it'll work fine from the start.

In addition to the power supply, the hub also comes with a USB-B to USB-A cable. The cable itself also features a dongle attachment for converting the USB-A connector to USB-C.

Should you buy the Plugable 7-in-1 USB Hub?

The Plugable 7-in-1 hub offers great USB-A capabilities, but not much else.
The Plugable 7-in-1 hub offers great USB-A capabilities, but not much else.

The Plugable hub performs admirably for its intended purpose. The dual data transfer and charging capabilities are top-notch here.

But, of course, unless you really need to expand your USB-A options, then it might not be the best choice for you. If you need HDMI ports or any USB-C connectivity, you'll be out of luck with the Plugable.

Also, keep in mind that the USB Type-B port that connects to your laptop doesn't feature pass-through charging for keeping your computer powered up.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Dual data transfer and charging capabilities
  • Transfer speeds are great, charging performs admirably
  • No-frills design will fit in an office environment

Cons

  • Power supply is heavy and not the most portable
  • No USB-C, HDMI, or DisplayPort options
  • USB-B connector doesn't offer pass-through charging

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Where to buy it

The Plugable 7-in-1 USB charging hub is available from Amazon for $48.95 or Plugable's website.