Road warriors looking to expand the limited ports and outputs on a USB-C laptop now have another option for making their computer more useful. The Plugable USBC-MD103 is a stripped-down and affordable USB-C hub that is designed for the home office.
While today’s new breed of laptops grows getting ever slimmer, their sleek new styling does have a downside. There’s very little room on some of these thin laptops for the usual ports and connections that we’ve all grown used to over the years. However, these laptops usually have a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 port that bundles a whole host of useful functions in one small, bidirectional connector. A USB-C port can carry power, audio, video, USB, Thunderbolt and Ethernet signals in one cable. With the right type of adapter, it’s possible to replicate all those ports in one device.
This new USBC-MD103 multi-port adapter from Plugable is an ideal way of expanding a laptop so it can be used with an external monitor, keyboard or other USB peripherals such as a hard drive or printer. Although it’s possible to buy larger-sized USB-C hubs for office use, many home workers with a good wi-fi signal don’t need lots of USB ports or Ethernet connections. All they need is a video output, somewhere to link a legacy USB-A device and a pass-through port for their laptop’s power supply.
This new adapter plugs into the main USB-C port of a laptop and provides an HDMI 1.4 port that can0 drive an external computer monitor at resolutions up to 4K @ 30Hz. There’s also a pass-through port for powering a laptop as well as a USB 3.0 port that can support transfer rates up to 5Gbps.
The USBC-MD103 works with both USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports and fits in the palm of a hand. It’s small enough to slip into the side pocket of a work or laptop bag. The adapter can even work with an iPad Pro and will turn a tablet into a functional alternative to a regular laptop.
As well as working with the iPad Pro, the USBC-MD103 is also compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Samsung DeX and offers just enough connections for adding a single monitor, keyboard, mouse or thumb drive to a laptop.
More info: www.plugable.com