I'm looking for a USB type C / Thunderbolt hub that offers several (minimum 2, but ideally more) USB-C ports, with at least one capable of charging. I've seen some of the suggestions on this similar but old question, and was wondering if there are currently any better options (cheaper, more ports, charging-capable). Unfortunately, every hub I could find in my searches offered "regular" (type A?) USB 3.0 ports, not type C ones, or a variety of other ports like HDMI, DisplayPort, etc. Thanks in advance.
As of 1H 2021 no cheap USB hubs exist which would pass the DisplayPort signal.
- Some hubs are the same as old USB hubs, they take USB signals and emit USB signals and do nothing else. This time, they might do it at 10gbps speed and offer two or four USB C ports. Some examples include the Tripp-lite U460-004-2A2C-2, IOgear GUH3C22P, Sitecom CN-386 (rare C only hub), Lindy 43093, Delock 64054. The Belkin F4U090btBLK (the names just roll off the tongue!), C2G 26914 and Sitecom CN-388 advertises 5gbps speed only.
- USB C, however, can operate in various Alternate Modes, in practice only DisplayPort and Thunderbolt Alternate Modes are used. People wanting to connect a USB C monitor to a USB C hub couldn't really do it for the longest time as hubs didn't pass the DisplayPort signal to a downstream port. Bidirectional USB C - DisplayPort cables and adapters worked around the problem but if one wanted power as well then the selection was really limited and costly: Belkin Charge and Sync Cable for Huawei VR Glass and the Wacom Link Plus. The Dell WD19 was a rare -- so far the only known -- example of a hub that did pass DisplayPort signal to downstream.
- Thunderbolt was a different animal as all downstream ports work in DisplayPort alternate mode whether on a host or on a hub. When TB3 launched, it used the USB C connector and the USB C Alternate Mode but if a host was not TB3 capable, a TB3 hub wouldn't work. However, when Intel released the Titan Ridge chipset, these hosts suddenly worked with a TB3 hub. So for a non-TB3 host, one new possibility is using a TB3 hub with a Titan Ridge chipset and plug a USB C monitor into it. Some hubs also offered data only USB C ports as well, confirmed to be 10gbps. The HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 and the Dell WD19TB was tested but I strongly suspect all Titan Ridge docks are capable of doing this.
- The Intel Goshen Ridge chipset released end of 2020 is even more capable. It's the first TB4/USB 4 chipset for devices (reminder: TB4 is nothing but USB4 with every optional feature made required). Hubs building on this chipset have several (3-4) fully capable downstream USB C ports and can route all signals to any ports. There also might be data only USB C port(s) too. It is also backwards compatible meaning even if the host is not even TB3 capable but supports DP Alt mode / MFDP then a USB C monitor can be plugged into any of the downstream ports. At the time of this writing, there are no hubs with built in MST hub so only the first such will get the DisplayPort signal passed to it.
Benson Leung tested the capabilities of the Titan / Goshen Ridge chipsets, I just typed it up.