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As we move away from systems that have a whole raft of different ports to ones with only a couple of USB-C ports, hubs have shifted from being something of a luxury to a necessity.
Also: USB port problems? This handy kit helps you troubleshoot for under $25
There are all sorts of hubs out there -- from huge to tiny -- but there's usually some tradeoff that has to be made if you want to go for something on the smaller end of the spectrum.
The Dockcase Pro changes that. It's a fully-featured, smart, 6-in-1 USB-C hub that combines power and portability, and even throws in a display so you can keep an eye on what's going on in the dock.
A 6-in-1 USB-C hub that displays the power and speed performance of your cables.
Note that the sample I've been sent has a silver finish, but I'm assured that the final product will have a matte-black finish.
There are a few things that I demand from a hub.
First, it needs to do everything that the specs claim, and having tested the Dockcase Pro, I'm satisfied that it functions as advertised. Power and performance specs all add up, which is great.
Also: This powerful, pocket-sized gadget is perfect for all your USB troubleshooting needs
I then want a hub that can operate without heating up to the point of being too hot to touch. Yes, that happens (a lot), and it's the main reason I choose not to post a review of a hub. Some get so hot that they can be considered a fire hazard.
I've pushed the Dockcase Pro to its limits, and the aluminum construction does an excellent job of dissipating any heat that's generated. You can literally go from having it powering a raft of devices to being in your pocket.
The Dockcase Pro also features a detachable USB-C cable, and I like this a lot, not only because it packs away better, but because I have the flexibility to choose what length of cable I need for particular applications.
Also: The 5 best USB-C laptop chargers
The LCD display is an interesting twist, giving me an insight into what's going on with the hub and what's connected. If you're someone who likes to geek out over the speed of your peripherals or the power output of your chargers, then you're going to find the additional info compelling!
I had reservations about the tempered glass top cover because glass is glass, and it's in its nature to be breakable. But I've tested the resilience of the outer material a few times and it's tough enough to put up with the rough and tumble of being thrown into my laptop bag and dragged around the place.
All-in-all, the Dockcase Pro is a solid 6-in-1 hub, and the benefits of adding a display and the transparent cover don't add to the price or introduce any compromises.
The Dockcase Pro (along with the Dockcase, which trades the gigabit Ethernet port for another USB 3.2 Gen 1 port) is currently open for backing on Kickstarter, with prices starting at $79 (that's $30 off the full $109 retail price).