The designers of Inateck’s latest USB-C hub obviously believe that too much is never enough. It has eight ports, including the typical USB-A and HDMI ones but also some real legacy ports, including Ethernet and even VGA. There’s also a built-in removable USB-C cable for use on the go.
There’s a lot to test here, but I put this full-featured hub through its paces. Plug into my review to see what I learned.
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Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub review
The design of Inateck’s hub is basic: it’s an 5.0 inch by 2.4 in. by 0.6 in. rectangle with ports on three of the edges. It’s not particularly small, but 8 ports aren’t going to fit into something ultra-portable.
To save bulk, the 3.4-inch USB-C cable that plugs into your Mac or iPad Pro is removable. This slides into a slot on one edge of the hub so you always have it with you. If you’re going to keep this accessory permanently hooked to your Mac you probably want to use a longer cable, but this short one is great when on the road.
If the slide-out cable trick sounds familiar, the Twelve South StayGo hub we recently reviewed uses a similar setup.
Most of the exterior of the Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub is aluminum to shed heat. The corners are rounded but most of the edges are sharp, and the medium-grey coloring makes this device look professional.
I frequently travel for work, and have always carried a collection of adapters to ensure I could connect my iPad to whatever equipment I needed to use. Every one of these adapters just got dumped into a box and replaced by Inateck’s hub. It has nearly every port I can imagine using.
Dual USB 3.0 Type A: Apple made the switch to USB Type-C, but USB Type-A is still widely used. Because there’s two USB-A you can plug in a keyboard and a mouse, or two removable drives and copy files between them at up to 5Gbps.
SD and microSD: Pop the memory card out of your camera and into the appropriate slot in this hub to transfer images. Both these memory card readers can be used simultaneously, allowing you to transfer files between them.
HDMI: USB-C monitors are great, but HDMI is more common. This port on Inateck’s hub can send video to a TV at a top resolution of 3840-by-2160 pixels (4K) at 30Hz.
VGA: This is a real legacy port, but plenty of offices and homes have old monitors, and thanks to this hub they don’t have to gather dust. This offers 1920 by 1200 at 60Hz.
Ethernet: Although Wi-Fi has mostly replaced wired networking, Ethernet is sometimes faster and is always more secure. The RJ45 port in his hub can transfer data at up 1Gbps.
Dual USB-C: One of these USB-C ports is used to connect the Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub to your Mac or 2018 iPad Pro. The other offers 100W PD 2.0, which provides up to 20V/5A of current.
The only port I found myself missing is a 3.5mm headset jack.
Just be aware that for a tablet to take full advantage of some of these ports it needs iPadOS 13. This new version adds full support for reading and writing to removable cards and drives, along with mouse support.
Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub performance
It took a while but I tested all eight ports on Inateck’s offering. They all functioned as advertised.
Of course, the first thing I tried was VGA video. Worked without a hitch. Audio plays through the computer because VGA is video-only.
Then I transferred a file from a microSD card onto to a thumbdrive. Then I moved it between two thumbdrives. I streamed video off a SD card to an HDMI TV.
Getting an iPad connected to Ethernet just took connecting this hub to my router.
There was even a surprise. The second USB-C port that’s only supposed to be for power was able to read the contents of a drive I plugged into it.
Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub final thoughts
Calling a multi-purpose accessory a Swiss army knife is a bit overused, but the Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub really deserves the name. It has everything but a built-in spoon.
It’s not super-small like some of the other hubs I’ve tried recently. It’s big, but it does a lot… like a truck. (Forgive the mixed metaphors.)
Inateck’s official list price for the its 8-in-1 USB-C Hub is $59.99. It is available from Amazon at that price at the time of this writing.
Buy from: Amazon
The Twelve South StayGo is a multi-port hub with a similar design but a different mix of ports. It comes in at $99.99. The Minix Neo Storage has fewer ports but includes 240GB of built-in storage. It’s $99.90.