USB-C hubs with a profusion of ports are hot now, but Sanho’s HyperDrive Power is far sleeker than any of its rivals. And it doesn’t sacrifice connectivity options for its svelte profile, offering a trio of USB-A ports, dual memory card readers, HDMI, a headphone jack and even Ethernet.
Our review involved testing all nine ports, which took a while. Read on to see if the HyperDrive Power deserves a place in your gear bag.
Sanho HyperDrive Power 9-in-1 USB-C Hub review
The profile of this accessory is a teardrop shape, and while USB-C hubs aren’t fashion accessories, the HyperDrive Power is genuinely the best looking one we’ve seen by a wide margin. It actually looks sleek.
It’s 4.3 inches by 1.9 in., and measures 0.6 in. at its thickest but tapering down to just 0.3 in. The exterior is mostly aluminum in silver or space gray, with the HyperDrive logo printed on fairly discretely.
The Hyper team kept the 2018 iPad Pro in mind during the design process, which is why there’s an extra-long 9-inch USB-C cable built in. This allows the hub to sit easily on a table next to this tablet when it’s being used with a clip-on keyboard. This doesn’t affect use with a Mac.
The slender shape makes the HyperDrive Power somewhat pocketable, though the built-in cable makes this slightly problematic. It fits better in a backpack, purse, briefcase or other bag.
All four edges of this hub have ports or the cable connection — necessary because it offers so many options.
Every rival accessory of this type has at least one USB-A port, but few offer three of them. This allows a keyboard, mouse and external drive to be plugged in simultaneously, or files to be easily moved between several drives at up to 5Gbps.
The HDMI port on the HyperDrive Power allows a Mac or iPad Pro to connect to most TVs and monitors. This can be up to 4K at 30Hz.
The slender side of this hub includes side-by-side SD and microSD memory card readers. Transferring images off a camera is a snap with these. They can be used at the same time, allowing files to be moved from one to the other.
Among the ways the HyperDrive Power appeals to iPad Pro owners is its 3.5mm headset jack. There’s not one of these in Apple’s most recent professional-grade tablet, but this adapter allows standard headphones to be plugged in.
Next to this, also on the end of this hub, is a gigabit Ethernet port. it uses the RJ45 standard, and comes in handy when Wi-Fi isn’t available or is judged too slow or too insecure.
The Mac or iPad can get power while all these ports are in use thanks to a USB-C PD 60W port on the slender edge. That’s enough current to quickly charge a MacBook or iPad Pro.
To be clear, the HyperDrive Power’s USB-C port doesn’t have to be connected to a wall socket or battery for all its ports to work. It can get all the current it needs from the computer it’s plugged into. There’s a blue LED that lights up when power is connected, either to external power or a Mac or iPad.
Please note that for an iPad Pro to take full advantage of all these ports it must have iPadOS 13. This update brings support for mice, as well as reading and writing the complete contents of USB drives.
HyperDrive Power 9-in-1 USB-C Hub performance
To be sure all these ports perform as promised, I tested each of them. Both separately and in combination.
My iPad Pro connected to the Internet through the Ethernet port, allowing me to stream a movie to an HDMI TV while listening to the audio on headphones. I plugged in a pair of thumbdrives and moved files between them, then copied some files to an SD card, all with a USB-A mouse. During this, I had the computer plugged in and receiving power.
There were no glitches. Everything worked as expected.
Sanho HyperDrive Power 9-in-1 USB-C Hub final thoughts
Apple’s switch to all USB-C ports on its MacBooks hasn’t made it easy for users to take advantage of most types of accessories. The HyperDrive Power 9-in-1 USB-C Hub takes us back to the days when macOS devices could connect to almost anything out there.
In a curious reversal, putting a USB-C port in the 2018 iPad Pro made it simpler for this tablet to use a whole range of peripherals, as it was a move away from the proprietary Lightning port. This hub from Sanho takes full advantage of the change, allowing iPadOS devices to do almost everything with plug-in accessories that a Mac can.
Sanho’s official price for the HyperDrive Power 9-in-1 USB-C Hub is $99.99. At the time of this writing, it’s available on Amazon for less.
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The rival Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub also has a plethora of ports, up to and including VGA. It’s $59.99. Or there’s the Twelve South StayGo, which has nearly as many ports for $99.99. The Minix Neo Storage has fewer ports but includes 240GB of built-in storage. It’s $99.90.
Tablet users might consider the HyperDrive iPad Pro, which can clip to the side of this slender computer.
Sanho provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.