Travel-ready 7-in-1 USB-C hub packs both HDMI and DisplayPort [Review]

Travel-ready 7-in-1 USB-C hub packs both HDMI and DisplayPort [Review]

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HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock review★★★★☆
Be ready to connect to HDMI or DisplayPort monitors with the HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock.
Photo: Hyper/Cult of Mac

With Hyper’s HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock, you’re ready to connect to either HDMI or DisplayPort monitors at 4K or even 8K. The USB-C hub also includes dual USB-A ports, Ethernet and more. Plus, it’s the right size to use in your office or on the road.

I put the dock through a battery of tests to see how it stands up on real-world use. Here’s how it did.

HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock review

While many external monitors use HDMI, not all of them do. Others have DisplayPort. And don’t forget about USB-C. I know from personal experience, when traveling with a MacBook or iPad, you can’t always be sure which type of external monitor you’ll need to use.

That’s where the HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock comes in. It supports both HDMI and DisplayPort, though not at the same time. And it can handle 4K at 60Hz or 8K at 30Hz.

Your Apple computer already supports USB-C displays, so carry this dock and you’re ready to connect to virtually any monitor. That’s one less thing to worry about when heading out on the road.

Plus, Hyper put in a useful collection of other ports too, so you can attach a mouse or a printer. And have wired network access, too.

A very portable USB-C hub

HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock
The latest USB-C hub from Hyper expands the accessories you can access with a Mac or iPad.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock includes seven useful ports, and that requires a certain amount of bulk. But it’s still small enough to be quite portable. It’s 3.3 inches square and 0.7 inches thick, and it weighs in at 0.3 pounds.

The hub draws all the current it needs from your computer’s USB-C port so no bulky external power adapter is needed. The whole accessory fits easily in a backpack or gear bag.

The look is basic black plastic, with rounded edges and corners. It matches the look of a Mac or iPad well enough.

The various ports are on three of the four edges. A 12-inch USB-C cable is permanently connected to the fourth edge. This is how you plug the hub into your computer, and it’s long enough to reach the ports on an iMac.

USB-C dock with both HDMI and DisplayPort

The standout features of the HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock are the DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1 ports. But let’s get one thing out of the way: Hyper warns, “Dual extended displays are only supported on Windows devices that support MST, not supported for macOS.” In other words, your Mac can only use the two ports separately, not at the same time.

As noted, each port can drive a 4K monitor at 60Hz or an 8K monitor at 30Hz. Naturally, they can handle lower resolutions too. I don’t have an 8K monitor but I tested both ports at lower resolutions. They performed very well, with no flickering or other problems.

And that’s just the start for Hyper’s hub.

No less than 7 ports

HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock has a range of ports
The seven ports built onto the HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock are all on sides.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A pair of USB-A ports each provides 10Gbps for transferring photos, files or video. In my tests, I was able to copy a 1GB file from a high-speed USB-A drive to my computer under 3 seconds. Copying it back took less than 5 seconds. Moving a 10.5GB file from drive to computer took 24 seconds.

The ports provide 4.5W of power if you want to charge your iPhone or Apple Watch through them. That’s slow but doable for handsets.

But you’ll probably use these USB-A ports for a keyboard, mouse or other accessories. I did some tests and they handled whatever I plugged in.

There’s also a single USB-C port in the HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock. It supports up to 10Gbps file transfers. In my testing, a 1GB file transferred from a high-speed USB-C drive to my computer in less than 3 seconds. Transferring a 10.5GB file from drive to computer through the hub took under 17 seconds.

The port is not fast enough to drive an external screen. I tested to be sure. But you certainly can use it to charge your MacBook or iPad. The hub supports up to 85W for quick recharges.

As handy as the USB-C port is, more than a one would have been welcome. Anyone who uses that port for power can’t plug any USB-C accessories into the hub.

The HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock offers a Gigabit Ethernet port (10/100/1000 Mbps) for situations where Wi-Fi is either too slow or too insecure. That includes many office cube farms. It certainly works, and the port is able to connect my computer to the net at speeds faster than my consumer-grade router can offer.

And there’s a 3.5mm Audio Combo jack for speakers or headphones. It worked fine with my test speakers.

The hub gets slightly warm after extended use, but never gets hot.

HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock final thoughts

HyperDrive USB4 Mobile Dock is as small as a mouse
The latest HyperDrive USB-C hub is almost the same size as a mouse.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Anyone who travels for business has probably found themselves needing to connect to something unexpected and not having the right adapter. This dock should save you from that happening with HDMI or DisplayPort monitors.

It can’t handle two external screens at once, though. And there’s only one USB-C port.

If you don’t travel for work and plan to use Hyper’s desktop hub entirely in an office, you’re likely to leave a pair of speakers, Ethernet cable and a power cable permanently attached, along with a keyboard and mouse. But while the hub can certainly handle this job, you might also consider a less mobile dock that has more USB-C ports.

★★★★☆

Pricing

The HyperDriveUSB4 Mobile Dock is available on Hyper’s website. The price is $139.99.

Buy from: Hyper

Mac users who want more external screens should look at the HyperDrive 4K Multi-Display Docking Station instead. It can handle three 4K displays, and has a mix of HDMI and DisplayPort.

Hyper provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.