iXCC Mini Aluminum USB-C to USB Hub REVIEW

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There is nothing more frustrating than working on a project but not having enough ports for connections on your laptop. I’ve seen it happen more than once and now that I have a new MacBook Pro, I am even more limited with the only having USB-C ports on my computer. So I have been looking for different ways to supplement the abilities of my laptop so that I don’t run into the aforementioned hub connection problem. The iXCC Mini Aluminum USB-C to USB Hub is a really nice addition to my connection collection.

The Mini Aluminum USB-C to USB Hub is a wonderful travel companion and provides a very simple way to expand your laptop’s connectivity possibilities. This hub has some nice features including:

  • Compatibility with USB-C devices like MacBook, MacBook Pro, or Chromebook Pixel
  • Support for transfer speed up to 5Gbps (USB 3.0)
  • Plug and play user and hot swappable
  • No drivers are required and it’s compatible with Windows, Macintosh or Linux computer
  • Compatible with USB 2.0, 1.1, and USB 1.0 devices

The box is kind of a nondescript package with minimal branding and text included. There are some specs included in the box and a list of what is included — the USB Hub, user manual, and a warranty card. When you open the box you will find the hub nestled inside a precut cardboard spacer for protection. Beneath the hub, you will find the user manual and the warranty card. I received the silver version of the hub, but it also comes in a gray finish that matches the Apple Space Gray color.

The entire purpose of this particular hub is to provide the user with additional USB ports. It’s got a fairly simple design. There is a USB-C plug on one side with three standard USB ports on the other. Two of the USB-A ports are USB 2.0 while the third is USB 3.0. I found this a little odd and wonder why the designer didn’t just make all the ports USB 3.0. It’s also a little odd that iXCC included a Micro-USB input option on the same side as the USB-C plug. The connection option is supposed to make it possible for users to connect the hub to other computers that don’t utilize a USB-C connection. It is another port though and you have to provide your own Micro USB cable.

The hub, as stated by the production company iXCC, is very small. It measures 62mm x 30mm x 9mm and only weighs 24grams. With these measurements, it’s very easy to grab the hub and throw it in either a bag or even your pocket. It’s just very compact and easy for travel.

Because of the oddity of the combination of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports I decided to do a couple of different tests. First, I tested the two types of ports on the iXCC hub and then I tested the speed on a HooToo Shuttle USB-C Hub, which transfers using USB 3.0. To complete these tests, I used a Kingston DataTraveler Micro Thumb Drive. This thumb drive connects with USB 3.1 technology, which will handle data transfer speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. Mounting and ejecting the drive took no time at all, but I was using a completely empty flash drive with either operation.

For each of the following tests, I copied a folder with images and video clips to the Kingston drive using the iXCC hub and the HooToo hub. This folder had 504.6 MB of data on it. After each test, I deleted the file so that I would start with a clean flash drive for each test. All of these tests were conducted from the same USB-C port on a 2016 MacBook Pro. Here are the results.

  • Test #1 — iXCC hub/USB 3.0 port: 23.67 seconds
  • Test #2 — iXCC hub/USB 2.0 port: 36.78 seconds
  • Test #3 — HooToo hub/USB 3.0 port: 28.18 seconds

Overall, I was pleased with the results of this test. The iXCC hub won the speed tests on the USB 3.0 port and the USB 2.0 speed is in line with what you would expect from that standard of connection. Again, this makes me wonder why iXCC didn’t just make all the ports USB 3.0. One other thing to note here is that the hub doesn’t sit flush with the computer. There is a small gap between the edge of the computer and the hub when it’s plugged in. This could possibly affect transfer speeds, but it’s important to note because of it a small design flaw that could affect the stability of the hub’s connection to the computer.

So, would I recommend this hub? Yes, but I’d like to see some aspects of the design improved on.

For more information, visit iXCC
Find iXCC on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally published at macsources.com on May 15, 2017.



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