Disclaimer: UtechSmart sent this product to us for free for a review. That does not affect our opinion about the product. In this article, we list both what we like and dislike. Read more about this here.
The UtechSmart USB C hub
Does your laptop not have enough ports? Maybe you have a lightweight and portable laptop with a very limited port selection, like I do.
My notebook/laptop, the MacBook Air M1, has two USB C PD ports and one headphone port. If I want to connect the SD card from my camera, or my wired mouse that has a USB A connector, I have to use adapters.
USB C hubs like the UtechSmart 12-in-1 (click to view on Amazon) is for people like myself. It’s a small rectangular box with 12 different ports on it, and it plugs into a laptop like my MacBook Air with a single USB C cable.
Note: The version I have is the one available on the Swedish Amazon, click here to view it on Amazon.se. That’s the one I will be reviewing, the one on the Amazon US is a little bit different and does not have the exact same ports.
Even though so many of these USB C hubs look almost the same, they can be very different. Different not only in terms of ports, but what they’re capable of. That’s why some cost around $20, and others around $100. There are even more expensive models than that.
Features & Specifications
There are 12 ports on the UtechSmart hub.
- Two HDMI (Three on US version) – Supports 4K@60Hz on Windows, 4K@30Hz on Mac
- SD/TF Card Reader – 50-104 MB/s read, 30-80 MB/s write
- RJ45 Ethernet – Speeds up to 1000 Mbps
- Two USB 2.0 – Speeds up to 480 Mbps
- Two USB 3.0 – Speeds up to 5 Gbps
- USB C Data – Speeds up to 5 Gbps
- USB C PD – Power delivery up to 100W
- DisplayPort (Not on the US version) – Supports 4k@60Hz
According to UtechSmart, it’s possible to connect three external monitors. Two through HDMI and one through DisplayPort.
I don’t have access to a lot of monitors, but I connected the portable Arzopa G1 through HDMI and it worked. It was limited to 1080p@60Hz, and I couldn’t set it to 144Hz.
I can set it to 144Hz when I plug that same monitor directly into the ports on my MacBook.
Maybe it would be possible if I connected it through DisplayPort, but I don’t have a monitor to test that.
The ethernet port worked great when plugged directly into my router and delivered faster speeds than Wi-Fi.
SD Card Reader
I tested both SD card readers, and while they did work great, they were not as fast as the card reader built-in to my MacBook Pro.
Here are the speed test results with the SD card reader.
- SD Card connected to Utechsmart – Write: 27 MB/s, Read: 30.4 MB/s
- SD Card connected directly to MacBook Pro – Write: 39 MB/s, Read: 89.1 MB/s
The results are not bad and it’s not expected to be as fast as the built-in reader, but I wanted to share them, anyway.
External Hard Drives
I also did a speed test with an external NVMe SSD that plugs into my possible, with a single USB C cable. Here are the results.
- NVMe SSD connected to Utechsmart – Write: 419 MB/s, Read: 379.8 MB/s
- NVMe SSD connected directly to MacBook Pro – Write: 949.4 MB/s, Read: 892.1 MB/s
The speeds through the hub are definitely not bad, but when possible I would still connect the drive directly to the laptop.
That’s not possible with all hard drives, so it’s great that the hub can deliver fast speeds as well.
USB A Ports
I didn’t have any problems with any of the USB A ports and had several computer peripherals connected at the same time.
USB C PD Port
The USB C PD port is supposed to deliver 100W to compatible devices, but my MacBook saw it as a 53W power adapter. That’s when it was connected through the included 140W MacBook charger, so it should’ve been higher.
Is the Utechsmart 12-in-1 the hub for you? Well, it depends.
It has more ports than I am ever going to need, but if you want to connect several monitors and devices through a single USB C cable, it’s a good buy.
After using it for a couple of weeks, I can tell you it has been stable and I haven’t run into any issues.
Utechsmart has hubs with fewer ports that you might want to consider if you don’t need as many ports as this one offers.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any question.