Belkin has been producing cables and connectors for ever so it seemed a safe bet to try out their USB-C multimedia hub.
This USB-C hub has 6 ports of different types, so first off I connected my USB-C charger to the pass-through charging capable USB-C connector which is rated up to 60-Watts. You can use this USB-C for a mouse or other USB-C peripheral too but the hub works best when powered as it can provide pass through power for the USB-C device and can charge devices using the USB-A ports. Once connected I plugged the hard wired 7cm short USB-C flylead into the USB-C port of my first device, a Google Chromebook. It works fine and seems just the right length and to be of very strong construction. But what about the rest of the ports?
First one on the front panel is an SD Card slot which supports full size SD cards and microSD cards using a microSD to SD adapter (these usually come with the microSD cards. Plug in an SD card and it is immediately detected in the files app on Chrome OS. Good start! I tried a variety of cards and all work fine, I was able to format a card too once I figured out how in Chrome OS!
Next to the CD Card slot are two USB 3.0 (USB A) ports. These are perfect for existing heritage peripherals assuming the world is slowly moving to USB-C. I tested them with an old mouse and keyboard to the Chromebook and they worked perfectly. In a slightly unfair test I plugged two Apple iPhones in and both charged via the power from the Chromebook charger. Impressive stuff! They also The documentation says they can be powered to a combined 3.0 Amp maximum and charge devices when USB-C power is connected.
Lastly theres an HDMI port. I plugged my Chromebook into my external 34in monitor, it recognised it and worked just perfectly. The HDMI port supports resolitions from 3840 x 2160 (UHD 4K) all the way down to 640 x 480 (VGA).
Theres more though! On the end of the Hub is Gigabit Ethernet. I've always preferred wired Ethernet perhaps in in an old fashioned way. And here it is. I plugged it in to my network. And if you're following along with the general direction of this review - it just worked. Wired Ethernet provides blazing fast and potentially more secure network access to corporate or private networks for a Chromebook.
If I had a criticism it would be lack of power status/charge LED. But then I can see one on the Chromebook or in the battery status of another device so that is a small issue and clearly by design.
By way of comparison, I've also extensively used an OWC USB Type-C 9 port dock which is a great device but more expensive and bulkier. It has more USB 3.1 both A and C ports as well as SD card, Gigabit Ethernet, audio and mini display port but it is mains powered only. The Belkin adapter is far better suited for a laptop bag when you are on the move to different locations.
Supported systemsBelkin say the USB-C Multimedia hub has been tested for compatibility with the following macOS, Chrome OS and Windows 10 devices:
- MacBook® with USB-C 3.1 Port
- MacBook Pro® 13” with Thunderbolt™ 3
- MacBook Pro 15” with Thunderbolt 3
- MacBook Pro 15” with Touch Bar™ and Thunderbolt 3
- HP Spectre x360 with USB-C 3.1
- Dell® XPS 13 with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C 3.1
- HP Pavilion x360 with USB-C 3.1
- ASUS® ZenBook Flip S with USB-C 3.1
- Lenovo® Yoga 910 with USB-C 3.1
- Microsoft® Surface® Book 2 with USB-C 3.1
- Dell Chromebook™ 3180 with USB-C 3.1
- ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 with USB-C
- Google Pixelbook™ with USB-C 3.1
Note: Althought there are affiliate links on this page this is a product I purchased for myself and use daily. I liked it so much I signed up to the affilate link program afterwards.