The Google Pixel Slate is light, luxurious, and lacking in ports. There’s a USB-C port on each side of the tablet, a POGO keyboard connection at the bottom, and nothing else. While Bluetooth peripherals can get the job done most of the time, you should really grab a USB-C hub for that rare instance when you need to plug up an old flash drive or — heaven forbid — a wired mouse and keyboard. USB-C has been around long enough that we are finally starting to have some trustworthy hubs that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and these are our the ones we trust with our peripherals and our Pixel Slates.
Just the essentials
AUKEY 4 Port USB 3.0 USB-C Hub
If all you really want to do is plug in a flash drive and your favorite trackball mouse — what, they’re comfy and better in tight spaces — this simple hub from AUKEY will get the job done without having to pay for fancier ports like Ethernet, HDMI, and PD passthrough charging.
AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type-C to 4-Port Aluminum Hub
AmazonBasics has 2 models of 4-port USB-C hubs, but this one has a two-foot cable, allowing you to keep your hub comfortably out of the way as you use your Pixel Slate. Like the AUKEY, this hub does not support passthrough charging, but you can use the Slate’s second USB-C port for a charger.
AUKEY CB-C59 60W USB-C Hub
This is the USB-C hub that I’ve been using and abusing for the last year. This credit card-sized 7-port hub supports passthrough charging to top off your Pixel Slate at full speed, while also connecting three USB-A peripherals, one HDMI display, one microSD card and full-size SD card.
Peripherals to the left
RayCue 6 in 1 USB-C Hub
This charger may not be quite as compact as the AUKEY, but it features basically the same ports — it has a TF card reader instead of plain old SD — in a slightly larger footprint for an almost 25% smaller price tag. RayCue isn’t as well-known as AUKEY, but the hub has good reviews so far.
Cue the music
ONTOTL 9 in 1 Aluminum USB-C Hub
Bluetooth is okay while listening on a plane or cuddled up in bed, but when you want to plug into your good desktop speakers while you work, grab this jam-packed hub from ONTOTL. It also has an Ethernet port and over 1,200 5-star reviews.
One hub to rule them all
VAVA USB-C Docking Station
To quote a dashing Disney rogue, "Oh, mama, I have got to get me one of these!" This motherlode of a docking station has its own power supply, 4 USB-A ports, 2 HDMI ports, 1 USB-C peripheral port, a mic/headphone 3.5mm jack, an SD card slot, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Oh, and another 2 USB-A charging-only ports and a Qi fast charger are sitting up front, because apparently this thing wasn’t sick enough already.
I’ll admit, the VAVA Docking Station is a bit much, but most USB-C desktop switches on the market today cost well over $150 bucks without offering nearly as many ports, let alone a Qi fast charger. Most of us need a USB-C hub that can fit in our pockets, though, and the one that’s been gracing mine quite happily for a year is the AUKEY CB-C59. It’s the same size as my wallet, but buying one doesn’t empty my wallet.
December 2, 2018 at 10:18AM