REVIEW – With many of the popular laptops missing key ports, USB-C hubs are my go-to accessory to rectify the situation. I was given the opportunity to review the Aukey Link PD Pro USB-C Hub (also referred to as Unity Link PD III 8-in-1 USB-C Hub with 100W PD on the Aukey website). It has three USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) ports, an SD card reader, a microSD card reader, a 4K@30Hz HDMI port, a 100 W USB-C Power Delivery (PD) pass-through charging port, and a gigabit Ethernet port.
I found that this is an excellent hub to buy as long as you need this particular set of ports; however, it can be subject to interference when using a wireless device like a wireless USB mouse simultaneously with the other ports in certain locations of your house or place of work. The Aukey hub worked very well on my Lenovo Yoga 730 and 930 laptops, 12.9″ iPad Pro 2018, and my Pixel 2 XL phone.
What is it?
The Aukey Link PD Pro USB-C Hub is a device that contains eight expansion ports for your compatible laptops (or tablets or phones) so that you may connect external gadgets to them. The hub plugs into your laptop, tablet, or phone via an attached 6″ USB-C cable. It includes three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port (4K@30Hz), a 100 W USB-C PD pass-through charging port, a gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card reader, and a microSD card reader.
What’s in the box?
- Aukey Link PD Pro USB-C Hub
- Protective Pouch
- User Manual
- Warranty card
- Model: CB-C71
- Interfaces: 3 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) data ports, HDMI port, Ethernet port, USB-C Power Delivery port, SD & MicroSD card slots
- Connector: USB-C
- USB-C Power Delivery Input: DC 5V–20V 5A (up to 100W)
- USB Data Port Output: DC 5V 900mA (Max)
- USB Data Transfer Speed: Up to 5Gbps
- HDMI Display Resolution: Up to 4K@30Hz
- SD & MicroSD Card Compatibility: MicroSD, MicroSDHC, MicroSDXC, SD,SDHC, and SDXC cards
- SD & MicroSD Card Capacity: Up to 2TB
- SD& MicroSD Card Data Transfer Speed: Up to 5Gbps
- Material: Zinc alloy, ABS, PC
- Cable Length: 150mm / 5.91”
- Dimensions: 102 x 57 x 15mm / 4.02” x 2.24” x 0.59”
- Weight: 109g / 3.84oz
Design and features
The Aukey Link PD Pro USB-C Hub is an eight-port USB-C hub. The top of the device is made of plastic and has an LED status light that lights up green when plugged into a device using the built-in 6″ USB-C cable or when plugged into a power source using the USB-C PD pass-through charging port on the hub. The bottom of the hub is made of a zinc alloy according to the Aukey documentation. The hub feels robust and well-made.
The side of the hub shown above has two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, and a microSD card reader (not spring-loaded).
The bottom of the hub contains the Aukey model number and four small round silicone pads to keep the device from moving around when lying flat on a surface and also prevents scratching the bottom of the hub. This is something that my other USB-C hubs do not have.
I was also able to use all eight connections simultaneously as shown above using my Lenovo Yoga 730 laptop (as well as our Yoga 930 laptop). As shown above, I was able to view what was on my Lenovo Yoga 730 laptop on our LG TV using the HDMI port (4K@30Hz) while also being able to access a USB flash drive plugged into one of the USB 3.0 ports, charge my laptop using the 100 W USB-C PD pass-through charging port (it was plugged into a 90 W wall charger), play a video on my microSD card, listen to a music file using the SD card slot, modify a Word document on my USB 3.0 flash drive, use a wireless USB mouse, and search the Curiosity website using my gigabit Ethernet connection. The above photo shows a closer view of all the ports being used.
I was able to use the hub’s ports flawlessly except in one area of our house. I experienced problems using my wireless USB mouse (which was plugged into a USB 3.0 port) while using the other ports simultaneously, but only when using the hub near my living room TV. In this location of my house, the mouse stuttered quite a bit. Aukey states in the User Manual that using the USB 3.0 ports “may interfere with 2.4 GHz wireless devices (like wireless mice and keyboards). Plug your 2.4 GHz wireless receiver into a USB port on your computer and position the hub away from the receiver.” I then tested the hub with a 12.9″ iPad Pro 2018 and plugged it into our LG TV using the HDMI port and was able to successfully use the USB-C PD pass-through charging port (using a 90 W wall charger), the gigabit Ethernet port to connect to my home network, two USB 3.0 flash drives, the SD card slot, and the microSD card slot.
On my Pixel 2 XL phone, I used a wireless USB mouse (USB 3.0 port), two USB flash drives, the USB-C PD pass-through charging port, an SD card, and a microSD card.
The above screenshots show the transfer speeds when I copied a large file from my laptop to the SD card on the hub (this was a U1 Class 10 microSD card with a minimum write speed of 10 MB/sec inserted into an SD card adapter), from my laptop to the U1 Class 10 microSD card (minimum write speed of 10MB/sec) on the hub, and from my laptop to the USB 3.0 flash drive on the hub.
The above screenshots show the transfer speeds from the USB 3.0 flash drive plugged into one of the USB 3.0 ports on the hub to one of my USB 3.0 external Toshiba drives plugged into the second USB 3.0 port on the hub. The second screenshot above shows the transfer speeds between my two USB 3.0 external Toshiba drives that were connected to the second and third USB 3.0 ports on the hub.
I thoroughly enjoyed using the Aukey Link PD Pro USB-C Hub. I love that it works well with the major devices in our household. All of the ports work well and allow me to transfer files from my Lenovo Yoga laptops to my phone or from our iPad Pro 2018 to our laptops, etc. However, it does get a bit warm when using it and I wish it had a USB-C data port.
I have a Satechi Type-C Multi-port Adapter 4K with Ethernet V2 device that I reviewed in 2018, and it works with my Lenovo Yoga 730 laptop, 12.9″ iPad Pro 2018, but not my Pixel 2 XL. The Satechi hub also costs $79.99 on Amazon (it is Thunderbolt 3 compatible), while the Aukey costs $29.99 on Amazon (after clipping the coupon) and works with my laptop, iPad Pro, and my Pixel 2 XL phone.
I also recently tested the Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-C Ethernet Hub ($39.99 on Amazon) which is very similar to the Aukey Link PD Pro USB-C Hub as far as the type of ports it provides; except the Aukey hub provides one more USB 3.0 port, has 100 W Power Delivery instead of 60 W Power Delivery, feels more robust (the bottom of it is made of metal), and it costs less than the Anker. I also didn’t lose connectivity to the devices connected to the Aukey hub after I plugged in a power source to the USB-C PD pass-through charging port like I did when using the Anker hub.
What I like
- The Aukey Link PD Pro USB-C Hub has an HDMI port (4K@30Hz), an SD card reader, a microSD card reader, a USB-C PD pass-through charging port, a gigabit Ethernet port, and three USB 3.0 ports that can all be used simultaneously on my laptop
- All eight ports worked with our 12.9″ iPad Pro 2018 (I used the HDMI port, Ethernet port, SD/microSD card readers, three USB 3.0 ports, USB-C PD pass-through charging port)
- It worked on my Pixel 2 XL phone (I used the SD/microSD card readers, three USB 3.0 ports, USB-C PD pass-through charging port)
- It is well-made; the bottom of the hub is made of metal which is where the ports are located
- It has a 100 W Power Delivery pass-through charging port
- It’s inexpensive
What I’d change
- I would add a USB-C data port
- My USB wireless mouse occasionally stuttered due to interference while I was using all the other ports simultaneously; however, this was entirely dependent on the location in our house
The Aukey Link PD Pro USB-C Hub is a winner in my book. It is only $29.99 on Amazon (after clipping the coupon) and even though I wish it had a USB-C data port, it does have all the ports that I need: an HDMI port (4K@30Hz), an SD card reader, a microSD card reader, a 100 W USB-C PD pass-through charging port, a gigabit Ethernet port, and three USB 3.0 ports. I used all the connections on the hub simultaneously on my Lenovo Yoga 730 and 930 laptops. In addition to being able to use it with my laptops, I was able to use the hub’s eight ports on our 12.9″ iPad Pro 2018 and it also worked with my Pixel 2 XL phone (the SD/microSD card readers, three USB 3.0 ports, USB-C PD pass-through charging port).
The Aukey hub worked flawlessly for me except in one location of our house. In this instance, I experienced some interference that caused my USB wireless mouse to stutter quite a bit while using the other ports simultaneously but only near my living room TV. Generally, I use a Bluetooth mouse with my laptop so this is not a problem for me.
This is an excellent, well-made, inexpensive eight-port hub and I highly recommend it if these are the ports that you need.