The Dockcase Explorer Edition Smart USB-C Hub is an efficient 6-in-1 hub that features a handy LCD readout.
Dockcase sells SSD, smart enclosures, and dock stations in response to lessened ports on laptops and tablets. Including a 16-bit LCD screen on its products helps communicate essential information for users wanting more technical details. To switch menus, hold down on the black button on the side of the enclosure and release it to select a menu. Double-tapping this button also rotates the screen 90 degrees.
The 6-in-1 Smart USB Hub comes in regular and Pro editions, with the Pro having a Gigabit Ethernet port and one less USB-A port than the regular Dockcase. However, they share USB 3.2 for both types A and C, an HDMI port supporting 4K at 60Hz, and a detachable data cable.
Dockcase Explorer Edition Smart USB-C Hub Product Specifications
- Supported OS: Windows 7 or later, MacOS 10.14.6 or later, iPadOS 12.4 or later, Linux, Android, Harmony
- Material: Aluminum alloy, tempered glass
- Size: 127 by 38.6 by 17.7 mm
- Power In: PD 100W
The Hub stands out with its glass casing, accompanying screen, futuristic detailing in matte black, and small size, convenient enough to fit in your pocket. Our sample was in stainless steel, but the product is sold in a mostly matte black finish on the sides.
Of course, the LCD is what truly makes the Dockcase special. Switching between HDMI, power delivery, device details, and other configurations using a single button is especially unique for users who want to know the specific stats of their setup.
Plugging a device into the Hub and seeing the screen light up with more information is satisfying, and we haven’t had an occasion it wasn’t able to read and process another device yet.
On the HDMI screen, you can adjust EQ and ED ID, which can help with the finer details of signal transmission between your devices. The maximum power the PD port can take is 100W, but the PD menu calculates and displays for users the total input for your device.
Since this USB hub is more on the complicated side, holding down the “D-key”, the black navigation button on the side, for about four seconds restarts the Dockcase.
The Hub connects and centralizes your day-to-day accessories at the desk and while on the go. It’s ideal for light-to-medium setups due to the six ports, and this goes nicely with the fact that you can detach the data cable and carry the Dockcase in your pocket if necessary.
With all six ports active, we found the Dockcase was warm to the touch but not uncomfortably so. The foils on the back and the aluminum casing do a good job cooling and regulating temperature, handling strenuous activity without much problem.
When we tested the Dockcase on the Nintendo Switch, we were pleasantly surprised to see that it is a much more portable version of the official dock, just without the stand. Being able to handle HDMI, charging, and Ethernet makes on-the-go TV and monitor setups a lot easier.
We’ve noticed there’s barely a difference in the internet speed between the official dock and the Dockcase. For download speed, the Dockcase measured 52.25 Mbps, while the official dock measured 58.57 Mbps, which isn’t a sizable difference.
Flashy and functional
The Dockcase Explorer Edition Smart USB-C Hub lives up to its futuristic looks and is most appealing to those who want to see how all their peripheral devices are running on their workstation. Seeing ethernet speed, the connection speed between monitors, relative charging speed, and more are valuable even for more casual audiences.
The higher price begs the question of whether the consumer needs an LCD on their USB hub. If the answer is no, then the Smart USB Hub may not be for you.
However, it’s undoubtedly that Dockcase occupies a unique niche by making small accessories with smaller screens to assist in daily productivity.
Dockcase Explorer Edition Smart USB-C Hub Pros
- LCD screen displays technical details
- Heat dissipation
- Detachable data cable aids portability
- Great for productivity and gaming
Dockcase Explorer Edition Smart USB-C Hub Cons
- May not be for those who don’t care for technical details
Rating: 4 out of 5
Where to buy the Dockcase Explorer Edition Smart USB-C Hub
The Dockcase Explorer Edition Smart USB-C Hub is available for presale in the Dockcase store, the regular model priced at $89.99 and the Pro model priced at $99.99.