Well isn’t this a little black box of wonder! I’ve got to admit, I have had some bad luck when it comes to USB Hubs, with previous models letting the team down in spectacular style! As a result of that, I didn’t hold great hopes for the Bon.elk 9 in 1 USB-C Multiport Desktop Hub (That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it!)
The Bon.elk Long-Life USB-C Multiport Desktop Hub basically takes one of your USB-C ports from your computer and turns it into 9 ports, freeing up the rest of your computer-based ports for other things, but not only that, in my case, an iMac user, the Bonelk brings essentially all of your ports to the front of your computer, or wherever you choose to put it! One of the most frustrating things about my iMac is that all the ports are on the back of the computer, you either have to be a contortionist or you have to be really dexterous with your fingers (And we ALL know USB plugs NEVER go in the right way first time – ever!)
Before we look at the port selection and performance, here’s a quick dive into the technical specs of the device.
Connection: USB-C (Male)
HDMI: 2 x 4K@30Hz, Full HD 1080p@60Hz
VGA Port: 1920x1080p@60Hz
USB 3.0: 2 x USB 3.0 Ports SuperSpeed 5Gbps
USB-C Ports: 1 x Data Transmission
1 x PD Charging 100W
Micro SD/SD Ports: Data Transfer
Before we move on to ports and performance, I wanted to talk about the spec above, a generous spec for a relatively small device that doesn’t require external power (means you can sling it into your bag and take it along with your laptop without having to cart the PSU around – who wants to do that? nobody is who!) The configuration of my current workstation is a 27″ 5k iMac and a second EIZO FlexScan EV2780, the EIZO usually connected via the USB-C port on my iMac. I’ve plugged the Bon.elk directly into the USB-C port and am now running the EIZO from one of the two 4K HDMI ports on the little hub, that means I’ve given myself an extra USB-C port via the hub, and can now tether directly via the hub (My Tether Tools cable is USB-C to USB-C for my Sony a7R Mk3)
But as well as being able to tether directly via the hub, I can insert my ProGrade Digital SD card or Micro SD card directly into the unit for a fairly speedy transfer of files across to my computer. Now, the USB Hub has a good array of ports to choose from, let’s look at the list;
DUAL 4K 30Hz HDMI OUTPUT
Easily connect your video-enabled USB-C or Thunderbolt™ 3 device to dual HDMI displays, TV’s, monitor or projector for 4K video and audio.
USB-A + USB-C PORTS
Connect up to 2 additional USB-A SuperSpeed and 1 x USB-C device while charging via USB-C PD 100W to your laptop, smart device or computer.
USB-C 100W PD PORT
PD Charging port to allow your devices to remain fully charged.
MICRO SD / SD TRANSFER
Perfect for transferring images, video or data from micro SD and SD memory cards.
The hub ALSO has a VGA port (I’m not sure who this is for! I won’t make a joke about it still being the 90’s in some offices… oh, wait, I just did!) but to be fair, it’s pretty handy for some people!
The overall build and finish of the bon.elk hub are great, aluminium to help manage heat and while the unit does warm up a little (I’ve been pushing it!) it’s totally within the realms of what’s acceptable on your desk, and the base is perfectly weighty, keeping the hub upright and ready for action, that said, you can easily slip the hub out of the base and use it sitting flat on your desktop.
In summary, the Bonelk USB-C 9-IN-1 Multi Port Desktop Hub is a well made, compact hub that is very functional and well priced at around $170AUD.
All the ports you need
USB-C PD Charging port
Supported my 2560×1440 second monitor at a measures 64Hz (The hub is Rated at 4K 30Hz)
You could likely replace the VGA port with anything else?
SD Card slot support for UHS-II
Support for 4K 60Hz would be nice but as mentioned, it was fine at 2K 60Hz
A five star hub that I hope to use for a good while, so much so … we are giving it the DRN Pulse Award!