Portable Connectivity: We Review the Anker 555 USB-C Hub (8-in-1)

While modern laptop ports are sufficient for most users, photographers and filmmakers have much higher connectivity requirements than the average person. A portable hub can save the life of a creative on the go. In this review, we take a look at the Anker 555 USB-C 8-in-1 Hub and whether it can provide both the ports and the performance required by a demanding workflow.

I have always been a fan of Anker products. They make some of the best and most reliable charging products available, and I have several at home and in my office. They make quite a few products beyond charging gear, though, so when I needed a hub for my new MacBook Air, it was an easy choice.

I had specific needs. First, I needed ethernet, as the WiFi in some of the places I work can be a bit slow and spotty at times. Second, I needed HDMI so I could easily connect to a TV when teaching. This combination alone eliminated a lot of options. Finally, I wanted pass-through power delivery. The Anker 555 USB-C 8-in-1 Hub did the trick, and given the reliability of their other products, it was a logical choice.

Specifications

Ports

  • HDMI port providing 4K at 60Hz
  • Two USB-A 3.2 ports with 10 Gbps speed each
  • USB-C 3.2 port with 10 Gbps throughput
  • 100 Watt USB-C Power Delivery input
  • Charge up to 85 watts
  • Ethernet port with 1 Gbit/s bandwidth
  • SD port with 104 Mbps speed
  • microSD port with 104 Mbps speed

Other

  • Dimensions: 4.76 x 2.17 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces

Design

The hub is very small and light, barely larger than the dimensions of all its ports combined, a big plus for anyone watching the size and weight of whatever they’re traveling with. Its host cord is about 15cm long and quite stiff. The hub itself is solid, dark plastic with a small silver Anker logo and subtle black labels on each port. A small white status light is on one end. USB-A ports and two card slots are on one side, while PD, USB-C, and HDMI ports are on the other. The Ethernet port is at the end.

It is a carefully designed layout. My only complaint would be the lack of rubber feet or the like. Its plastic casing is smooth and the device is lightweight, so expect it to slip a bit under the strain of whatever you have connected to it. If that bothers you, you can buy adhesive rubber feet for a few dollars.

Performance

Power

From the 100 watt input, the Anker Hub takes 15 watts to run things and makes 85 watts available for charging. For most computers, that’s a lot of power. For example, my MacBook Air can charge quickly at 67 watts, which means the hub can give me 50% battery life in just 30 minutes. Larger laptops, like the 16-inch MacBook Pro, require a bit more power. For example, the aforementioned model takes 96 watts to charge at normal rate. This means that if you’re driving a power-hungry laptop at full speed for long periods of time, the hub won’t quite be able to keep up, but it’s fairly rare that this is the case. It’s worth noting, however, that the hub doesn’t come with a USB-C cable or power adapter, so if you want to use the power supply capabilities, you’ll need to bring those as well.

Attach

The HDMI port delivers 4K at 60Hz, which is a nice advantage over many other portable hubs, which typically max out at 30Hz. That might not matter so much to a photographer, but if you’re editing high frame rate video, gaming, or doing anything for which a faster refresh rate is beneficial, you’ll appreciate the bump. While not everyone needs an HDMI port on a hub for a computer they travel with, I love having it. For example, I can display a Powerpoint in class while keeping the notes on my screen. Or, you can simply mirror your screen to a larger screen or set them up as two separate screens to have more available workspace. It’s very handy to have, and it works great in practice.

USB

With USB-C slowly taking over from USB-A, most of us need both ports, myself included. So the inclusion of two USB-A ports and one USB-C port, all with 10Gbps of bandwidth, is much appreciated here, as it saves you from having to carry around a bunch of adapters or buy new cables. And in practice, the hub had no problem keeping up with the demands of fast SSDs, easily maintaining the fastest speeds possible, which is great news for anyone who frequently transfers a lot of data.

ethernet

Many people haven’t used an Ethernet port in years. Wi-Fi is quite reliable and fast enough for many applications these days. That being said, for those of us who frequently move extremely large files or don’t always have access to fast Wi-Fi, Ethernet availability is a real lifesaver. Both apply to me, and that’s why an Ethernet port was a deciding factor for me when choosing a hub. In use, the port hit its advertised bandwidth of 1Gbps, and combined with a thin cable, it ensures that I can always fall back on a reliable and fast wired connection if I so choose.

Card readers

No hub for creations would be complete without at least one SD card reader, and the Anker hub comes with that and a microSD reader. Both max out at 104Mbps, which won’t max out the capabilities of UHS-II cards, but will be sufficient for most file-grabbing tasks.

What I liked

  • Very compact footprint
  • Light
  • Excellent range of ports
  • 4K 60Hz output over HDMI
  • 85 watt direct load
  • Minimal design

What I did not like

Final thoughts and purchase

All in all, the Anker 555 USB-C 8-in-1 Hub strikes the right balance in a portable hub, keeping its size and weight compact, but including a nice array of ports that should satisfy nearly any creative’s needs. shift. and pairing it with performance that can keep up with demanding workflows. And at $80, it’s easy to recommend.

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