Accessories September 11, 2022 review added: USB-C hub / dock recommendations for Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, S8+, and S8 Ultra

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roirraW "edor" ehT

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This Pluggable Dock just popped up on Amazon. It's expensive, but $100 off for launch discount https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NQQ1G1N
Good to know, thank you.

Unfortunately, it doesn't take USB-C for power input (only power output, input is a power brick), and is only 5 Mb/s data transfer rate on USB ports. I think there are more competitive products for even the sale price.
 

KanyaKickIt

New member
Mar 31, 2022
2
3
Good to know, thank you.

Unfortunately, it doesn't take USB-C for power input (only power output, input is a power brick), and is only 5 Mb/s data transfer rate on USB ports. I think there are more competitive products for even the sale price.
Hey. My seemingly endless search for a hub that will tick all the boxes (which are remarkably similar to yours) has brought me here. It's baffling that the implementers of the USB 3 protocol chose not to differentiate between USB 3.0 and it's successors, leading to a situation where USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 are essentially synonymous. A simple clerical decision made years ago has led to devices that support the identical USB 3 protocol often been advertised by different manufacturers as either USB 3.2 Gen 2 or USB 3.1 Gen 2. Those consumers who even pay attention to specs like that are naturally gonna assume that 3.2 Gen 2 is the more advanced version of the two identical protocols... Even I have to look very closely (sometimes in vain) to try and figure out what type of type C data port a hub has included. Like, will it support Display Port port over USB C? And, as I'm sure you know now, there are plenty of monitors and tvs that accept the DP signal and data over the correct USB C cable.

My research has led me to assume that Anker's hubs are more expensive for good reasons. They seem to be the only brand (in the sub €100 category anyway) that offer a hub with an additional USB C data port that supports DP alt-mode. Pretty frustrating when there's no shortage of USB 4 type cables out there and a couple of extremely expensive hubs that cater for them out there already.

After much searching, I really don't think this it the best time to be spending money on a hub that's going to offer me features I don't need at the the moment. I need to decide on a wireless/bluetooth keyboard and mouse too. Then maybe I can start to save for my next PC build and still get to experience high-end games with the likes of GeForce Now, or even some of the recent titles on Play that I played on PC back in the day like a few of the Total War series and Company of Heroes. CoH even has mouse and keyboard support. Hopefully we'll start to see more demand from android gamers for control options, especially for shooters, playing one with a controller is just plain unnatural, lol. it's coming to Xbox, so why not?

So I'm gonna settle for a UGREEN USB C Hub HDMI 7-IN-1 Type C Hub with USB 3.0 Ports, TF/SD Card Reader and 100W PD. Of course I'll need to buy a USB C extension cable because all these damn hubs were designed for laptops (except the couple that plug right into the tablet. I don't see those hubs staying in place for any amount of time...)

Well, I've sure rambled on and then some! If you've any opinions I'd be interested in hearing them.

Thanks.

 

roirraW "edor" ehT

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@KanyaKickIt Thanks for your thoughts!

I still have mixed feelings on all the options that are out there, including by Anker. If Anker would include a model with a removable USB-C cable, that would help. Also, their next to the highest-end hub that has an extra USB-C port doesn't have a ruggedized built-in cable and their highest-end hub with a slightly ruggedized built-in cable doesn't have an extra USB-C port.

I may finalize my research today or tomorrow and I'll report back with my findings.

Oh yeah, about keyboard and mouse. I like the Logitech MX Keys and the MX Ergo Plus trackball. I've used Logitech's trackballs for 25 years. I'd prefer the Ergo/Plus had USB-C charging, but it's still worth it. I like these models because you can connect them via Logitech dongle or Bluetooth, and to multiple devices. The keyboard can connect to up to three devices and the trackball two.
 

roirraW "edor" ehT

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I just ordered the:

CalDigit USB-C Gen2 10Gb/s SOHO Dock - Up to 4K 60Hz, HDMI 2.0b, HDR, DisplayPort 1.4, 10Gb/s USB A & USB C, UHS-II microSD and SD Card Readers, Bus Power and Passthrough Charging Support

and

JSAUX USB C to USB C 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps 100W Cable [3.3ft/1M], [email protected] Monitor Video Cable Thunderbolt 3 Compatible with MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, iPad Pro, Pixel and More Type-C Devices-Blue

For USB ports, the hub only has one USB-A port (and one USB-C port available when charging), but I think most of the time this will be enough. Note that the hub manufacturer's site has video and charging firmware updates (from a year ago).

I normally use only Anker cables but I don't see a Anker USB-C -> USB-C 100 watt power delivery cable that's also rugged and supports USB 3.x Gen 2.
 

KanyaKickIt

New member
Mar 31, 2022
2
3
I just ordered the:

CalDigit USB-C Gen2 10Gb/s SOHO Dock - Up to 4K 60Hz, HDMI 2.0b, HDR, DisplayPort 1.4, 10Gb/s USB A & USB C, UHS-II microSD and SD Card Readers, Bus Power and Passthrough Charging Support

and

JSAUX USB C to USB C 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps 100W Cable [3.3ft/1M], [email protected] Monitor Video Cable Thunderbolt 3 Compatible with MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, iPad Pro, Pixel and More Type-C Devices-Blue

For USB ports, the hub only has one USB-A port (and one USB-C port available when charging), but I think most of the time this will be enough. Note that the hub manufacturer's site has video and charging firmware updates (from a year ago).

I normally use only Anker cables but I don't see a Anker USB-C -> USB-C 100 watt power delivery cable that's also rugged and supports USB 3.x Gen 2.
Thanks for the reply. Just to address your first reply, your issue with Anker having no hubs with removable connection cables - absolutely! And it's not just Anker. Anyway, that can be overcome with extension cables, so it's not the worst.

I found the CalDigit USB-C Gen2 10Gb/s SOHO Dock on Amazon UK (I'm in Ireland) and even as a Prime member it costs €117. It has impressive specs when it comes to data transfer speeds and display options no doubt, but that's just too expensive for me at the moment. The JSAUX model isn't available on the UK website. I assume you've ordered two hubs to see which you prefer and then return one? The returns process used to be so easy here before Brexit, but now, while I have received refunds for two recent items I returned, I had to print out two separate customs declaration forms for each product and only had the option of paying for postage myself. It used to be so painless...

As I stated earlier I went with the Ugreen cheapo hub and added a 1.8m extension cable and a Corsair Katar Pro wireless/bluetooth mouse. I've held back on a keyboard for the time being. I had looked at the Logitech MX Keys, but ideally I'd prefer a keyboard with keys that had more in common with my desktop mechanical keyboard so I've added the Royal Kludge RK61 to my buy later list. It has the same wireless/bluetooth connectivity and the ability to quickly switch between three devices as the Logitech. It also comes with it's own software, in the event that I like it so much I decide to use it on Windows as well.

Anyhow, I look forward to hearing how you get on with your hubs. I'd do the same, but it's not like you have any interest in a hub with the the specs I have chosen, lol!

Thanks again for your replies!
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

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Thanks for the reply. Just to address your first reply, your issue with Anker having no hubs with removable connection cables - absolutely! And it's not just Anker. Anyway, that can be overcome with extension cables, so it's not the worst.

You're welcome!

My main concern with unremovable cables is that if something happens to the built-in cable, I wouldn't easily be able to substitute another without some electronics re-working/putting a USB-C port on the hub.

I assume you've ordered two hubs to see which you prefer and then return one?

I've only purchased the CalDigit hub. I already have an "old" non-charging/non-power-delivery type USB 3.x Gen 1 hub which was actually free to me from 5+ years ago, and also a cheap USB-A -> 3x USB-A 3.x Gen 1 hub as well, so I could use either to get more USB-A ports from the CalDigit, although certainly, the idea of daisy-chaining two or more hubs makes me shudder. 🤣

Of course, neither of the hubs I already have would be satisfactory to use with the tablet since I couldn't use those hubs and charge the tablet at the same time.

The returns process used to be so easy here before Brexit, but now, while I have received refunds for two recent items I returned, I had to print out two separate customs declaration forms for each product and only had the option of paying for postage myself. It used to be so painless...

Ugh! Indeed, sounds very painful. I just checked and you can get it directly from the manufacturer's site for £79.99, but no idea if with shipping costs it would cost the same, and I don't know what their return process is like either, if things don't work out.

I had looked at the Logitech MX Keys, but ideally I'd prefer a keyboard with keys that had more in common with my desktop mechanical keyboard so I've added the Royal Kludge RK61 to my buy later list. It has the same wireless/bluetooth connectivity and the ability to quickly switch between three devices as the Logitech. It also comes with it's own software, in the event that I like it so much I decide to use it on Windows as well.

Interesting! Logitech has the MX Keys Mini (or something like that), too, but I don't like keyboards that have the arrow keys smashed under the main keyboard, to the right of the space bar.

Anyhow, I look forward to hearing how you get on with your hubs. I'd do the same, but it's not like you have any interest in a hub with the the specs I have chosen, lol!

Thanks again for your replies!

You too, I hope what you're getting works well for your usage, and you're welcome, and thank you back! :)
 

lenana

Senior Member
Sep 24, 2013
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83
Nairobi
I got an email notification with your earlier unedited version of your post. Did you initially have a problem with the hub that you resolved? Would you mind sharing what the resolution of the problem was?
Hello, sorry. I am noob 😅; I did not understand that the Anker usb-c hub must be connected to an external power source before anything could work. That's the mistake I did.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

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Hello, sorry. I am noob 😅; I did not understand that the Anker usb-c hub must be connected to an external power source before anything could work. That's the mistake I did.
Thanks for clarifying. With some hubs, certain parts of them seem to work without external power, but other parts - yes, as you found out, require external power. I wish it was clearer especially on the big-name hubs what will and won't work - although it might also just depend on the output amperage capability of the laptop/tablet's USB-C ports, so it might work without external power for at least some things with certain devices, but not with other devices.

I've tested my CalDigit USB-C Gen2 10Gb/s SOHO Dock some with the phones and laptops I have available, but I won't receive my Tab S8 Ultra for another 12 days (unless they delay it yet again), so I won't know what will and won't work without external power.

It definitely worked without external power for some things, but it depended on which device I plugged it into. Once I get the Tab S8U, I'll have to create a matrix chart of what works with what under which conditions.
 
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roirraW "edor" ehT

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Also added to the OP. By the way, yes, it is a very real and weird coincidence that my previous updates were always on the 11th of a month as well.

Update 3 (September 11, 2022):

I used the CalDigit SOHO Dock for a real purpose for the first time. I used its HDMI port to hook up to my 4K LG TV, and I wanted to charge the tablet at the same time as I knew it would be drawing a lot of power.
  • I used the USB-C cable that was included (~1 foot) with the CalDigit SOHO Dock to go from the Dock's output USB-C port to the tablet.
  • I tried both the 6-foot Anker Powerline+ II and the 3.3-foot JSAUX cables to go from the Anker 736 100W charger to the CalDigit SOHO Dock's USB-C charge port.
  • I had a 6-foot HDMI cable going to the TV (I also tested it with a 10-foot HDMI cable just to see, and it also worked fine).
The HDMI display worked fine, other than that the TV cut off the very top and bottom of the image, but it didn't cause many problems, especially with the tablet in Samsung DEX mode. In non-DEX mode, I couldn't see the status bar at all, although using my Bluetooth mouse, I was still able to pull the notification shade down just fine without seeing the top.

However, I had a problem with the charging. The tablet was still losing power faster than it was charging, although it definitely was charging some. I played musical chairs with the USB-C cables and found that the short USB-C cable that CalDigit included, which I believe I had read from their website should handle the dock's maximum of 100W, was the culprit. I know the tablet can only charge at a maximum of 45W, and I know that you can only achieve 45W charging if you're using Samsung's own charger that you have to buy separately, but eliminating CalDigit's USB-C cable out of the equation solved the charging problem. Note that I had hardly touched the Dock since I bought it, except for some basic tests just to make sure it worked, so I doubt if their included cable became damaged - and it was still working for HDMI delivery, just not for a high-enough wattage charging at the same time.

I'm currently using the 3.3-foot JSAUX cable from the dock to the tablet, and the 6-foot Anker between the Anker charger and the dock.

Update 2 (May 11, 2022): Ordered the following:
  • 2x Anker Powerline+ II USB C Cable, USB C to USB C (6ft, 60W) USB-IF Certified Cable, Type C Charging Cable, Fast Charge for MacBook Air, iPad Pro, iPad Air 4, Galaxy, Pixel, and More(Red)

Update 1 (April 11, 2022): Ordered the following:
  • CalDigit USB-C Gen2 10Gb/s SOHO Dock - Up to 4K 60Hz, HDMI 2.0b, HDR, DisplayPort 1.4, 10Gb/s USB A & USB C, UHS-II microSD and SD Card Readers, Bus Power and Passthrough Charging Support
and
  • JSAUX USB C to USB C 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps 100W Cable [3.3ft/1M], [email protected] Monitor Video Cable Thunderbolt 3 Compatible with MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, iPad Pro, Pixel and More Type-C Devices-Blue

For USB ports, the dock only has one USB-A port (and one USB-C port available when charging), but I think most of the time this will be enough. Note that the dock manufacturer's site has video and charging firmware updates (from a year ago). I did update my dock to the latest firmware when I received it. As of September 11, 2022, v1.2.7 from December 2021 is still the most recent.
 

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    Good to know, thank you.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't take USB-C for power input (only power output, input is a power brick), and is only 5 Mb/s data transfer rate on USB ports. I think there are more competitive products for even the sale price.
    Hey. My seemingly endless search for a hub that will tick all the boxes (which are remarkably similar to yours) has brought me here. It's baffling that the implementers of the USB 3 protocol chose not to differentiate between USB 3.0 and it's successors, leading to a situation where USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 are essentially synonymous. A simple clerical decision made years ago has led to devices that support the identical USB 3 protocol often been advertised by different manufacturers as either USB 3.2 Gen 2 or USB 3.1 Gen 2. Those consumers who even pay attention to specs like that are naturally gonna assume that 3.2 Gen 2 is the more advanced version of the two identical protocols... Even I have to look very closely (sometimes in vain) to try and figure out what type of type C data port a hub has included. Like, will it support Display Port port over USB C? And, as I'm sure you know now, there are plenty of monitors and tvs that accept the DP signal and data over the correct USB C cable.

    My research has led me to assume that Anker's hubs are more expensive for good reasons. They seem to be the only brand (in the sub €100 category anyway) that offer a hub with an additional USB C data port that supports DP alt-mode. Pretty frustrating when there's no shortage of USB 4 type cables out there and a couple of extremely expensive hubs that cater for them out there already.

    After much searching, I really don't think this it the best time to be spending money on a hub that's going to offer me features I don't need at the the moment. I need to decide on a wireless/bluetooth keyboard and mouse too. Then maybe I can start to save for my next PC build and still get to experience high-end games with the likes of GeForce Now, or even some of the recent titles on Play that I played on PC back in the day like a few of the Total War series and Company of Heroes. CoH even has mouse and keyboard support. Hopefully we'll start to see more demand from android gamers for control options, especially for shooters, playing one with a controller is just plain unnatural, lol. it's coming to Xbox, so why not?

    So I'm gonna settle for a UGREEN USB C Hub HDMI 7-IN-1 Type C Hub with USB 3.0 Ports, TF/SD Card Reader and 100W PD. Of course I'll need to buy a USB C extension cable because all these damn hubs were designed for laptops (except the couple that plug right into the tablet. I don't see those hubs staying in place for any amount of time...)

    Well, I've sure rambled on and then some! If you've any opinions I'd be interested in hearing them.

    Thanks.

    1
    By the way, yes, it is a very real and weird coincidence that my previous updates were always on the 11th of a month as well.

    Update 3 (September 11, 2022):

    I used the CalDigit SOHO Dock for a real purpose for the first time. I used its HDMI port to hook up to my 4K LG TV, and I wanted to charge the tablet at the same time as I knew it would be drawing a lot of power.
    • I used the USB-C cable that was included (~1 foot) with the CalDigit SOHO Dock to go from the Dock's output USB-C port to the tablet.
    • I tried both the 6-foot Anker Powerline+ II and the 3.3-foot JSAUX cables to go from the Anker 736 100W charger to the CalDigit SOHO Dock's USB-C charge port.
    • I had a 6-foot HDMI cable going to the TV (I also tested it with a 10-foot HDMI cable just to see, and it also worked fine).
    The HDMI display worked fine, other than that the TV cut off the very top and bottom of the image, but it didn't cause many problems, especially with the tablet in Samsung DEX mode. In non-DEX mode, I couldn't see the status bar at all, although using my Bluetooth mouse, I was still able to pull the notification shade down just fine without seeing the top.

    However, I had a problem with the charging. The tablet was still losing power faster than it was charging, although it definitely was charging some. I played musical chairs with the USB-C cables and found that the short USB-C cable that CalDigit included, which I believe I had read from their website should handle the dock's maximum of 100W, was the culprit. I know the tablet can only charge at a maximum of 45W, and I know that you can only achieve 45W charging if you're using Samsung's own charger that you have to buy separately, but eliminating CalDigit's USB-C cable out of the equation solved the charging problem. Note that I had hardly touched the Dock since I bought it, except for some basic tests just to make sure it worked, so I doubt if their included cable became damaged - and it was still working for HDMI delivery, just not for a high-enough wattage charging at the same time.

    I'm currently using the 3.3-foot JSAUX cable from the dock to the tablet, and the 6-foot Anker between the Anker charger and the dock.

    Update 2 (May 11, 2022): Ordered the following:
    • 2x Anker Powerline+ II USB C Cable, USB C to USB C (6ft, 60W) USB-IF Certified Cable, Type C Charging Cable, Fast Charge for MacBook Air, iPad Pro, iPad Air 4, Galaxy, Pixel, and More(Red)

    Update 1 (April 11, 2022): Ordered the following:
    • CalDigit USB-C Gen2 10Gb/s SOHO Dock - Up to 4K 60Hz, HDMI 2.0b, HDR, DisplayPort 1.4, 10Gb/s USB A & USB C, UHS-II microSD and SD Card Readers, Bus Power and Passthrough Charging Support
    and
    • JSAUX USB C to USB C 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps 100W Cable [3.3ft/1M], [email protected] Monitor Video Cable Thunderbolt 3 Compatible with MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, iPad Pro, Pixel and More Type-C Devices-Blue

    For USB ports, the dock only has one USB-A port (and one USB-C port available when charging), but I think most of the time this will be enough. Note that the dock manufacturer's site has video and charging firmware updates (from a year ago). I did update my dock to the latest firmware when I received it. As of September 11, 2022, v1.2.7 from December 2021 is still the most recent.

    Original post:
    I intend this thread for anyone to share their experiences with various USB-C hubs they try with their Tab S8 variants, or even what others are looking for in a hub. I'll be getting a Tab 8 Ultra, but it's estimated it'll be another month and a half (~ April 15th) before I receive my pre-order.

    Myself, I'm looking for some hopefully not compromised but not break the bank USB-C hub. If a hub had all the features I list below, I'd consider paying more for one.

    Features I've been researching for:
    1. A removable Power Delivery (PD - I believe 3.0 is the latest) USB-C cable, preferably higher power for other or future devices, but 45W minimum. I don't like hubs that have a built-in cable. In one way they're convenient, but a) they're short, and 2) if something happens to that cable, you might as well toss that whole device unless you want to start electrically and mechanically modding it. If I find a hub that matches all my other "wants" below, then an attached cable might not be a deal killer, as long as it's a rugged type, and preferably longer but even without being longer or rugged, I'd consider it as a last resort.
    2. Has at least 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port (10 Gb/s).
    3. Has at least 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 data port or faster. So the device would have the cable going to the Tab 8, a Power Delivery cable powering both the hub and Tab 8, and yet another place for a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 or faster data connection.
    4. A gigabit ethernet port.
    5. At least one HDMI port.
    6. A MicroSD port - I know the Tab 8 Ultra already has a MicroSD port, and I'll likely keep a card in it, but I still want to be able to access another one natively (not through an additional USB adapter connected to the hub).
    7. It would be nice to have a DisplayPort as well, but I'd consider a hub without one.
    8. A 3.5mm audio port would also be nice. Not necessarily a deal-killer without one, but in lieu of one, I'd require at least one additional USB-C port of any type specifically for using USB-C headphones, although I'm willing to test my USB-A ->USB-C adapter, which works fine with my USB-C headphones on my desktop PC.
    9. I'd prefer either at least a well-known brand (like Anker), or if not well known, then I'd prefer to buy either at a local brick and mortar store like Micro Center, Best Buy, OfficeMax, or even Walmart if I must, or at Amazon.com for easy returns if there's an issue early on.
    10. We'll see if I've forgotten something in this list. 😊
    You can safely assume I've already done a lot of looking already, but certainly not uber-exhausted every option.
    1
    https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerExpand-Adapter-Delivery-Ethernet/dp/B08NDGD2V5 is the one I've been considering. I think it checks all your boxes. I have a smaller Anker USB-C dock, but it has no ethernet and I've been thinking of upgrading.
    1
    The Anker 655 and 555 are the only ones with a USB 3.2, though you're unlikely to have any accessories that take advantage of that.

    Anker 655 - https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Delivery-Ethernet-microSD-Charcoal/dp/B09MF6TJLW

    Vs the one I linked above, on the 655 you lose out on displayport, only get 2 USB-A instead of 3, and no USB-C at all other than the power delivery input. Maybe they'll make a refreshed version of the 11 in 1 with USB 3.2 at some point.

    Pluggable makes a great one that has everything you want including a 3.2 A and 3.2 C port - https://plugable.com/products/tbt3-udz . . . . . . but it's $339!
    1
    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=35510 just came out and they have a very low intro price right now.

    It's a lower end hub in terms of specs, but it's hard to beat for just under $40