USB Hub Type C

Amazon is selling a USB Hub-KKmoon C to 28.99 Euros: adds two USB Sockets-A 3.0 and recharges the MacBook 12 “through an additional USB-C. We tried it: here’s how it goes.

According to percomputer, the new MacBook 12 ”use the USB-C to recharge your computer or connect to an external display, a stick, a hard-drive and several other external accessories. There is only one plug you can connect only one device, provided that you do not rely on one of the new Hubspecially designed to work with this new standard.

Among many others, at Amazon there is one that is not limited only to add USB ports to your computer, but also allows you to provide power while connecting devices. It is produced by KKmoon, a company that for some time now we have been trying out some other interesting accessory in value. We tested these days.

The most interesting aspect of this device is, as mentioned, the ability to carry two USB ports USB 3.0, alongside a classic Type-C. The two classic doors offer a standard connectivity for devices that use the consolidated and reliable standard. In practical terms we will be able to connect to a Mac 12 ″, USB keys and hard disks or maybe even a mouse. The port Type-C is able to connect one of the few still accessories Type-C, most interesting thing, to provide power to the computer, while connecting to it a thumb drive or disk.

How important this opportunity is easy to understand. We can work with, for example, an external drive as long as we want without having to disconnect it. Having a single port Type-C from which pass both the connectivity of devices that power under normal circumstances we have to choose: use only a temporary key and then detach it to return to the Mac, or USB connected and work only with the battery until it is full.

The KKmoon device meets the user needs to feed the Mac and connect a memory stick, but with some compromise. The device is able to provide 5V to 2.4 to the Mac, this means that the power that goes from the power supply to the unit is less than half that given nominally from the feeder: 12W instead 29W. In practical terms it will have a marked increase of cooldowns.

We tested this limit right now, working on the menu. In our case the MacBook 12 ″ almost discharged to less than 20% of the battery, while there were few applications rose from an estimated 2 hours and 18 minutes to just under 5 hours. To have a rebuttal we brought 10% battery and then we performed two refills, by directly connecting your Mac to the power supply, the second passing of the hub. The result was that in the first case we recharged the Mac in 2 hours and 45 minutes, in the second case in 4 hours and 16 minutes. The difference in percentage increase in the times, is substantially corresponding to the output reduction caused by the hub.

We then investigated whether the Mac can not consume battery while it works plugged in. The risk could be that the hub is not able, while the screen was on and while they were in progress calculations, to support the operation of the machine due to poor energy transmitted to the circuits and oblige the Mac 12 ″ to recur on drums. In short, that despite being plugged in the laptop not only is unable to ricarcarsi, but not even function without draining the battery.

The Mac with 90% battery, signaled to be connected to the power supply, but not to be charging the battery. We then proceeded to launch playback of two films (with VLC and QuickTime), we opened 10 listings of sites that automatically reloading Safari, open Lightroom, iTunes, App Store, and Photoshop Elements; the battery indicator was doing at that point know they were three applications that were consuming “lots of energy”. After a couple of hours the battery is actually arrived at 98%. We checked again and noticed that the Mac had amended the wording, saying that the battery was charging, estimating in two hours for the process to complete. In fact, I mean, even with a number of applications, the power supply is able not only to support the functioning of the Mac without resorting to the battery, but also to recharge it, though very slowly.

This behavior is irrelevant for a number of users; the purpose may be to simply keep depending on the Mac using a hard drive or device. In this case the hub was, according to our tests, able to do that since we left connected a memory stick to a movie on a loop for a whole night and eventually the Mac, started from 50%, was fully loaded.

A second problem that manifests itself with this Hub is in the impossibility or rather slowly, recharge an iPad using USB ports. The current supplied by the port Type-C to the USB ports on the hub has an intensity of only 0.5 Ah, less than that required by tablets that do not have a “not charging” when they receive less than 1 ha. Actually the iPad, as we know, in this condition it recharges, although very slowly. When used while connected to this port we can more properly talk about iPad that you do not download because it is impossible, due to the combined effects of screen and processor power consumption and low intensity display, reset the battery, but we can use it as if it were plugged in.

We will, in any case, sync all your devices and at the same time, reload, albeit slowly, an iPhone. This issue wouldn’t notice with other similar hub (such as Inateck), with no door Type-C. You may then think that we are not dealing with an issue related to the energy supplied to the USB 3.0, but at “pinouts” doors. As it known to feed properly you need an Apple device specifically engineered USB ports.

We finally had some evidence linking USB sticks. In this case, everything worked without problems: the drives have been mounted and the data transfer rate was similar to that which we tested on a MacBook Pro with SSD of last generation, slight differences in favour of the latter could be determined probably by different hardware and harddisk. We have not noticed a particular increase in consumption.

Ultimately, the KKmoon accessory looks like main limit low energy that is transmitted from the USB port Type-C. This means that we can use it to keep running a MacBook 12 ″, but charging will be very slow. This may be a limitation in some cases, for example if we rush to recharge the battery, but for those who want to use the machine connected to the mains supply and at the same time use devices or USB devices, the hub does his duty. If your only interest was, however, only to have a hub to connect USB devices, you can find other solutions, although their price could be higher than € 28.99 (in two versions, gold or silver). of KKmoon.

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