Card reader, printer, mouse, keyboard, game-controller, scanner, external hard-drive, flash-drives, and so much more are dangling away while being connected to our PC’s. Outside of an odd Bluetooth device, or a wireless printer, the USB panel on a standard PC can become a mess. If you’re a laptop user, setting up a workstation can get even worse with considerations for power and an external monitor. The tangled jungle of wires and cables is our workstations. It’s our livelihood. It’s our game time. It is the desk-top kraken! Docking stations are often considered the answer, but they’re restrictively expensive. This is where a really good hub can come in, and we have a $21 hub right here, the Acodot 9-in-1. With the right price, solid functionality, and even DP-Alt support, the Acodot 9-in-1 is a solid choice for a portable hub or as a “docking station.”
Cost: The Price of Admission Docking stations can be out of reach, but a standard USB may not get the job done. There are a few items on the market that kind of bridge that gap, and the Acodot 9-in-1 is one such device. It’s listed, and priced, with standard USB hubs. At a MSRP of $25, and usually around $21 at Amazon, the out of pocket is about twice that of a plain USB hub. The Acodot model is by no means plain, however. For about the price of a card reader and a USB hub, the savvy shopper can waltz away with a solid desktop solution.
What Can Connect: Functionally Modern Remember, this is a device that can be found often enough on Amazon for about twenty bucks, and it’s got a laundry list of specifications. I’ll summarize them here, the Acodot 9-in-1 lets you connect what you want to your computer’s USB-C port. That a little too short of an answer? Fine, it lets you connect your SD Cards, mouse, controller, monitor, printer, camera, flash-drive, external hard drive, and it charges your PD compatible device too. Oh. It supports Thunderbolt 3 for the Apple users out there. So, again, I say it lets you connect what you want to your laptop or PC.
Monitor Solution: DP-Alt
It means a little bit more when you’re connecting a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to a laptop because you’re using the Hub as a docking system. In this scenario, it’s great to have DP Alt over USB-C. Have you been using your laptop’s HDMI port to connect to your monitor? Have you committed the atrocity of doing so to a 2K or 4K monitor? Shame. No cookie for you. DP (Display Port) is a better system, but most laptops utilize “regular” HDMI output from the HDMI port for compatibility with older displays. Yes, the output from the Acodot 9-in-1 uses HDMI but it’s DP over HDMI. In the “docking” situation, it also means one less connection to make at the desk. The DP-Alt over USB-C really transform this device from a simple “hub” into a docking solution that fits easily into a laptop carrying case.
Conclusion For a hub that has “docking” features that include DP-Alt over USB, including all of the other connective functionality, the pricing is crazy affordable. This is not 2004’s USB hub, not by a long shot. There is so much more to this device, calling it a “hub” is almost insulting. Indeed, for is a laptop user, this type of device, especially considering the price of the Acodot 9-in-1, is a must have.
In our tests, we utilized a laptop and a 1440P monitor (2K). We made up for this by filling out every slot we could on the device while testing. We used a malfunctioning flash-drive to see how the device would handle that (the fail came up fast, but did not interfere with the hub’s operation at all), a flash drive with a steam library on it, an external hdd, a game controller, a mouse, an SD card, and, of course, a monitor. Movies played fine from the HDD. The controller worked well. The games were playable from the flash-drive (note, we used older titles on the flash drive). Everything we tested worked well; however, we were not able to test the Thunderbolt connectivity or the power from the PD port. Considering the cost and the functionality, the Acodot 9-in-1 is on my recommended list!