Third-party USB-C hubs are notoriously a disaster. They overheat, are missing crucial ports, or the ports they have are underpowered, and on many of the ones we’ve tested, the SD card readers consistently fail to work.. If you can't tell, I own a 12-inch MacBook, and I, along with a few other Verge coworkers who own the laptop have used just about every viable USB-C hub to date, with less than stellar results.
Apple's multiport adapter is the best option — but only by default. It works fine, but only has three ports, no SD card reader, no MiniDisplay port, and no extra USB-C ports. It's not exactly pushing the world of USB-C peripherals forward and its overpriced for what it offers. But! We may finally have a decent option hitting the market soon that could satisfy everyone's USB-C needs.
The Arc Hub, built by Bourge Design, has the potential to be the USB-C hub I've been waiting for. It features seven ports in total: two USB-C ports with pass-through charging, two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, one MiniDisplay Port, and an SD card reader packed into a round aluminum enclosure with chamfered edges and a convex glass covering. It will support 4K and ultrawide displays over the HDMi port. The USB-C ports can also push displays if needed, as they both support USB-C Gen 2 (Thunderbolt 3). And transfer speeds from an external hard drive using the USB 3.0 port come in at 115Mbps.
Bourge Design has checked two of the three boxes to make a decent USB-C hub: have all of the necessary ports, and make it look good. The third has to do with the quality of the ports within that beautiful casing, and that's where most of the problems begin and end. But according to Brian Fernandez, co-founder of Bourge Deisgn, the Arc Hub will be different.
Fernandez says the company has been working to make the Arc Hub resilient to the quality issues that has rendered other USB-C Hubs useless. The company has sourced high-quality parts and chipsets — which is reflected in the $105 price tag — and has done extensive 12-hour long stress tests combining SD card and hard drive file transfers, external monitors, and charging multiple devices to make sure the ports don't fail under load. According to Fernandez, no issues have been encountered yet. The team is working on supporting 4K displays over the MiniDisplay port as well, according to Fernandez.
Everything is pointing to the Arc Hub being the answer to the USB-C hub issue, but we won't know how good it really is until we get our hands on one. Bourge Design says the Arc Hub will ship in January, but if you're interested you can pre-order one today for $105.