The VAVA USB-C Hub is a small fuss-free hub that plugs into the two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the side of your MacBook. The hub is designed to be used with the older MacBook Pro’s 15 and 16-inch before the change to the M1 chips, which does limit its use. While the hub generally worked well, the USB Type-C port seemed partly redundant, with only a few larger accessories connecting stably through it and most not recognised. The rest of the ports worked well and did help extend the connection options. Overall a neat design but a hub that doesn’t live up to its full potential.
Only one Thunderbolt 3 port
What is the VAVA USB-C Hub?
The VAVA USB-C Hub is a simple hub the utilises two USB-C sockets to interface with the MacBook Pro. This way of interfacing with the laptop makes the connection very secure compared with other similar solutions on the market.
The design is also very sleek due to those two connectors, with the height and style of the hub perfectly matching that of the MacBook Pro. The colour and texture isn’t a perfect match, but it’s pretty close.
Once connected, you have access to the five connectors along its edge, one thunderbolt 3, one USB-C, an HDMI and two USB 3.1.
The VAVA USB-C Hub is a very neat solution and slotted into the side of the MacBook; it looks the part and blends in well with the design of the machine. In use, the fact that you can still plug the power into the first Thunderbolt socket is a great but also essential feature. This is a 100W pass-through to provide power enough for the i9 15-inch, which is power-hungry.
Unfortunately, the next socket is USB Type-C, which in itself is not a bad thing. The only issue is that it doesn’t supply enough oomph to mount a portable hard drive or USB reader. The only thing that I could successfully connect were some computer peripheries, such as a wired mouse with a USB Type-C adapter fitted. In reality, the USB Type-C port seemed to be pretty much useless.
Next in the line is the HDMI socket connected to a TV; this worked as well as you’d expect. I plugged this into a standard LG television and a Benq BL-27111U monitor; in both cases, it worked without a hitch, and there was no messing around with the laptop’s settings.
Next up are the two USB 3.1 sockets and again plugging in a series of devices; these seemed to work without issue.
When it came to transferring speed, the small hub worked well and attaching the OWC Envoy Pro FX kept a consistent transfer speed of 1600MB/s with no slow down compared with a direct connection.
Plugging through USB 3.1 and checking the speeds of a SanDisk Extreme 32GB card and again read speeds rated at 92MB/s and Write Speeds of 52MB/s, much the same as I’d expect from connecting directly.
I like the design of the VAVA USB-C Hub; it’s stylish, compact and in keeping with the MacBook Pro. However, it does annoy me that whilst the device works, the USB Type-C port seems redundant for the most part. At least other USB hubs out there cover the other Thunderbolt 3 port so you can’t access it at all; here you think you’re going to retain the two Thunderbolt 3 ports, then are slightly disappointed that one will become a Type-C then infuriated when you find out it’s hardly compatible with anything.
This hub would be good if it provided exactly what it says it offers, in reality, it falls short, which is a real shame.