review

Aukey CB-C78 Review 12-in-1 USB C Hub Samsung Dex

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Ever since Apple changed all the ports on the MacBook Pro to USB-C only, it has forever changed the landscape of laptops! Sure, you now get thinner laptops but, with just a single connecting port you are forced to stock up and carry a multitude of dongles just to make a brand new USB-C laptop fully functional!
Fortunately for consumers though, Apple and its MacBook legacy ports abandonment has given rise to USB-C hubs like the Aukey CB-C78 - a single hub that integrates a massive 12 ports in 1. The Aukey CB-C78 USB-C hub supports Multi-Stream Transport (MST) or Daisy Chaining, which means you can connect multiple monitors in series with the video signal being passed from a computer up to a total of three monitors (two monitors + one laptop).
You can connect two monitors via the HDMI ports on the hub and have the third monitor connected via VGA or USB-C or, you can connect one monitor via VGA, the second monitor via HDMI and the laptop via HDMI. The non-mirrored triple monitor setup only works with Windows computers. With a Mac computer, the Aukey CB-C78 is only able to mirror the secondary monitor because MacOS only supports Single-Stream Transport.
With the Aukey CB-C78 USB-C hub, you can effectively connect two monitors, as well as a laptop in extended display mode, meaning the monitor screens will work independently and not mirrored. For this to work though, the laptop USB C port will have to support data, power and video. It's worth mentioning also that the USB C data port on the Aukey CB-C78 hub is not Thunderbolt 3 but, it can be used to connect any peripherals.
The Aukey CB-C78 USB-C hub is powered by the computer or phone it is connected to; hence the Aukey CB-C78 is bus-powered and does not require an external power adapter. However, to be able to use both HDMI ports at the same time and charge a laptop, you will need to use a Power Delivery (PD) charger, which is not included. The Aukey CB-C78 USB-C hub can pass through 100W of power over USB-C, which should be enough to power a 65W laptop (like a HP Spectre x360) and two HDMI monitors at the same time.
The outer shell of the Aukey CB-C78 hub is made of anodized aluminum alloy, which makes the hub very light but sturdy. Total weight is just 143 grams with dimensions being 12.5cm long, 6cm wide and 1.5cm thick. The Aukey CB-C78 hub integrates a 19cm long USB-C cable that is non-detachable. If this is too short, you can always use a USB-C extender cable.
Being able to have a triple or quadruple monitor setup on a desk is superb for multi-tasking and gaming. Due to space constrictions though, you may have to settle for a dual monitor set up, which still is a vast improvement over using a single monitor. If you're a serious gamer though, it's likely you already have or are contemplating a triple monitor setup. Three screens provides a more symmetrical experience than two monitors, which split the game between the middle of the second screen monitor. That being said, there is a drawback when using a triple display for gaming since you won't be able to easily max out antialiasing because of the 5760 x 1080 resolution created by three 1080p monitors.
The Aukey CB-C78 also supports Samsung Dex, which is a cool feature some USB-C hubs have that lets you use a smartphone just like desktop computer by outputting the signal to a TV. Samsung Dex is only supported by some Samsung Galaxy phones including the Galaxy S8/S8 Plus/S8 Active and Note 9/10/20 Series. The Galaxy A50 does not support Dex.
If your Samsung phone supports Samsung Dex, you simply plug-in the Aukey CB-C78 USB-C hub into the phone (i.e. Galaxy Note10+) and then, connect a HDMI cable from the hub to a HDMI monitor or TV that has a HDMI port. When using a Dex-enabled Galaxy phone, the maximum supported resolution is 1080p at 60Hz. It will work with 4k TVs too but only at 30Hz.
If your display monitor doesn't have a 1080p native resolution, you may need to adjust screen fit options or disable picture enhancements to get a clear image. Samsung Dex also works with USB-C monitors so, if you have one you can plug the Aukey CB-C78 directly into the monitor. The maximum resolution you can get will also be 1080p at 60Hz.
DeX will also work without using a USB-hub by using a Samsung DeX USB-C to HDMI cable, which lets you connect a phone directly to any monitor or TV that has a HDMI port. Using a Samsung Dex cable will work out cheaper and will not limit the screen output to 1080p like a USB-C hub does. That said, a USB-C hub like the Aukey CB-C78 is more versatile and has the added advantage of multiple connectivity ports, allowing to connect a printer, computer mouse, Ethernet, and external monitors.
The Aukey CB-C78 USB 3.0 ports are capable of data transfer rates up to 5Gbps, while the USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot and microSD card slot support data transfer up to 480Mbps. The actual transfer rate speed will be divided among the device(s) you plug in and each will have their own limit. You can buy the Aukey CB-C78 USB C Hub 12-in-1 from amazon.

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