Space-saving USB-C docking stand sports a whopping 11 ports [Review]
Forget your frustrations with the minimal number of ports on your MacBook or iPad Pro. The Brando 11-In-1 Hub Type-C Docking Stand lets you connect virtually any peripheral to your computer. There’s a trio of USB-A ports, Ethernet, HDMI and an SD card reader. And that’s only the start.
Get the full list, and see how well this multi-port stands up to real world use, in this review.
Brando 11-In-1 Hub Type-C Docking Stand review
Almost a dozen ports take up quite a bit of room, but the designers of this accessory made a virtue of necessity. It’s designed to sit underneath your MacBook or iPad Pro, propping it up to make typing easier.
The “waves” in the design look odd but are very practical: they are there to improve heat dissipation. This accessory does get slightly warm when multiple ports are in constant use, but no more than that.
Sitting under your computer, it’s not going to take up extra room on your desk, but don’t plan to regularly take the Brando 11-In-1 Hub Type-C Docking Stand on the road. It’s 11 inches wide, 3.1 inches deep and 0.6 inches thick.
Build quality is good, and the aluminum exterior seems ready to survive years of use.
This hub/stand has more ports than any I’ve seen. It’ll let you hook up just about anything.
USB 3.0 Type-A: No less than three USB-A peripherals can been plugged in simultaneously. Whether that’s a mouse, a hard drive, printer, or dozens of other types of accessories is your choice.
SD/microSD: Easily transfer images off a camera with a full-size SD card reader or a microSD reader.
Ethernet: Wi-Fi is great, but Ethernet is more secure and often faster. Brando’s Docking Stand offers 10/100/1000 Mbps.
HDMI: Almost every TV and monitor supports HDMI, and you can attach your MacBook or iPad Pro to any of them with this hub. It supports 2K or 4K at 30 Hz.
Mini DisplayPort: If you run across a device that uses MiniDP instead of HDMI, it can be connected to this Docking Stand. It’s the only hub I‘ve ever tested with this port. This also can handle 2K or 4K at 30 Hz.
VGA: Back in the day, monitors used VGA. If you have an old screen you’d like to use, just plug it in here. This port maxes out at 1920 by 1080 pixels at 30 Hz.
Audio jack: On one end of the Brando 11-In-1 Hub Type-C Docking Stand is a 3.5mm headset jack. This is extra handy for iPad Pro owners, as this tablet lacks this port. Microphones work, too.
USB Type-C: Despite everything it does, this hub doesn’t have to monopolize a single precious port on your computer. Plug your power cable into the Docking Stand to send power to Mac or tablet.
Speaking of USB-C, this hub plugs into your computer with a USB-C connector on the end of an 8-inch cable. This cable seems robust enough to survive regular use, and it’s long enough to reach your computer because this hub will sit under your MacBook or iPad.
USB-A, Ethernet, even VGA and Mini DP. And more. Wow, that’s a lot.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Brando 11-In-1 Hub Type-C Docking Stand performance
With nearly a dozen ports in this accessory, it took a while to test all of them. I used it every day for a couple of weeks, and Brando’s Docking Stand performed as advertised.
I streamed video from a USB drive to an HDMI TV. Plugged in a mouse and keyboard. Pulled files from SD and microSD cards. Used Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi. Even connected to an old VGA monitor. Every one worked as expected.
That said, there are some quirks.
This hub has three different types of video-out ports, and you could hook up three monitors to your Mac, but each will display the same image. You need a different type of adapter to get dual monitors, like the CalDigit Pro Dock.
Another quirk I found is more of a problem. The audio port completely took over my computer’s audio. When the Docking Stand is plugged in the built-in speakers are disabled. You’ll need to permanently connect speakers to this hub to get any sound from your computer.
But the USB-C port gave me a pleasant surprise. I thought it was only for power, but I was able to access the contents of a USB drive through it. Even a USB-C hub.
The waves in the design of this hub/stand help dissipate heat.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Brando 11-In-1 Hub Type-C Docking Stand final thoughts
The best use for the Brando 11-In-1 Hub Type-C Docking Stand is to be set up permanently on a desk with your accessories plugged into it. This allows you to easily connect and disconnect your MacBook or iPad from them just by plugging/unplugging a single cable.
Having it prop up your laptop is a clever, space-saving trick.
The only drawback of this accessory is the audio jack silencing the computer’s built-in speakers.
The regular price for the 11-In-1 Hub Type-C Docking Stand on the Brando website is $112, but it’s available now for $89.
The Sanho HyperDrive Power 9-in-1 USB-C Hub doesn’t have quite as many ports, but it’s more portable. It costs $99.99.
Or there’s the rival Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub, which also has a plethora of ports, up to and including VGA. It’s $59.99.
Plus the Twelve South StayGo has nearly as many ports for $99.99.
Brando provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.