Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub at a glance:
- Dimensions 127x62x15mm
- SD and Micro SD readers
- Ethernet and HDMI ports
- USB-C power-through
Computer makers are continually striving to make their high-performance laptops ever thinner and lighter. This is great for photographers who need to process their images while on the move, but the catch is that their slimline frames often only have space for USB-C ports and micro SD card slots.
So if you want to work on your photos while you’re out and about, or plug into a desktop setup with a monitor and hard drives at home, you’ll need to use add-on card readers and hubs. But it’s not easy to choose one from the mind-boggling array on the market.
Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub key features:
- One cable: The dock connects to your laptop using a single USB-C cable
- Power pass-through: The rear USB-C port can be used to connect your laptop charger and supply up to 85W of power
- Dual purpose: A short travel cable is neatly housed within the unit. A 1m desktop cable is also supplied in the box
- USB charging: One of the three USB-A ports can provide a 1.5A output for charging your phone, while the others can deliver 900mA
As its name suggests, this StayGo hub aims to be equally at home on your desk or in your camera bag. It provides a good complement of ports arranged along one edge, comprising 4K HDMI, RJ45 ethernet, three full-size USB-A 3.0 connectors, and a USB-C port that’s capable of accepting power from a charger and passing it on to your computer.
Additionally, there are SD and Micro SD slots at one end which can both be used at the same time; the Micro SD card is housed almost completely internally, so you could leave a high-capacity card in there and treat it almost like an external SSD.
Last but not least, the hub is supplied with a choice of two cables for connecting to your laptop; one is a metre long for desktop use, while the short travel cable stores inside. This is really neat but makes the housing larger than similar devices.
The unit feels robustly made, with a metal shell and four small, rubberised feet to stop it sliding across your desk. I found that the ethernet port delivered considerably faster download speeds than my Wi-Fi, but provided no benefit for uploads; however this will depend on each user’s individual setup.
The SD card slot delivers read speeds of about 90MB/sec, which means you can copy the contents of a 32GB card in less than 7 minutes. But it doesn’t achieve the full potential of high-speed UHS-II cards, and similar devices I’ve tested have been up to three times quicker. This could be a concern for those who need to back up large volumes of photos and videos in the field.
If you demand the quickest possible card reads and can live without an ethernet port, then take a look at the Kingston Nucleum USB-C hub. It’s robust and reliable, will take full advantage of fast UHS-II SD cards, and costs around £50.
Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub: Our Verdict
On the whole, the StayGo works well, and I particularly like the way it arranges all the cables neatly out the back. Its ability to double up as a USB charger can also be really handy. The biggest drawback is the price.