Hands-on: Dockcase releases new transparent 10 in 1 ‘Explorer Edition’ USB-C hub with real-time diagnostic display

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The Dockcase Smart USB-C Hub 10-in-1 Explorer Edition is the latest from Dockase. They are most well known for giving us the real-time diagnostic display on multiple versions of their products and this 10-in-1 hub is their next iteration. Whether you use a laptop or a desktop, this hub has the power to transform your setup into a fully-fledged workstation. Let’s dive into the details.

The first thing that catches your eye about this smart hub is the design. It’s about the size of a Snickers candy bar with the sides and bottom made of premium aluminum and the top portion made of glass. I love that the glass top allows you to see that action inside of the device. You can see the transistors, the ports, the branding, and the chipsets that make up this hub. It is also heavy enough that if feels premium but light enough that its easy to bring around in any bag or everyday carry. In the box you get the hub itself and a very well made 10GBps braided USB-C to USB-C cable.

In terms of the actual specs and ports, you get:

  • USB-C Port for the host
  • 100W PD USB-C port
  • HDMI port supports up to 8k 30FPS (single display)
  • Display port supports 4k 120FPS
  • 2x USB-A gen 2 ports
  • 1x USB-A gen 3.2 port, supports up to 10GBs
  • Ethernet port
  • UHS-II SD & MicroSD card slots
  • 1x USB-C gen 3.2 port, supports up to 10GBs

Display support

The fact that this has three different video outputs allows the Smart Hub to support multiple desktop display scenarios. You can go from having one 8k 30fps display to having one display at 1080p with 240fps depending on the monitor’s capabilities. You can also use it for a 4k 60fps dual display set if needed. So if you have the right monitors and cables, you can set this up however you would need. See the table below to verify the display support.

Dockcase display

Aside from the build quality, the reliability, and the port selection, the showstopping feature of this hub has to be its 1-inch diagnostic display. Once you plug it into a power source, it will immediately turn on and give you a startup screen, followed by port specs.

The little screen gives you all the information you would ever need. If you plug it into power, it will let you know how much power is being sent to not only the hub but also the host device. I love being able to see little features like this. You can then really learn just how much power draw your iPad or MacBook has, and you can begin to see how charging throttles down when it nears 100%. Users also get accurate data speed readings with all of the data ports.

You can see just how fast your SSD is transferring data to and from your device. The HDMI and DisplayPort will show you the resolution you are working in and the fps as well, letting you know your variable refresh rate in real-time. Lastly, you get the ability to see actual internet upload and download speeds if you are hardwired in via the ethernet port. This is every techie’s dream device.

The last piece to look at is the control button on the case. It is a single button that is used to control the display. You can rotate the orientation, dive deeper into each individual port, configure your settings and also get it ready for its firmware updates.

Pricing & availability

The Dockcase 10-in-1 Smart Hub comes in two different finishes, the glossy silver you see above and a matte black one as well. Both look great and have that Apple-quality aesthetic. This will be Dockcase’s 10th consecutive successful Kickstarter campaign having met their goal with 22 days left to go. There are still some early bird-priced smart hubs at $119 set to ship by October 2023. The retail pricing will be $159, so jump on the Kickstarter price while you can!

Wrap-up

If you are looking for a portable, do-it-all hub that also looks great and is a conversation starter, then this is the way to go. It’s premium, well-built, and has some nice added features to help you manage all of your data and ports. The 10-in-1 smart hub is now my USB-C hub of choice, and it will live on my desk and in my bag so I can have access to it whenever I need it.

What do you think of this hub? Is the display something you would enjoy having on the hub? Is it worth the $119 price tag for you? Let’s discuss this in the comments below!

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