The tendency to abandon the usual connectors in compact laptops can be supported or not - the topic is debatable. Instead, I propose to talk about possible options for expanding functionality, namely, the small and lightweight Kingston Nucleum
hub with Type-C.Specifications:
- Connection Interface: USB Type-C.
- Connectors: 2 × USB Type-C with support for pass-through charging, 2 × USB 3.0, SDXC, microSDXC, HDMI.
- Dimensions: 45 × 127 × 14.2 mm.
- Weight: 92 grams.
The appearance and quality of the hub correspond to good ultrabooks: a small aluminum case looks great. Designers played around with the shape, rounding off all the corners and adding a small influx closer to the wire. With a mass of 92 grams, Kingston Nucleum feels very light and does not burden a bag with a laptop. There are no complaints about the assembly - an absolute monolith, do not bend it.
The connectors are distributed at three ends. If you take the hub in your palm with the wire up, then on the left will be a full-sized USB 3.0 and USB Type-C with support for end-to-end charging. This means that the charger can be connected directly to the Kingston Nucleum, and the power will be transmitted to the laptop. This is especially true for the MacBook 12 with one single USB Type-C on the case. The maximum power of through charging is 60 watts.
On the right are USB Type-C for data transfer, another full-sized USB 3.0 and a pair of card slots for SD and microSD formats (moreover, a small card is completely embedded in the case, while the full-sized one is half protruded).
On the remaining end - a lone HDMI, supporting resolution up to 4K.
A wire about 10 centimeters long has a solid thickness and is protected from kink on both sides.
The hub connects to USB Type-C. Full functionality requires that the corresponding connector in the laptop supports charging according to the Power Delivery protocol and image output. For example, modern macbooks support all of the above, as well as the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S, paired with which testing was conducted. But in some cases, the Type-C port can only support data transfer via USB 3.1, or even USB 2.0. We recommend that you study in advance the capabilities of the laptop with which you plan to use Kingston Nucleum.
The accessory is also compatible with smartphones and tablets. The functionality of the bundle depends on the capabilities of the mobile device. For example, in tandem with the Huawei P20 Pro, all the features have worked, including end-to-end fast charging via Power Delivery protocol and image output to an external monitor. And Vivo Nex 3 refused to display the image, although flash drives and simple peripherals are functioning.
The hub does not affect the data transfer rate. Below are the test results of an external hard drive connected via Nucleum (left) and directly via USB 3.0 (right). A slight difference is the measurement error.
The Kingston Nucleum adapter is a salvation for owners of laptops with insufficient connectors. But this is not just a USB hub, but a fully functional device that supports end-to-end charging and image output via HDMI. The hub will especially appeal to users using the laptop as a desktop computer. After all, with the help of Nucleum, you can connect all the necessary peripherals, charging and a monitor, and connect a single USB Type-C wire to an ultrabook.
- stylish aluminum case;
- light weight and compactness;
- variety of connectors;
- end-to-end charging support.
Final rating: 10 out of 10.