EZQuest Ultimate Plus Dual HDMI USB-C Multimedia Hub Adapter
A fine hub that supports a wide variety of connections, including 2 HDMI monitors, VGA, USB-A peripherals, wired Ethernet, micro and standard SD cards, and audio. Those with older devices may find it the ideal hub to retain their peripheral investments, those looking to migrate to USB-C for all devices will need a more forward-looking hub.
EZQuest Ultimate Plus Dual HDMI USB-C Multimedia Hub Adapter Review
USB-C hubs come in all shapes and sizes. Most of them make some compromises. The new $219.99 EZQuest Plus Dual HDMI USB-C Multimedia Hub Adapter compromises too, but less than many. This is a hub that aspires to be almost everything to those who need legacy connections, its primary compromise comes in its lack of USB-C ports. This hub proves a great way to save money by prolonging the life of existing devices.
What we like
Although EZQuest touts the Ultimate Plus as being designed for M1, the truth is it will work, at some level, with most computers with a USB-C port. I say “at some level” because the speed and features may be affected by which version of USB-C acts as the host.
Hooking the Ultimate Plus up to an M1 Mac or iPad, or a late model PC will unleash all of its features.
And there are plenty of features:
- Dual HDMI 4K (one at 60Hz) external displays to create extended or mirror mode with HDCP
- One USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 port with pass-thru charging up to 100 watts with Fast Role Swap (FRS)
- Four 5Gbs USB 3.0 ports with 5V, 0.9A (4.5W) charging for each port.
- High-speed Gigabit Ethernet network connection port with LED indicator
- Two SD slots that support simultaneous read and write to a standard SD card and microSD card.
- VGA Port
- Dual-purpose 3.5mm Audio Jack with Microphone
EZQuest also includes a 1-meter nylon braided Thunderbolt 3/4 compatible USB-C Cable.
Unlike the Satechi Aluminum Hub and Stand of iPad, and the OWC miniStack hubs that share the Macintosh Mini’s dimensions, the Ultimate Plus offers a smaller footprint at L: 153mm X W: 153mm X H: 29mm, despite its design inspirations from Apple’s Mac Mini. Compared to many USB-C hubs the Ultimate Plus is on the larger size, designed for desktop use rather than travel.
All the ports work without a hassle, delivering solid speeds in a well-integrated experience. I was able to easily swap the hub between my M1 iPad Pro and a Lenovo 9i 14 Yoga without an issue. Mouse control, video, and storage moved over with a single cable swap.
While the video output will work with up to 3 monitors, only one will feature a full 60Hz refresh rate. VGA is limited to 1080p and the second HDMI rates at only 30 Hz. This configuration requires Silicon Motion software to drive the displays. This is not unique to the EZQuest hub. M1s aren’t made to support more than one external monitor. The software is also required on PCs.
Silicon Motion’s drivers offer a workaround. It’s interesting that with most software easily available as a download, the EZQuest Ultimate Plus includes an 8GB drive built-in to hold its software and manuals (similar to the Satechi Multiport MX Adapter). That choice by EZQuest makes finding its drivers an easy quest (yes, I know).
EZQuest offers a 1-year limited warranty on the hub.
What could be improved
It’s a USB-C world now. And this is a USB-C hub, but it focuses on the old world, not the new. It does not include any additional USB-C connections, yet it does include VGA.
I would like to see a couple of USB-C ports in a future model. As the shift to USB-C continues USB-A will become increasingly legacy. USB-C ports would ensure a future as the transition continues. Eventually, most peripherals will be USB-C only and Thunderbolt USB-C hubs will dominate in the Mac and Intel world, with AMD supporting them sans the Thunderbolt protocol.
From a design perspective, EZQuest would improve the design by placing the Host and PD ports both on the rear of the device, which would house all the primary cables on one plane. As it is, there is no way to configure the EZQuest Ultimate Plus for neat cable management.
I am not a fan of the Ultimate Plus’s packaging. It’s just too much. I understood boxes with covers and windows displaying products like collectiables in a pre-e-commerce era, but nobody expects to see anything but an image of a product before buying it today. The window, the blister-pack, and the plastic retail hook, with its reinforcing plastic retainer strip, contribute to the global plastic waste problem. EZQuest could learn from JLAB and their cardboard retail take. Eliminating the magnetic cover would also make the remainder of the package easier to recycle. I took the time to remove all the plastic and metal before recycling the cardboard parts of the box.
I like the information-rich potential of the package. EZQuest should consider reducing the marketing and retail copy on the box. Instead, they should focus on the product narrative told through an integrated manual. That would be a good sustainable packaging story.
EZQuest could also stand to hone a few descriptors off the product’s name so it reads more like a product name than an SEO tag list.
EZQuest Ultimate Plus Dual HDMI USB-C Multimedia Hub Adapter: The Bottom Line
Work environments that still require a wide range of monitors and peripherals that rely on USB-A, as well as wired Ethernet, may well benefit from the EZQuest Ultimate Plus Dual HDMI USB-C Multimedia Hub Adapter. Hopefully, EZQuest will consider the addition of forward-looking USB-C Thunderbolt ports and more sustainable packaging for future iterations of this design.
EZQuest provided the Ultimate Plus Dual HDMI USB-C Multimedia Hub Adapter for review. Images courtesy of EZQuest.
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