An elegant but pricey USB-C hub that will bring new ports to port-starved devices. The short cable and lack of an audio jack make it a questionable investment for iPad Pro owners.
What we like
Kingston’s beautifully designed Nucleum™ USB-C hub turns a single USB-C port into a workhorse with the following ports:
USB 3.1 Type-C power pass-through
USB 3.1 Type-C data transfer port
SD card slot, Micro SD card slot
2 USB 3.0/3.1 ports that are backward compatible with USB 2.0
The Kingston Nucleum appears designed primarily as a mobile hub for situations where the computer sits on a desk. It’s 7 ports bring enough features to fit most situations. The 2-year warranty from a known brand means peace of mind.
The sleek aluminum housing sports a graceful slope that makes it appear more elegant than less expensive utilitarian USB-C hubs. At 4.8 ounces, 5 x 1.77 x 0.56 inches, the Nucleum doesn’t weigh down bags or pockets, though it isn’t the smallest footprint among USB-C hubs.
The Nucleum exudes quality and performs with matching aplomb.
What could be improved
iPad Pro owners will need to think twice as this hub fails to provide audio out, which is a nice-to-have on any Bluetooth-audio-biased device. iPad owners or those who place their MacBooks and PC notebooks on stands will find the short connector leaves their hub dangling. The hub also eschews Ethernet.
At $69.99 (available for less at some retailers) the price is more than double most basic USB-C hubs, some with far more features. Kingston’s brand and reputation for quality drive the price.
Kingston Nucleum USB-C Hub: The Bottom Line
An elegant but pricy USB-C hub that delivers a solid set of extra capabilities, including 4K HDMI, to port-starved mobile devices. A short cable and lack of audio preclude it as a device of choice for iPad Pro owners. 2-year warranty and the quality of a trusted brand may tip the price/value scale for some.
Kingston provided the Nucleum for review. Images courtesy of Kingston.
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Daniel W. Rasmus
Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.