Plugable Launches Its Smallest USB-C Docking Station

Posted on April 30, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mac and macOS, Mobile, Windows 10 with 14 Comments

Plugable today launched The Cube, its smallest-ever USB-C docking station. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows PCs with Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C ports.

“The Cube is designed for laptop and Windows tablet users,” a Plugable representative told me. “Its small, minimalist design helps save valuable desk space and makes it great for professionals on-the-go. The sleek and lightweight design of The Cube makes it perfectly suited for travel, quick setup at conferences or easy connectivity in the meeting room.”

The Cube is just 2.5 x 2.3 x 1.4 inches small but it provides one HDMI port, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. You can connect to a single 4K HDMI-based display, three USB devices, and a wired gigabit Ethernet connection through a single USB-C cable.

The HDMI port is powered by USB-C Alternate Mode (Alt Mode), which delivers native-level display performance up to the host system’s graphics capabilities, Plugable says.

Additionally, the Cube is self-powered, so it can function with or without its power brick. (The Cube won’t work on the go with MacBooks and other basic devices that only have a single USB-C port for both power and peripherals.)

The Cube is available now at Amazon, Walmart, Newegg, and eBay for $79.95.

You can learn more on the Plugable website. I’m hoping to review this product soon.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Plugable Launches Its Smallest USB-C Docking Station”

  1. Avatar

    glenn8878

    It needs a second HDMI port for dual displays. It needs at least 1 more USB 2.0 and 1 more USB 3.0.

    • Avatar

      CompUser

      In reply to glenn8878:

      When my desktop computer recently died, I started using my Dell Inspiron 17" laptop full time, but I wanted a dock for it so I could use my three 24" Dell IPS monitors from the desktop computer with it, so I bought a Wavelink Displaylink USB 3 dock for $72.00 on eBay. It's very small at 1.1" (height) x 3.5" (width) x 8.7" (length), and it has one HDMI port, one DVI port, one Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3 ports, four USB 2 ports, a DC 12v power input, and the USB 3 input for the laptop, all along the back. It also has speaker and headphone jacks on the side, and came with an HDMI cable, a VGA-to-DVI adapter, the USB 3 device cable, and the DC 12v power supply. I'm using it with my Dell laptop (with lid closed), and including the laptop's built in HDMI port, am able to use all three of the external monitors. (The laptop fits nicely on a shelf right under my center monitor, so I barely even know it's there.) When I want to use the laptop elsewhere as a laptop, I only have to unplug the laptop's power cord, the USB 3 dock connector, and the one HDMI cable. It's pretty great.

  2. Avatar

    jchampeau

    Do they pronounce their name "ploo-gubble" or "plug-gubble?" If it's the latter, I find their spelling mildly annoying. It should have two Gs like luggable or debuggable. But I suppose that's just me being a bit OCD.

  3. Avatar

    Trickyd

    What's with the USB 2.0 ports? a couple of USB-C's and another USB 3.0 would be much more useful. it's also not clear if this can charge a laptop via USB-C which is one of the great benefits of these docks one USBC cable and you get power and extend your desktop and get network etc. I'll stick with my HP Dock for now.

    • Avatar

      SvenJ

      In reply to Trickyd: It is clear that it won't charge your laptop. The DC input is 5V/4A, so 20W max if they have figured out how to get 0 loss. I'm guessing 15W at best. This really needed USB-C PD input so you could in fact use it to charge something based on the input brick used. That would make it bigger and pricier, but more useful and flexible. Would be great if you could use your (new) Macbook power supply to power this and have this power the MacBook, even a bit slower.

      And, yea, it needs all those things others noted, more USB 3/C, Another HDMI, but then it would cost more and limit the audience due to that cost.
    • Avatar

      IanYates82

      In reply to Trickyd:

      My guess is that if you're using this as a dock then you have a USB keyboard and USB mouse - they don't even need USB 2.0 frankly. More power required for 3 I assume, or whatever bit of off-the-shelf silicon they're using happens to support a couple of USB 2.0 so they're exposing them.

  4. Avatar

    SvenJ

    "The Cube won’t work on the go with MacBooks and other basic devices that only have a single USB-C port for both power and peripherals."

    Why wouldn't it? It would just be using power from the device it is connected to, shortening the overall life of the setup. Better if you can power the MacBook that is powering the dock, but probably not required.

  5. Avatar

    dontbe evil

    it would be better with a usb-c dc in

  6. Avatar

    jaredthegeek

    Should have had PD for it. I have a cheaper device with more ports that has PD so I can also power my device.

  7. Avatar

    silversee

    Seems like one of the dime-a-dozen mobile hubs stuck in a fancy case. If it doesn't supply power to the device, it's not a true dock.

  8. Avatar

    SYNERDATA

    Pluggable makes good products. Their Pro8 Docking Station turned all my 7" tablets into desktop computers. It is great that this new dock can be used with or without the included optional power supply.

  9. Avatar

    franklyray

    I like the CalDigit hub. Adds SD card reader and more outputs. Running with my HP +360 for 2 months with all success.

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