What you need to know
- Hyper has announced a series of accessories that are Made for Chromebooks.
- The HyperDrive 14-Port USB-C Docking Station for Chromebook has four video outputs and 5 USB-A ports.
- Hyper's also offering a 5-in-1 USB-C Hub and an Ethernet to USB-C Adapter.
- All three products will be launching in August, ranging in price from $50-$240.
Whether you're running the best Chromebook or you're using something that's a couple of years old, you can upgrade your experience and turn your Chromebook into a perfect work from home laptop by adding on an external monitor and a better mic than the dinky one your Chromebook shipped with using a Chromebook-compatibile docking station. The problem is that finding a docking station that plays nice with a Chromebook can take a while because things aren't always the same as they are on a Windows laptop or a Macbook.
I've actually gone through four different docking stations in the last six months because of inconsistent performance on docking stations I got in for review, and I wish that more docking stations were like the one announced by Hyper and Google today. The HyperDrive 14-Port USB-C Docking Station for Chromebook is one of three new Made For Chromebooks products that Hyper will be selling starting in August for professionals looking to upgrade their workstation with a docking station that'll work every time.
Now, at $240, I'm not sure exactly how many non-Enterprise Chromebook users will invest this kind of money into a docking station when there are $100 models out there that work fine, too, but the benefit of the HyperDrive is that it's guaranteed to work instead of you having to hunt through product reviews or guess. The bevy of video outputs is also intriguing now that Chrome OS supports multiple video outputs through a single USB-C port if the Chromebook and docking station both support the right protocols. The five USB-A ports plus an extra USB-C output and upstream ports also mean you should be able to hook up everything without having to daisy-chain to a second hub.
- $240 HyperDrive 14-Port Docking Station Ports: 2 x HDMI 4K60Hz, 2 x DP 4K60Hz, USB-C 4K60Hz 10Gbps, USB-C 10Gbps, USB-C Upstream PD 65W, 3 x USB-A 10Gbps, 2 x USB-A 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm Audio Jack, DC 135W
- $80 HyperDrive 5-Port USB-C Hub Ports: HDMI 4K30Hz, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB-A, and USB-C Power Delivery 60W
- $50 HyperDrive USB-C 2.5Gbps Ethernet Adapter
The 5-Port USB-C Hub is a much harder sell at $80 — some of the best USB-C hubs for Chromebooks are half that price with more ports while still being name brands — but given that most 5/6-in-1s don't have Ethernet, that might help this hub stand out a little more in a very, very crowded market. That said, the $50 Ethernet adapter is triple the cost of its competitors without an extra-long cord or a higher quality build to justify that price, so do yourself a favor there and grab one from either Anker, Uni, or TP-Link instead.
All of today's announced Hyper products will launch in August, which is going to be just in time for back-to-school shopping, though these are aimed much more at teachers and businesses than the education segment.
Consistent and affordable
Anker PowerExpand 12-in-1 USB-C PD Media Dock
Anker makes big, ultra-fancy docking stations like the HyperDrive, but for the vast majority of Chromebook users, this is all you need: an HDMI port for your monitor, three USB-A ports for older peripherals, a USB-C data port for newer peripherals, and card readers in case your Chromebook doesn't have them. Best of all, I've been able to test it so you can be assured it'll work with Chromebooks consistently.
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