As laptops get more compact they tend to have fewer expansion options built-in. But there are also a growing number of third-party accessories like USB-C hubs that give you more ports when you need them, or portable SSDs that give you more high-speed storage.
Now there are also at least a few options that give you both from accessory makers including Anker, Beelink, MINIX, and Satechi (sort of).
Anker PowerExpand 4-in-1 SSD USB-C Hub
The Anker PowerExpand SSD Hub features a built-in USB-C cable that plugs into your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or other gadget to give you two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, another USB Type-C port, and an HDMI port.
Inside the case there’s also a 256GB SSD with support for data transfer speeds up to 400MB/s.
The hub also supports 100W USB-C power delivery, which means that you can plug your laptop’s power supply into the USB-C port and charge your laptop at the same time as you’re giving it additional ports and storage.
Anker’s 4-in-1 hub with an SSD has a list price of $100, but it’s currently on sale for $80 when you click the on-page coupon at Amazon.
Beelink Expand M
The Beelink Expand M SSD Storage & Docking Station is up for pre-order from the Beelink website and through a crowdfunding campaign. It’s another 4-in-1 USB-C hub with similar features including a built-in SSD. But Beelink’s model comes in three different storage capacities:
- 128GB for $66
- 256GB for $78
- 512GB for $106
Beelink’s dock measures 4.5″ x 1.5″ x 0.4″ and houses an M.2 2280 SSD with support for speeds up to 440MB/s.
The company notes that those prices are available during the pre-order period, and represent a 40% discount off the eventual retail price for the Expand M dock, which is expected to ship in August.
The Beelink Expand M also has an SSD power status switch on the case. Press it to put the SSD to sleep and a blue indicator light will come on letting you know that reading and writing to the drive has been disabled to save power. Press it again and the light will glow green to let you know the SSD is working.
Chinese mini PC maker MINIX has been selling a line of USB-C hubs with built-in SSD storage for a few years under its MINIX Neo line of accessories.
Like other models, it features a 4K-compatible HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C port, and an integrated SSD.
Some models also have Ethernet jacks. You can pick up a few different storage capacities:
- MINIX Neo with 120GH SSD for $51 – Amazon
- MINIX Neo with 240GB SSD for $90 – Amazon
- MINIX Neo with 480GB SSD + Ethernet for $112 – Amazon (clip on-page coupon)
- MINIX Neo with 960GB SSD for MacBook Air/Pro for $170 – AliEpxress
BYO storage options
You could theoretically buy a portable USB SSD and plug it into any USB hub to create your own port expander + storage system. But that involves carrying around another device and another cable.
A few more companies offer USB-C hubs with slots for off-the-shelf SSDs or hard drives, which allows you to build your own all-in-one solution. Here are a few that I’ve found:
- Hagibis USB C Hub – 2.5″ SATA enclosure with 3 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x USB 2.0 port, SD and microSD card readers for $36 – AliExpress
- UGREEN 6-in-1 USB-C hub – 520 MB/s M.2 slot and HDMI, 3.5mm audio, 3 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB-C for $43 – AliExpress
- Gadgetao USB-C hub – M.2 2280 slot and HDMI, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 2 x USB Type-C, SD, and microSD card readers for $75 – AliEpxress
- XTRAL USB-C hub – M.2 2280 slot and 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI, and SD microSD for $70 – Amazon