Gadget Gift Guide: Anker's PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-CD PD Ethernet Hub

A slim and stylish accessory that will add all the ports anyone is likely to need to a laptop or mobile device

By , Columnist
If you're looking for a stocking stuffer for someone who spends a lot of time on a laptop, Chromebook or tablet, Anker's PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-CD PD Ethernet Hub might be just what you're after.

This handy little peripheral will be welcomed by anyone who doesn't have enough inputs and outputs on their device to charge it and have one or more peripherals plugged in at the same time.

Designed to plug into a USB-C port, which is standard on the latest smartphones, tablets, MacBooks and laptops, it can add up to four extra inputs (below), depending on what media data are stored on and what kind of peripherals the user needs to connect to their device.

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One side of the hub has two standard USB 3.0 ports that can house USB flash drives, hard drives, a printer or a wired mouse and keyboard. On the opposite side are inputs for SD and microSD cards.

This 7-in-1 is more than just a data hub, however. It also includes a 4K HDMI output that can be hooked up to an external screen. In our tests, this worked with an Acer 2-in-1 so we could run Windows 10 on a second screen, and with an Essential Phone running Android 10 either mirroring the screen or showing Android's Dex-like (but very beta) Desktop Mode.

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As its name suggests, the PowerExpand+ also has a USB-C Power Delivery input that will pass power through to the device it is used with when connected to a 60W charger (which is not supplied).

Finally, rounding out this accessories' seven features is an Ethernet cable port through which you can get a hard-wired connection to the internet if you have an Ethernet cable to plug into it.

There are plenty of similar after-market hubs available through internet retailers such as Amazon and eBay and we did not compare the performance of this product against any of those. However, everything worked as expected in our tests. It also has a nice gunmetal finish and the cloth pouch (below) that's included with it is a handy bonus.

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Anker has earned a reputation among consumers as a manufacturer of high quality accessories for laptops and mobile devices. Hence, there are good reasons to believe that the PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB-CD PD Ethernet Hub will be a reliable addition to anyone's laptop bag.

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Michael Simpson is a freelance writer, editor, presenter, researcher, instructor, gadget freak and sci-tech consultant based in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Formerly from the UK, he’s converted from tea to coffee and written and presented on film, TV, science, nature, technology,…

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