This USB-C Hub Does Everything: QacQoc GN30H Review
The GN30H provides all the ports you'll ever need, and more. Reasonably priced and available in four colors, go ahead and buy it already!
The QacQoc GN30H is a USB-C hub like no other. Not only does it provide USB Type-A and Type-C ports, but also HDMI, device charging, Ethernet, and an SD card reader. Not sure if you can use this device? Why not take a look at our USB cable types guide ?
Let’s see what this hub can do, and if it’s possibly one of the best bargains around.
Despite sporting a rather wordy title, the GN30H has some very impressive features for a USB hub:
- 1 x HDMI Out
- 3 x USB 3.0, type-A ports
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
- 1 x USB type-C port (power delivery only)
- 1 x SDHC card reader
- 1 x Micro SDHC card reader
Costing around $50, the GN30H is reasonably priced, especially when you consider all of the things it can do. The HDMI output is a welcome addition, and is capable of outputting a 4k signal at 30hz. You won’t want to use this for gaming, but it produces a reasonable image for nearly any other purpose.
Quite possibly the coolest feature of this power delivery is support for connecting a charger into the USB-C port. This means you can charge your USB-C laptop through the hub, cutting down on excess cable clutter. This feature is becoming more popular with USB-C devices, but it’s not always implemented, so it’s good to see on such a cheap adapter.
This USB-C port is only provided for power delivery. You won’t be able to connect additional USB-C devices to it.
The GN30H is fairly well designed, but it may not appeal to everyone. With a brushed aluminum casing available in four Apple-like colors, it’s off to a good start. The tapered edges are made from white plastic, as is the raised “bump” needed to facilitate the Ethernet port.
A small blue status light glows in a seemingly random corner of this plastic.
The six inch USB-C cable is built in. It would be been nice to have a removable cable, which you could replace in case of damage, or if you require a longer or shorter length, but it’s flexible enough to avoid most problems.
This hub is nicely made, and all the connectors feel solid and secure. The rear of this hub features elegant screen printing, labeling all of the connectors, along with basic device charging information.
The SD and MicroSD card readers do mount your cards “upside down” however. This is only a minor cosmetic issue, but it would be nice to see the top of your connected cards, which makes identification far easier.
Finally, this hub is probably suited more to a laptop than a desktop. While connecting it to something like an Apple iMac works perfectly, the hub dangles down from the back, and many of the ports provided here are already available on larger desktop machines anyway.
The GN30H has clearly been designed to compliment the latest USB-C macbook. It will work with other, non-Apple devices, but the marketing material contains strange and sporadic references to certain brands or models which are not supported.
While it is true that some cheaper USB devices can significantly slow down transfer speeds, the GN30H implements USB 3.0, with a maximum theoretical transfer speed of 5 Gbit/s. While it would be nice to see USB 3.1 (transfer speeds of 10 Gbit/s), USB 3.0 is still more than fast enough for the majority of uses.
To see if it can handle a demanding workload, I performed a little test. I copied a 7 GB file over to four different devices simultaneously, including USB-C and USB-A SSDs, an SD card and a slower MicroSD card. Of course, this test does depend on the drives, so I also repeated the test with all four drives connected directly, without the GN30H.
Using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app, I compared the speed from a USB-C SSD connected directly to my 2017 iMac, and then again connected to the GN30H.
The GN30H showed no significant reductions in speed. File transfers do slow down slightly when copying many files at the same time, but this bottleneck is a limit of the USB 3.0 interface, and not the GN30H. In everyday use, you’re unlikely to notice the slowdown, even with a demanding media workload.
As mentioned above, the GN30H can output a 4k signal at a maximum of 30hz. This is fine for casual usage and watching films, but it’s certainly a step down from what you may be used to. Most monitors run at 50 to 60hz, and modern gaming monitors are pushing this to 120, 160, or even 240hz, so you really won’t want to try gaming on this.
The lack of USB-C out, DisplayPort, or suitable HDMI also means you won’t be able to run a VR headset such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive either.
Due to these limitations, it’s best to think of the HDMI out as a basic secondary output. Fine for presentations and very light usage, but it’s not a graphics adaptor! You should consider picking up an external GPU, and our guide on everything you need to know about external GPUs may come in handy.
A USB Hub for Your Mobile?
As the GN30H is a USB-C adaptor, it’s possible to connect it to your USB-C mobile device. You’ll struggle to connect certain, power hungry devices unless you connect your charger to the power delivery input.
You’ll need a device which supports USB On-The-Go . Most hardware works fine, including the HDMI port. The biggest problem you’ll have with storage devices is formatting and file management.
Android file management isn’t great, and certain drive formats aren’t supported, but if you just want to connect simple devices such as game controllers or microphones, you’ll not have too much trouble. Android itself will cause you more grief than this USB hub will.
Should You Buy It?
The QacQoc GN30H is a wonderful device. It’s cheap, comes in four Apple style colors, and comes with a huge number of ports and connectors. From the Gigabit Ethernet, to USB power delivery, HDMI out, or plain old USB type-A, there’s something here for everyone.
Thanks to QacQoc, we’ve got four GN30H USB-C shuttles to give away, all you have to do is enter our contest below!