SilverStone EP14: A Miniature USB-C Hub with HDMI, USB-A, 100 W Powerby Anton Shilov on March 19, 2019 2:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- USB-C Hub
With hundreds of different USB Type-C adapters and docks on the market, manufacturers are trying hard to make theirs more attractive. To that end, they now tend to design rather interesting products addressing focused use cases. SilverStone has introduced its new compact USB-C dock that has three USB-A ports, a display output, and can pass through up to 100 W of power to charge a laptop and/or devices connected to the USB-A ports, a rare feature for small docks.
The SilverStone SST-EP14C dock is based on the Fresco Logic FL5002 USB 3.1 hub controller that supports Power Delivery 2.0 spec as well as the Parade PS176 DP 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 converter. The unit has three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port (that can be used as a power input as well as a display output), and an HDMI 1.4 connector supporting up to 4096×2160 at 30 Hz resolution (which is a bit odd as the product has a DP 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 converter chip that supports 4096×2160 at 60 Hz).
The key feature of the SST-EP14C is its ability to pass through up to 100 W of power from an appropriate power brick, enough to charge a 15.6-inch notebook and/or devices connected to its USB Type-A ports. Since there are laptops like Apple’s MacBook that feature only one USB Type-C connector, the ability to pass the power though a dock is a valuable feature.
The device comes in a sand-blasted aluminum with plastic chassis that matches design of contemporary laptops from Apple. Measuring 97.2×44×14.7 mm, the SST-EP14C dock weighs 71.3 grams.
SilverStone will start sales of the SST-EP14C dock in late March. The product will cost ¥6,500 w/o sales tax ($58) in Japan, but its MSRP in other countries is unknown.
- HP at CES 2019: Slim Envy USB-C Hub Debuts with Charging USB Type-A and HDMI 2.0
- Silicon Power Has a Host of USB-C Peripherals: MicroSD Card Reader, Dongles & Docks
- Opro9 Introduces USB-C Dock & Adapters: from €29 to €109
- StarTech Launches Thunderbolt 3 USB Hub with 3 USB 3.1 Controllers & Power Delivery
- Kingston at CES 2018: Nucleum, a Portable 7-in-1 USB-C Dock for Notebooks
Sources: SilverStone, Hermitage Akihabara
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pixelstuff - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - linkIf only it had a full SD card slot on it next to the USB-A ports, it would be perfect for pairing with the Intel NUC mounted to the backside of a monitor.
jtd871 - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - linkBuy a Micro/SD Card to USB A adapter and leave it plugged in one of the Type A slots. I have two of Transcend's USB3 models (same model, just one black and one white).
dontlistentome - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - linkSo you're saying that you need a dongle to plug into your dongle?
jeremyshaw - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - link"[...](which is a bit odd as the product has a DP 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 converter chip that supports 4096×2160 at 60 Hz)."
There are only so many pins on an USB-C connector, and similarly, so many high speed pairs. The decision to include USB 3 @ 5Gbps probably limited them down to a stock 2 lane DP configuration (so the USB 3.1 hub would get a full USB SS lane). This does mean one of the four high speed lanes is likely unused.
Amusingly, VirtualLink is an attempt to resolve this issue (by using 3 lanes for video/audio, one lane for USB), though it's not exactly commonplace outside of high end RTX cards.
brakdoo - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - linkSS needs two lanes: 1 for tx and 1 for rx. All four lanes are used.
saratoga4 - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - linkYeah not weird at all. USB-mode (as opposed to Thunderbolt mode) is limited to 2 DP channels (since the other 2 are needed for USB), in which case 2xDP 1.2 has the same bandwidth as 4x1.1, and DP1.1 isn't fast enough for 4k60 at 24bpp.
edgineer - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - linkFew 100W USB-PD chargers actually exist. A few months ago, it was only one, the Wacom charger that was practically a well-kept secret.
A quick search now shows that Anker has released one recently (that actually looks decent), and MAYBE one or two others exist that aren't docking stations.
I just find it strange that with hundreds of type-C cables and hubs online that prominently advertise 100W capability, only those people as obsessive as I have been able to source a matching power supply. I do hope more good chargers come along.
Samus - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - linkI get away with a 45w adapter on my 65w notebook, it just charges the battery VERY slowly (or not at all in moments it needs to draw from battery to offset lack of power input) but it works.
deil - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - linkI've seen few UNITEC adapters that even stated 65W (not sure) they melted under the voltage.
its all about "WE CAN, but don't you dare to try it". Marketing bullshit.
BTW I just wanted to share that Dell g3 with 180W power brick can charge macbook from its thunderbolt. Have fun with your cables guys.
patel21 - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - linkWow, I was thinking of buying an MI 65W power adapter from AliExpress, for my latitude 7490. Now not sure if I should or not.