Posted at 4:00 pm.
We don’t talk enough about the importance of USB adapters in 2022, also called hubs or axles. With the ever-decreasing number of ports on laptops, and the popularization of USB-C inputs when using USB-A peripherals, these small devices are practically essential.
So here’s what turned out to be a promising offer, the 7-port USB-C adapter from the Chinese company ZMUIPNG, the products of which can be found everywhere on the Internet and specifically at Walmart in stores. The first caveat: the adapter is by definition an interface between many different devices. We doubled the tests, alternating for example between the MacBook Pro 2020, MacBook Air M1, ASUS ROG GL703, three screens and two keyboards. Some combinations worked well, others did not, but it is clearly impossible to predict all of them.
As its name suggests, this adapter plugs into the USB-C port on your computer to multiply it by seven. First, you can plug in a USB-C power supply that can run up to 100W, recharging from the same beat as your laptop. It also works as an SD and Micro SD card reader, with a transfer speed of up to 104MB/s.
These two functions, the ZMUIPNG converter assumed for four months without any errors.
On one side, there are three USB-A 3.0 inputs, capable of transferring data from an external hard drive at speeds of up to 5 Gbit / s, if such a drive is capable of providing that much. You can also connect all keyboards, mouse, USB switches, and peripherals that still have a USB-A socket, which is still the majority.
Finally, the adapter has a 4K HDMI output that allows you to connect your computer to a monitor. We got an output of 3440 x 1440 on the Huawei MateView GT display with a refresh rate of 50Hz. The theoretical maximum we got on the LG CX OLED TV is 3840 x 2160 with a refresh rate of 30Hz.
In the first few weeks, everything went smoothly. Monitors, keyboards, mouse, and computer charging perform flawlessly. For such a versatile converter that retails for $35.99 online, this seems like a steal. Adapters to simply connect an HDMI display to a USB-C port often cost more.
We love less
Gradually different errors appeared. When the computer came back from sleep, the screens had difficulty reconnecting. For one set, Huawei and MacBook Air M1 screen, a frequent and annoying small error noise appeared, until the adapter was disconnected and then plugged in again.
It was an opportunity to discover a paradox that computer technicians surely know: Connecting a monitor via HDMI can cause an amazing quality loss. By connecting our monitor directly to the computer via USB-C, we hit our maximum refresh rate at 100Hz while maintaining maximum resolution. Clear lesson: USB-C is preferred when possible.
One third morning, my Apple Magic Keyboard (connected to USB-A, even if compatible with Bluetooth) was no longer responding. Again, unplugging and plugging it back in fixed the problem.
Over time, we discovered that one of the adapter’s three USB-A ports was unreliable. We had to plug our peripherals two or three times to get caught.
Finally, a bad sign: Fakespot review service gave this adapter a C rating on Amazon. Which means we are dealing with a mixture of credible and unreliable reviews.
do we buy?
With the huge number of models of peripherals, computers and monitors on the market, you may find the right combination for this ZMUIPNG adapter.
But in our case, we found too many irritants to make it a recommended purchase.
These bugs have also disappeared since we installed an adapter from another manufacturer in early April. There is no miracle here: it costs twice as much. Another review coming.
7-Port USB-C Adapter (ZM1806)
Rating: 2 out of 5