If you have a newish Mac laptop — particularly the 12-inch MacBook Pro — you know there’s a dearth of slots. Kingston’s $79.99 Nucleum is a 7-in-1 USB hub that can help overcome this limitation.
Plus in the USB-C hub and you can connect up to seven devices simultaneously — including a mouse and a display. You can also charge your MacBook while, for example, running an external hard drive and charging an iPhone.
The Nucleum’s ports include: USB-C (power input), USB-C (data), HDMI, USB-A (x2), SD, and MicroSD. You can use the HDMI port to output to a 4K UHK or full HD 1080p monitor or projector. While testing multiple accessories plugged in at once, I found no problems.
The Nucleum incorporates power delivery pass-through to facilitate charging your connected device. The hub itself doesn’t require external power to function, so you don’t need to keep it plugged into your charger if your connected device has enough power to run. And it’s compact enough that you can toss in in a backpack or purse and take it with you.
You should note that, when using the power delivery USB-C port with your USB-C cable and power adapter for charging purposes, the Nucleum can deliver up to 60W of power. That’s plenty for juicing the 12-inch MacBook (29W) or the 13-inch MacBook Pro (61W), but not quite enough for the full capacity of the 15-inch MacBook Pro (87W).
Perhaps the biggest complaint with the 12-inch MacBook Pro is its lack of connectivity. The Nucleus adds a reasonably priced way to add USB-A, HDMI, and even SD and microSD functionality to the laptop.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★