Overloading the HooToo Shuttle USB-C hub
Today, we’re testing the HooToo Shuttle HT-UC001, a USB-C hub with an SD card slot, three USB-A ports, HDMI and USB-PD (Power Delivery). Plus we’re going to have a look how it holds up if you pull too much current!
So how does it look like? We think it looks pretty nice:
HooToo has a number of USB-C hubs which differ a bit in features. To take away some confusion, we tested the HT-UC001 in Space Gray. This hub comes in the following variants, and they all have 3 x USB 3.0 ports and SD Card slot:
|HT-UC001 (tested here)||HDMI||Yes||Aluminum, space gray, gold, rose gold|
|HT-UC002||Yes, 4K supported||No||Aluminum|
The HooToo website lists them all.
Although the Shuttle hub isn’t milled from a single piece of aluminum like the Satechi USB-C hub, it’s still pretty nice. As a consequence, it doesn’t feel as solid but is very light. And due to the design with the lighted logo, doesn’t look cheap.
As for Power Delivery, we hooked up the hub to an 87W Apple charger and it passes up to 55W (we measured 19.5V @ 2.7A). This is pretty good compared to other hubs. When nothing is connected, the hub still uses power; 0.2A. Idle usage is normal, but in this case it’s higher than we suspected, about twice of what the Satechi uses. In the grand scheme of things, it’s negligible except when you’re already down to your laptop’s last 10% battery charge. We suspect this is because the HooToo also comes with an SD card slot.
When taking a look at the USB bus in macOS’ System Information utility, we can identify what chipset is used: a VIA USB 3.0 chipset identified as 0x0813 which could mean the VL813 chipset. The Satechi uses the same, reliable chipset. There’s also a device with product ID 0x0100 called “BILLBOARD”, which could indicate a leftover from the manufacturing process (according to our information, it’s used to flash firmware onto the hub).
We trust the VIA chipsets, but of course still run our usual tests:
|Reaches top speeds when reading data from external SSD||Yes|
|Can the hub copy files between two USB-3 drives||Yes|
|Correctly copying 10 x 1 GB files||Yes|
|WiFi works correcly when using the hub||Yes|
|Does the hub stay at normal temperatures||Yes|
|Sleeping and waking the laptop works correctly||Yes|
|How much power do the USB-A ports deliver?||5V @ 1A = 5W|
The results of the last test gave us a pleasant surprise: the USB ports deliver 5W. This means that your phone or what have you will charge at a bit above of USB 3.0 speeds (0.9A).
Via its HDMI port, the hub supports hooking up an external display. Although the HooToo website doesn’t explicitly say so, this particular model (HT-UC001) supports 4K monitors, although at 30 Hz which is not suitable for daily usage. For WQHD (2560×1440), the refresh rate is a comfortable 60 Hz.
The HooToo comes with a little manual that states that if the combined current needs from all connected devices exceed 1A, the hub will automatically power off. We wondered if that was actually true, so we hooked up the Satechi Power Meter, plus an USB load tester. This last device basically allows you to dial a knob and slowly raise power usage on the USB bus. It’s a very nifty device.
Did it hold up? Yes and no. Yes, it powered off. But only after increasing the load beyond 1.5A, the hub cut out and power cycled. By then, the Satechi power meter showed almost 2.2A load on the USB-C port of our MacBook Pro!
The HooToo Shuttle with Power Delivery is a fine hub. It’s got enough ports and is light enough to drop in your bag and forget about it. It’s pretty safe, too: as demonstrated, the overcurrent protection seems to work (although not exactly as promised). If you want the smallest and most sturdy package, the Satechi Aluminum USB-C hub might be a better choice. For HDMI below 4K, Power Delivery, enough USB-A ports as well as a SD Card slot, the HooToo is the one we recommend.