Need advice on port dock/hub for 16" MacBook pro 2021

Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
24
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Michigan, USA
Your Mac's Specs
MacBook Pro 16" 2021 M1 Pro 1TB SSD
Just replaced my old mid 2012 MBP with a new 2021 16" MBP M1 Pro. Looking for advice on how to best connect my desk peripheral devices all through one cable and am confused on whether I want a simple usb-C dock/hub or a thunderbolt 4 dock/hub. The devices connected will be a usb A key for a keyboard/mouse, a usb (A or C) external hard drive for Time Machine backups, a usb A for a Epson V550 scanner, and a HDMI video for an external monitor acting as a second screen to the laptop screen. I guess my questions are; is there anything here that requires or will benefit from TBP 4 versus usb-C that justifies the extra cost of TBP 4? And does my use require a hub to be externally powered?

Along with this, if I get an externally powered hub, is there a way to reasonable charge the new MBP through the hub while it is connected? If so, does it have to be at the 140 watt rate or can I have a lower wattage charge going to the MBP? I assume that battery would still be discharging while in use, however I am wondering if the MBP battery would charge back up while not in use, i.e. over night? The MBP will not get used for long periods of time, usually no more than a couple of hours at a time. I guess I wondering if I can get away with less costly chargers. I ended up with 3 chargers for my old MBP for convenience and would like to avoid the cost of additional 140 watt chargers and mag-safe cables.

Thanks for input
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
14,156
Reaction score
2,626
Points
113
Location
Winchester, VA
Your Mac's Specs
MBP 16" 2021 (M1Pro), iPhone 13 Pro, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
I have the exact same machine. I use the OWC (mac-sales.com) dock. I has a TB4 interface, plus lots of outlets, including HDMI and Ethernet. My setup is that I use the HDMI outlet on the MBP directly to my external monitor, the TB4 cable that came with the hub from OWC to the hub, and then branch out from there to additional USB-A hubs (I have ten external drives, all with USB-A ports, so I need more).

For charging, I use the unit that came with the MBP and the MagSafe plug to power the MBP. I don't use USB-c for charging as I want the ports for data. The USB-c charging is capable of running the MBP and charging the battery if the external power supply is sufficiently large.

Here is a link to the OWC unit: OWC Thunderbolt Dock for M1 and Intel Macs and Thunderbolt 4 (USB 4) PCs

OWC has others for you to see, too.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
3,667
Reaction score
1,243
Points
113
Location
Sacramento, California
...I guess my questions are; is there anything here that requires or will benefit from TBP 4 versus usb-C that justifies the extra cost of TBP 4?

You need a hub that supports Thunderbolt 3/4 to get full performance from your HDMI connection.

And does my use require a hub to be externally powered?
No, the Thunderbolt port carries plenty of power.

This one inexpensive hub should do everything that you need:

USB C Hub, UtechSmart 6 In 1 USB C to HDMI Adapter with 1000M Ethernet, Power Delivery Pd Type C Charging Port, 3 USB 3.0 Ports Adapter Compatible for MacBook Pro, Chromebook, XPS, and USB C devices
$30
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H2ZS1B5/
 
OP
D
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
24
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Michigan, USA
Your Mac's Specs
MacBook Pro 16" 2021 M1 Pro 1TB SSD
Thanks again, so far I have gotten the inexpensive hub from amazon (above). One thing that I am noticing, is that while the monitor is plugged into the HDMI port, my usb mouse seems to have a random short time delay, just enough to make the mouse a bit erratic. I move the HDMI cable back to the MBP port or move the keyboard/mouse dongle to one of the MBP usb ports, the mouse works as expected. Is this common with inexpensive hubs
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
3,667
Reaction score
1,243
Points
113
Location
Sacramento, California
Thanks again, so far I have gotten the inexpensive hub from amazon (above). One thing that I am noticing, is that while the monitor is plugged into the HDMI port, my usb mouse seems to have a random short time delay, just enough to make the mouse a bit erratic. I move the HDMI cable back to the MBP port or move the keyboard/mouse dongle to one of the MBP usb ports, the mouse works as expected. Is this common with inexpensive hubs

I don't think that it is typical of "inexpensive" hubs, I think that it is typical of any hub that takes the bandwidth of one port and splits it among many connections that are being used simultaneously. If you find yourself a $500 hub, it isn't going to be able to manufacture more bandwidth.

You might want to try attaching your mouse to a different port. (Your MBP has three USB 4/USB-C ports.) If you need more available USB ports, you may want to get a USB hub for one of the other ports, e.g.:

uni USB C to USB Hub 4 Ports, Aluminum USB Type C to USB Adapter with 4 USB 3.0 Ports, Thunderbolt 3 to Multiport USB 3.0 Hub Adapter for MacBook Pro/Air 2020/2019, iPad Pro, Dell, Chromebook and more
$16
https://www.amazon.com/uni-Aluminum-Thunderbolt-Multiport-Chromebook/dp/B087QFM3GF/?th=1
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
16,362
Reaction score
980
Points
113
Location
Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
You might want to try attaching your mouse to a different port. (Your MBP has three USB 4/USB-C ports.)

And if you still have the trouble, maybe you might want to consider using a Bluetooth mouse instead and hopefully the more recent Bluetooth doesn't have the lag associated with it that many of the early versions did??? My only experience with it.

Many online sites often have the Logitech Bluetooth mouse models on sale.





- Patrick
=======
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top