The Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter (DA310) sounds uninteresting in identify, and will possibly discover itself on the enterprise finish of a wider viewers if it went with one thing just like the Port Puck 9000. Nonetheless, company advertising exists and right here we’re. Fortunately, Dell’s adapter/hub proves to be a solidly helpful gadget — ideally suited to those that want ports, energy, and portability in equal measure.
Dell’s prior iteration of this USB-C hub (DA300) beforehand secured a spot on our listing of the finest USB Kind-C hubs out there at this time, and there’s now a worthy successor to take its spot. So what’s it that this port-providing puck has to supply? Let’s discover out.
Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter (DA310) worth and availability
The Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter (DA310) is obtainable for $119 direct from the Dell web site, or it can save you your self $40 by selecting up the very same gadget for $79 on Amazon.
Dell’s authentic pricing “estimate” is wildly off the mark at $160. For what the Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter has to supply, slapping that type of price ticket on it’s akin to freeway theft. Whereas the hub’s intensive exterior show assist is spectacular (and price paying a bit extra to safe), it’s not $160 value of spectacular.
In contrast, less expensive USB-C hubs can be found, together with Monoprice’s $54.99 13-in-1 Twin-HDMI + DP MST Dock and Plugable’s $30 USB-C 7-in-1 Hub. Each choices are cheaper and have comparable ranges of port choice, although neither provides the identical full vary of DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, and USB-C monitor assist as Dell’s Cellular Adapter.
Its present Amazon pricing brings the USB-C Cellular Adapter closest to its true worth, however in the end the hub’s value varies from individual to individual. It is a gadget finest suited to a desk-swapping workplace nomad, or the troubleshooting techie who wants a conveyable plethora of ports and energy.
Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter (DA310) ports and connectivity
Dell’s DA310 is a 7-in-1 port providing that does itself no justice by adopting the “adapter” namesake. It is a USB-C hub in all however title — and never a foul one both.
The Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter additionally encompasses a multipurpose MFDP USB Kind-C port which you can plug your laptop computer charger into for as much as 90W of energy supply to the host machine, use as a knowledge port for speeds as much as 10Gbps, or connect with an exterior monitor. The port can deal with shows at resolutions of as much as 4K with a refresh fee of 60Hz and serve as much as 90W of Energy Supply to the host machine on the similar time.
Taking a spin across the dock showcases the next ports:
- (Host) 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C (10Gbps, 90W of Energy Supply)
- (Energy) 1 x MFDP USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C (15W cost, 10Gbps, Helps exterior shows as much as 4K @ 60Hz)
- 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 (Helps shows as much as 4K @ 60Hz)
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 (Helps shows as much as 4K @ 60Hz)
- 1 x VGA (Helps shows as much as 1080p @ 30Hz)
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-A (7.5W cost, 10Gbps)
That’s a powerful collection of inputs, that includes assist for nearly each show you’re more likely to encounter in addition to speedy information ports and an ample provide of energy. The one factor lacking from the hub is entry to media storage comparable to an SD or microSD card reader. Nonetheless, with so little area left to position such a port, I can perceive why it’s absent.
Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter (DA310) design
The hub’s hockey puck design is break up into two segments, the highest of which homes every of the seven further ports and is topped by a chrome Dell brand. The plastic chassis does give the gadget a barely cheaper really feel, but it surely appears pretty sturdy and well-reinforced. For good measure, I gave it just a few drops on the ground. In any case, if one thing is travel-friendly, it ought to have the ability to face up to the occasional drop or shock.
Fortunately, I didn’t smash Dell’s USB-C Cellular Adapter into smithereens — it remained in full operation with none indicators of a difficulty. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t belief the plastic chassis to carry up towards many heavy impacts with out it starting to crack or break.
The bottom of the gadget permits you to twist it as if fixing the world’s simpler Rubix puzzle or gently breaking up an Oreo. Although, as a substitute of being handled to a creamy splodge of pancaked sugary goodness, out spools the hub’s tethered USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C host cable. (Don’t eat that although; it’s unhealthy for you.)
Twist it in the wrong way and the cable retracts into the physique of the hub, safely tucked away to stay secure whereas pocketed or not in use. A small ring of rubber on the base of the gadget caps off its design and supplies some stability whereas in use. Paired with the hub’s surprisingly commodious weight of 96 grams (~3.4 ounces), there will not be quite a lot of journey occurring. Nonetheless, even once you do expertise it, it isn’t a lot of a difficulty for a tool of this sort, and gained’t be any frustration or annoyance.
The Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter has a wise and economical design that makes use of each inch of area whereas remaining ultra-portable.
Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter (DA310) efficiency
Let’s begin this off by saying the Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter is not any docking station substitute. Not solely is its tether comparatively brief at simply 5 inches lengthy, the radial placement of its ports would make for a nightmare state of affairs in relation to cable administration. That being mentioned, as a conveyable hub that’s sufficiently small to slot in your pocket, the DA310 is neigh unbeatable as a fast accent to drag out and get to work with.
Whereas there are seven ports on supply, the hub is designed to work as one thing of a Swiss Military Knife — a device you’ll be able to simply take out of your bag and use to entry legacy USB storage, a special monitor setup, or rapidly hook up your machine to a wired Ethernet connection with none fuss. And in that function, it’s perfect.
Hell, you possibly can even swing the factor round by the host cable and luxuriate in a makeshift flail. Nonetheless, the accompanying booklet doesn’t recommend this as a use case, and I doubt the hub’s plastic chassis would survive the righteous smiting of a would-be assailant.
I used the Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter for almost all of my week, solely counting on it to deal with my workstation wants. It proved to me that extra doesn’t imply higher, and its restricted port choice helped me minimize down on desk area and hold issues on the minimal facet. Not as a result of I needed to, however as a result of with something greater than three cables linked to it, issues begin to get a bit Japanese Spider Crab in look.
I hate cables, hate them. Nothing ruins the aesthetic of a clear desk fairly like streams of black and white wire spiraling and swirling in all instructions. Simply eager about the hellscape I lived in for days on finish is giving me palpitations. It’s not typically a person will get prescribed beta blockers after an opposed response to desk spaghetti.
Whereas that alone would ideally enable me to attain Dell’s hub at a zero, I do have to provide it credit score for its versatility and flawless efficiency. It managed to maintain each of my laptops absolutely charged up across the clock, linked my every day peripherals and an exterior show with out problem, and its port speeds are precisely as marketed.
The Dell USB-C Cellular Adapter is a incredible gadget to have in a pinch or when on the transfer. Its tidy engineering and transportable body make for an awesome journey companion, and the number of ports on supply could be a godsend in the proper circumstances. Nonetheless, it will not measure up towards an honest docking station as an on a regular basis device for house use.
Dell’s excessive pricing estimate leaves so much to be desired, however monitoring down the proper deal on-line can see you save an enormous quantity and snag among the best travel-friendly USB-C hubs there’s at this time.
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