Review: Bonelk 14-in-1 desktop hub

Many creative professionals use an array of devices that capture content, from smartphones, to GoPro's to drones and DSLRs, the storage method across these devices is vast. Often we...

Many creative professionals use an array of devices that capture content, from smartphones, to GoPro’s to drones and DSLRs, the storage method across these devices is vast. Often we create complex workflows in an attempt to streamline the challenge of dealing with so many different storage types, but it’s an ongoing challenge.

Enter, one device to do it all. Bonelk has a great 14-in-1 USB dock for your desktop that is not only a really capable card reader but a full USB-C dock.

This has been on my desk for the past few weeks and after living with it, it’s time to break down how it works and the good and bad elements to owning it.

DESIGN

Vertical or Horizontal

This desktop hub is designed to live in a vertical orientation, with an included dock, but can also be removed from that and placed horizontally on your desk. For those looking for a minimal look, they may even mount this under their desk, or in a drawer.

The all-black design fits really well with most of the other electronics on my desk, matching the laptop, monitor, keyboard and speakers.

Personally, I really like the vertical design, however, when used as a dock, there are some cable management challenges.

Overall the design works well with the ports distributed around the left, top, and right edges of the dock.

FEATURES

Stand out features of this device.

The Bonelk Multiport Desktop hub contains a serious array of connectivity options.

Connecting a USB-C cable from your laptop or computer (included), to the main USB-C input port, opens up the 14 additional ports.

The ports available are:

  • 2 x 4K HDMI ports (at 30hz)
  • 3x USB-A ports
  • 2 x USB-A 3.0
  • 1x USB-C PD 100W (to power a laptop or smart device
  • 1 x USB-C port
  • 1x SD card slot
  • 2x Micro SD card slots

 

ISSUES

Not everything’s perfect

As a bi-product of making a slim design, this hub features ports on three sides which means that using it as a dock will see cables coming from multiple directions. This means you’ll have up to 2x HDMI cables, 1x Ethernet, 2 USB (mouse, keyboard) and possibly USB-C for a phone charger etc. This can easily lead to a very messy desk, compared to many other longer docks that have all their ports at the back, which enables cable management down behind the desk, away from sight.

There is a solution to this, which is to mount this under your desk, but you will sacrifice some accessibility to hide this away, when the primary objective is to have these ports readily available to you.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

How much and when can you get one ?

The 14-in-1 Bonelk desktop hub is available now from JB Hi-Fi for A$199.00.

Bonelk also offers a 9-in-1 hub at JB Hi-Fi or Mwave for A$169.00.

Given the extra utility available from the 14-in-1 version, I definitely think it’s worth the extra $30 to get there. The smaller version does have a VGA port, so if you’re monitor is from the 2000s, that might be a feature you’re chasing.

OVERALL

Final thoughts

The end result of having this on your desk is that you can build productivity workflows that are quick and easy. This means dropping your laptop on your desk, connecting a single USB-C cable and having access to a full desktop setup.

You have the luxury of choice between popping the SD/MicroSD cards from devices like drones, or GoPros and popping them in the top of the device, or simply directly connecting them via USB (which also charges them).

There’s a nice combination of USB-A and USB-C available here, which really helps support this transition period we’re in for a few years, before USB-C will ultimately become the default standard.

Sure, I wish there were Display Ports as well as HDMI ports and I wish the ports supported higher frame rates (60Hz would be a great start), but they’re fairly minor complaints.

Overall this represents great value for money, with many other USB-C docks running close to twice this price and lack the integrated card reader. I personally never would have thought I needed 2x microSD card slots, but after having used it, they have become incredibly beneficial.

If you’re someone who shoots with multiple GoPros, or a GoPro and Drone, then transfer the footage to your machine, before dropping it into Premiere to edit, you’ll appreciate the file copy process can take time. Being able to kick off 2 transfers at once, enables you to get work done faster.

Overall I like this dock a lot, it’s a really great combination of features and price point, delivering really practical functionality to your desk.

9.1
Bonelk 14-in-1 desktop hub
The Good
  • Design
  • Amount of ports
  • Weighted base
The Bad
  • Only 30Hz HDMi out
  • Design
    8.5
  • Features
    9.5
  • Value
    9.2
Categories
GeneralHardwareReviews

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021
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