Hyper, the company behind it stackable GaN chargers and powerful battery banksis run a kickstarter for a Thunderbolt 4 hub that’s truly compact thanks to the fact that it doesn’t require a massive power brick that weighs down other hubs. Instead, it plugs directly into the wall with a relatively standard figure-of-eight power cable, allowing you to add quick connections to your computer without wasting a lot of backpack or desk space.
Despite the simplicity, Hyper says it will still be able to power your laptop with up to 96 watts, which is enough to power most laptops (though if you have a gaming machine or a 16- Inch MacBook Pro have, this can still be bad some battery at full tilt). As with most Hyper products, however, the hub doesn’t come cheap; Hyper says it’s expected to retail for around $299 when it releases.
As a Thunderbolt 4 hub, it gives you a few more ports to work with. There are four Thunderbolt ports on the front. You connect your computer to one, and then your desired hard drives, displays, or other accessories to the other three. Hyper says its PCIe speeds of 32Gbps (which is 4x for PCIe 3.0 or 2x for PCIe 4.0) are fast enough for external GPUs and that the ports can power devices like an iPad Pro with 15W of power. It should also be compatible with most fancy monitor setups; According to Hyper, the hub supports technologies like Display Stream Compression and the multi-stream transport technology required to drive two 6K displays at 60Hz.
Obviously you’re paying a lot for the convenience of not having an external power supply (which helps make the hub more portable). For the price of the hub you could get one full Thunderbolt 4 dock this adds several other ports. Hyper offers Kickstarter backers a significantly lower price (between $179 and $239 depending on which tiers still have stock), but that comes with an inherent risk. Yes, at this point Hyper is a respected brand with many successful crowdfunding campaigns under its belt, but there’s still a difference between pre-ordering on Kickstarter and buying something directly from a website. The company expects the hubs to make their way to supporters in November.
If your pockets aren’t that deep or you don’t mind a little inconvenience, OWC Thunderbolt Hub may be worth a look. You can also add three Thunderbolt 4 ports and one USB-A port to your computer (it even runs at 10Gbps). At $169, it’s a fair bit cheaper than Hyper’s version – but it needs to be plugged into a massive power brick and can only charge 60W.