Anyone who has a Touch Bar MacBook Pro knows the awful truth of using it: a beautiful machine that sacrificed functionality for aesthetics. Now you’re going to need a dongle for everything: HDMI, SD cards, regular old USB 3.0 Type-A and a DisplayPort — which is the exact port selection being offered by the Arc Hub from Bourge Design.
The Arc Hub has a puck-shaped design and excellent build quality — and it should, as a $120 accessory. A glass top and aluminum body very much reflects the design language of the Touch Bar MacBook Pros. However, it’s not just restricted to those systems, thanks to a USB-C port. Basically, if you’ve been shorted by any laptop manufacturer for ports, the Arc Hub will be of use.
But does it actually come in clutch when you need it the most?[gallery ids="1480743,1480745,1480744"]
Yes and no. The most curious thing about the Arc Hub (its circular design) is also its main shortcoming: Because it’s a circle, you’ll be threading cables in a snail-shell pattern, where your wires risk entanglement with the more ports you use.
For singular input/output, like when you’re in a pinch and need to transfer some photos from an SD card after a shoot, everything is fine. You’ll have no problem connecting the included USB-C to USB-C cable to get the hub powered, then inserting your SD card as normal. The wires get a little chaotic past the third input mark.
Also, I never thought I’d write this about a hub: It’s a fingerprint magnet.
The bottom line about the Arc Hub is it looks good as a port hub, but the sheer amount of wire management needed to handle six separate wires emerging from an aluminum/glass puck is nuts.
If you’ve got a small desk or intend to use a port hub while you’re at a cafe — maybe you’d want to get a hub with a simpler, rectangular design. Otherwise, it does a fine job.
Regarding availability, the first round pre-orders from October last year are shipping in late May, with future orders shipping in chronological order.
Price as reviewed: $119.99 at Bourge Design