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?
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