The Ultimate Guide to USB-C Pass-Through Charging and Video Passthrough

pass through usb c

In the ever-evolving world of technology, finding the perfect USB-C solution that charges your devices, supports video passthrough, and enables data transfer can be a daunting task. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify USB-C pass-through charging and help you choose the best hub for your needs.

Understanding USB-C Pass-Through Charging

USB-C Pass-Through Charging is a technology that allows devices to charge while simultaneously charging other devices connected to it, ensuring continuous power delivery. This innovative feature is made possible by Power Delivery (PD), a fast-charging protocol that can deliver up to 60W of power.

usb c interface

How It Works

Power Delivery (PD) is a fast-charging protocol that allows devices to negotiate the amount of power they can deliver or receive over a USB connection. This protocol is essential for pass-through charging, as it enables devices to charge while also providing power to other devices connected to them. PD is designed to be efficient and safe, ensuring that devices are charged quickly and without overheating.

Compatibility Matters

To ensure seamless pass-through charging, it's crucial to use devices that are compatible with Power Delivery (PD). Most modern laptops, smartphones, and tablets support PD, but it's essential to check the specifications of your device to confirm compatibility. Additionally, using high-quality cables and adapters that support PD is vital to ensure reliable and safe charging.

USB-C Hubs with Video Passthrough

USB-C hubs with video passthrough capabilities have revolutionized the way we connect our devices to external displays. These hubs support stunning video output via USB-C, allowing for resolutions up to 4K and beyond.

Supporting Technologies

4K HDMI & Beyond

The technology behind USB-C hubs with video passthrough is based on the USB-C specification, which allows for the transmission of audio and video signals over a single cable. This enables the connection of external displays with resolutions up to 4K and beyond.

Hubs Supporting Dual Video Passthrough

For users who require multi-display setups, there are elite hubs that cater to this need. These hubs support dual video passthrough, enabling the connection of two external displays to a single device. Some notable hubs include:

  • The Anker USB-C Hub (supports two 4K displays at 30Hz)
  • The CalDigit TS3 Plus (supports two 4K displays at 60Hz)
  • The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock (supports two 4K displays at 60Hz and features additional ports for USB-A, Ethernet, and audio)

Choosing the Right USB-C Hub

When selecting a USB-C hub, several factors must be considered to ensure the hub meets your laptop's power needs, provides fast data transfer speeds, and offers the right ports for your devices.

Power Output & Device Requirements

Matching your laptop's power needs is crucial when choosing a USB-C hub. The table below shows the power output requirements for popular laptop models:

Laptop Model Power Output Required
Dell XPS 13 30W
MacBook Air 30W
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 65W

Data Transfer Speeds

USB-C hubs can support different data transfer speeds, depending on the USB version:

USB Version Data Transfer Speed
USB 3.1 Gen 1 5 Gbps
USB 3.1 Gen 2 10 Gbps

If you need fast data transfer speeds, look for a hub that supports USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Compatibility & Connectivity

Consider the types of devices you need to connect when selecting a USB-C hub. Look for hubs with USB-A ports for older devices, Thunderbolt 4 support for compatible devices, or multiple USB-C ports if that's all you need.

Real-World Performance

When evaluating a USB-C hub, look for reviews and testing that include power pass-through speed. This will give you an idea of how well the hub performs in real-world scenarios.

Top USB-C Hubs for 2024

Philips 7-in-1 Multiport Hub

The Philips 7-in-1 Multiport Hub is a top-notch option, boasting an impressive array of ports:

  • 1 x USB-C Power Delivery (PD) port for pass-through charging up to 60W
  • 1 x HDMI port supporting 4K resolution at 30Hz
  • 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports for data transfer and charging
  • 1 x USB-A 2.0 port for keyboard or mouse
  • 1 x SD card slot and 1 x microSD card slot for expanded storage
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port for stable internet connectivity

Available on Amazon for around $35.99, this hub offers excellent value for its price.

Satechi Type-C Pass Through Hub

The Satechi Type-C Pass Through Hub stands out due to its sleek design, compact size, and impressive feature set:

  • 1 x USB-C Power Delivery (PD) port for pass-through charging up to 100W
  • 1 x HDMI port supporting 4K resolution at 60Hz
  • 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports for data transfer and charging
  • 1 x USB-A 2.0 port for keyboard or mouse
  • 1 x SD card slot and 1 x microSD card slot for expanded storage

Available on Amazon for around $49.99, offering a premium product at a reasonable price.

SYBA USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub

For those on a budget, the SYBA USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub is an excellent option that doesn't compromise on essentials:

  • 1 x USB-C Power Delivery (PD) port for pass-through charging up to 60W
  • 1 x HDMI port supporting 4K resolution at 30Hz
  • 4 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports for data transfer and charging

Available on Amazon for around $25.99, the SYBA USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub is a great choice for those who want a reliable and affordable USB-C hub.

Also see: Arzopa Z1FC 144Hz Portable Gaming Monitor

Extend your screen at the office, at home or on the go with this convenient, compact display. Conveniently set up your monitor to the left, right or behind your laptop. The dual USB-C ports on each side allow for versatility and better portability.

Arzopa Z1FC 144Hz Portable Gaming Monitor 16.1" Screen

Arzopa Z1FC 144Hz Portable Gaming Monitor 16.1 Inch Screen
  • 16.1 Inch Full HD (1920x1080p) IPS with a premium aluminum design.
  • 1.7 lb weight and 0.3-inch thickness make it ideal for on-the-go use.
  • Supports PS5, Xbox, Switch, Steam Deck, PCs, phone, and more.
  • Includes a built-in stand for both portrait and landscape viewing.

FAQs & Misconceptions

Q: Can I Use USB-C Pass-Through for Device Syncing?

A: While pass-through USB-C hubs are designed to allow for power delivery and data transfer, they are not intended for device syncing. If you need to sync your device, use a dedicated syncing cable or a USB-C hub specifically designed for syncing, rather than relying on a pass-through port.

Q: How to Identify PD Capable USB-C Hubs

To identify if a USB-C hub is capable of power delivery (PD), follow these steps:

  1. Check the product description for keywords like "Power Delivery" or "PD"
  2. Verify the hub meets the USB-C specification, which supports power delivery up to 100W
  3. Check the product packaging or documentation for power delivery capabilities and maximum wattage supported
  4. Look for certifications like USB-IF or other industry-recognized certifications
  5. Verify the hub's power output, usually indicated in watts (W)
usb c information

    Avoiding Overheating: Tips for Safe Use of Power-Hungry Hubs

    To ensure safe use of power-hungry hubs and avoid overheating:

    • Monitor the hub's temperature, especially if it's a high-power device
    • Ensure good airflow around the hub by keeping it in a well-ventilated area
    • Avoid overloading the hub with too many devices
    • Consider using a surge protector to protect the hub and connected devices from power surges or spikes
    • Regularly clean the hub to remove dust and debris that can block airflow

    OS Compatibility: Ensuring Your Hub Works Seamlessly with Windows, macOS, and Linux

    To ensure your hub works seamlessly with different operating systems:

    • Check the manufacturer's website for compatibility with your operating system
    • Regularly update your hub's drivers
    • Opt for hubs with standardized ports like USB-A, USB-C, and HDMI
    • Research the manufacturer's support for different operating systems and their reputation for providing timely updates and fixes
    • Read reviews from other users to get a sense of how well the hub works with different operating systems


    With this comprehensive guide, navigating the world of USB-C pass-through charging and video passthrough has never been easier. Whether you're a power user or just seeking the perfect hub for your setup, you're now equipped to make an informed decision and maximize your productivity. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and don't forget to share this guide with others who might find it helpful. Happy hub hunting!


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