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AUKEY CB-C788 12-in-1 Hub review: Build your own workstation for less

AUKEY CB-C788
AUKEY CB-C788 (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

AUKEY's AUKEY CB-C788 is a solid hub that's compatible with both USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. It's pretty much like a dock in that it can also supply power to your laptop using an external source. With everyone having to work from home often using employer-supplied hardware, hubs like this allow you to set up a temporary workstation.

This hub offers some serious features, including dual 4K displays at 60Hz, but is it worth your time and money? We took one for a spin in a real-world scenario as my partner — in the business of mortgages and financial lending — works from home.

What I loved about the AUKEY CB-C788 12-in-1 Hub

AUKEY CB-C788

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

AUKEY's CB-C788 is a very capable hub, rocking a unibody aluminum alloy ionized finish, making it perfect for use with the latest laptops that share the same materials. It's extremely compact and slim, which is what you want from a hub that can not only be used at home or in the office but also out in the field.

CategorySpec
ConnectivityUSB-C
Thunderbolt 3
Host cableNon-removable
Ports2x USB-C (data & charging)
2x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1
2x USB-A 2.0
SD card reader (SD and microSD)
Ethernet
2x HDMI 2.0
1x VGA
Max display resolutionThunderbolt 3:
Dual 4K@60Hz
USB-C:
Single 4K@30Hz
Power delivery100W

This design also aids in dissipating heat, because yes ... even your USB hub also produces waste in the form of heat. It's a clean design with but a few feet on the bottom to help keep it in place. The far end of the dongle houses the non-removable USB-C cable. The opposite side has the VGA and 1Gb LAN ports.

One side contains USB-C power input, two HDMI ports, and the two SD card slots. You'll find all four USB-A ports on the opposite side. This helps keep everything clean by having all ports of the same type on one side while having the rest of the feature set on the other. It's a versatile dock with an equally versatile layout.

AUKEY CB-C788

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

AUKEY's CB-788 is a versatile 12-in-1 USB hub with full support for USB-C and Thunderbolt.

The input port for passing through charge to your laptop can take and pass-through up to 100W of power. This is a great benefit compared to competitive hubs that can often cap out at 60W. Some laptops, especially those with beefy internals, require more power to charge and power all the internals, else you'll find the battery deplete.

The two HDMI ports support 4K displays, though we tried it with two 1440p screens. It worked as expected, so did the rest of the port configuration. Even with most ports in use, we encountered no issues or bottlenecks. To sweeten the deal, the hub comes with a three-year warranty from AUKEY.

What I disliked about AUKEY's CB-C788 12-in-1 Hub

AUKEY CB-C788

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

One of the major drawbacks to AUKEY's CB-C788 12-in-1 hub is how the main data cable to your laptop cannot be removed from the hub. If the cable fails, you'll need to take it apart to replace it, or buy a new one. This isn't good, especially if you find yourself using it often while on the move where the cable can twist and bend.

That's about it, really. There's also no Thunderbolt 3 downstream, which can prove troubling if you have Thunderbolt 3 devices to connect to your laptop. This will limit the bandwidth available.

Should you buy the AUKEY CB-C788 12-in-1 Hub?

AUKEY CB-C788

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

The CB-C788 performed admirably in USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 use. When plugged in, the hub was able to drive two 1440p monitors, handle 1Gb LAN, as well as four USB devices connected without issue. It was also more than capable of passing through around 80W of charge to the laptop we used to test it. It should be able to do just about everything you need to do.

There are better docks out there that can handle Thunderbolt 3 downstream (we rounded up the best Thunderbolt 3 docks) and would be better suited if that's what you require from such a hub, but the CB-C788 from AUKEY is a great value option for anyone on the go or looking to build a temporary workstation at home with a compatible laptop.

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.