Dockcase USB Hub

2022, Feb 27    

Periodically, I browse the pages of Kickstarter to see what technology is being devised and is worth backing. This time my attention was focused on an interesting USB hub that features an OLED display that displays information regarding it's connections (including power usage). The device looked good on paper and had plenty of backers, so given the investment amount was relatively small and the prospect of something interesting/useful I figured it would be worth a go. Unfortunately for me this turned out to be another problematic project and a reminder to always dig a little deeper...


The device arrived in the type of packaging you would expect, and despite its shipping from Europe it had faired well. Inside the protective wrap was a sleek box containing the hub, a single USB-C cable, and the typical instructions. As far as packaging goes it was very reminisce of that from Apple, especially the slimmer boxes used for iPhones now chargers have been removed. I have to admit at this point I thought the device was off to a good start (future note to self: never judge a tech product by its packaging).

Sleek and smart packaging (the additional USB lead came separately)


With the hub unpacked the initial impression was great. The build quality looks really good, the cut-outs for the ports look very precise, the glass top does a very good job at hiding the OLED screen when it isn't powered, and the thermal vent for the built-in fan doesn't look out of place. From an aesthetics perspective it's a sharp-looking device that would suit most modern desks. When powered on the resolution of the OLED screen is good (it wouldn't win awards but it doesn't need to), and while only having a single multi-function button is a little irksome it isn't something you typically interact with so it's easily overlooked.

Sleek looks overall, and the flat USB-C cable is a nice touch


Sadly, while I would normally describe the overall usage of the device and how it performs, I can't (not in any meaningful way at least). From the moment I started testing it things weren't great, and progressively have gotten worse. To be clear, testing took place using three different USB-C cables (including the two that came with the device), and two different laptops (one of which is a 2018 MacBook Pro, not exactly a new device). It was 50/50 if the device would recognise what had been connected or show a reconnect message, and sadly every few times it would crash the hub resulting in a hard reset. It could be argued that as this is a new device it should be expected that there will be some teething issues, more on that later.

DP-Alt Mode
It's a 50/50 chance of seeing this error

Charging (sort of)
Charging: yes, Charging at full rate: no

Crashing every 1 in 5 times...

Two Errors
Two errors for the price of one

Other Devices

When trying to find the contact details for their support team I came across what I hadn't expected (shame on me), the other incredibly similar items that they already produce and have on sale. Specifically, both the 4-in-1 and 6-in-1 versions with fixed leads (and the same OLED screen), the 7-in-1 version (on sale at time of writing), then the 8-in-1 (which I backed) and the 9-in-1 (pre-sale) versions. I recall when Kickstarter made it clear that it was to be used for backing new ideas, not a rehash of an existing product you sell and have added another port to. Those days sadly seem gone, leaving companies to do as they please.

Support (lack of)

It shouldn't be any surprise that I reached out to their support team (providing photos of the issues), or that I never received a response after a week. Trying to find firmware for the device is a non-starter as only the 7-in-1 and 9-in-1 devices are listed. While it's tempting to try the 9-in-1 firmware, owning an expensive paperweight isn't something that appeals to me that much. Another chasing email will be sent to their support in the coming days, but I hold little hope of getting a response (or a fix).


While there is still no new firmware in sight, I've been testing different USB-C cables to see if it changes the power delivery issue and surprisingly have found that the device will accept a 95w power feed providing you have a very specific cable. To be clear, even the included 100w PD cable shipped with the device doesn't always register the 95w power adapter, so it seems the tolerances around the cable are very tight (possibly too tight). This said, despite this change in cable it still refuses to send more power to the out device (which is capable of more than 60w), again after testing different cables. It could be that this is down to tolerances again, but its not great either way.


I'd really like to use this device as my go-to hub as being able to see the speeds of what I have connected does weirdly provide some satisfaction to me, however as the device isn't stable and doesn't deliver full power it isn't that likely. Unless a firmware update is released for this model which resolves the issue sadly this device will be relegated to a box in the garage. Money well spent...