Saturday, September 26, 2020

Dell’s new USB-C hub is also a speakerphone for conference calls

With a huge chunk of the working world now working remotely, conference calls in Zoom or Skype have become a central part of day-to-day life. So Dell is adapting with a new Mobile Adapter Speakerphone, which combines a USB-C hub that adds HDMI or USB-A ports with a conference call-style speakerphone for better audio quality.

With both a wrap-around USB-C cable and a second USB-C port, the Mobile Adapter Speakerphone lets you plug in a power adapter for 90W USB-C PD passthrough charging, while providing access to two USB-A ports (rated for up to 10 Gbps speeds), and an HDMI 2.0 port (with support for 4K HDR at 60Hz refresh rates). There’s no SD card slots or Ethernet port, though — a particularly puzzling move given how much video conferencing relies on a strong internet connection.

Theoretically, you could also use the Dell hub to plug a USB-C external monitor into your laptop, though you wouldn’t have room to plug in your charger anymore.

On the speakerphone side of things, there’s dedicated buttons for volume, answering or ending a call, and muting yourself, along with dual microphones which promise 360-degree sound and built-in echo cancellation.

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