Kingston Nucleum Review

Kingston Nucleum Review

When it comes to storage related devices, Kingston Technology is definitely one of the brands at the top. They are very well known for their solid state drives and memory cards. And they are also the owner of HyperX, one of the leading gaming brands! But today I’m going to instead review their latest memory card reader solution, the Kingston Nucleum! It’s a new USB-C hub that’s been designed for content creators! So let’s see if that’s actually the case as well.

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 127×45×14 mm / 5.0×1.8×0.6″
  • Weight: 92 g / 3.2 oz
  • Type: HUB
  • Ports: 2x USB-C (1x power through), 2x USB 3.1, 1x HDMI
  • Memory card slots: SD, Micro SD
  • Speed rating: UHS-I
  • Connection: USB-C

Design

Smaller size laptops have been gaining popularity for years now. Especially in the professional environment. But the downside of smaller laptops is less ports. And that’s why these multi-purpose hubs can be pretty useful. Not only do you get a memory card reader for SD and MicroSD cards, but you also get some extra ports. Which is especially good if you are using a newer Apple MacBook.

Kingston Nucleum Design Top

And design wise it fits the Apple look as well. It’s a compact sized hub that has an aluminium casing with a silver grainy finish. The port area sandwiched between it is darkish grey/black. It’s fairly small as it measures only 127×45×14 mm / 5.0×1.8×0.6″. That said, they have still managed to fit an HDMI port, two USB-C and two USB 3.1 ports. Plus of course the memory card reader that I mentioned before.

Kingston Nucleum Design Bottom

The 7 in 1 hub is attached to a 127 mm / 5 inch USB-C cable. Kingston has actually paid attention to the cable quality as well as it feels pretty thick and durable. Of course the only downside is that your computer has to have an open USB-C port for you to be able to use it. So the Kingston Nucleum is designed for more modern laptops.

Also you can use it with any of the laptops that are powered by the USB-C port as well. Such as Chromebooks for example. One of the USB-C port on the hub supports pass-through charging as well (up to 60W). So you can still power your laptop through the hub and continue using the memory card reader and extra ports. It’s basically a smaller and more basic version of a dock.

Performance

The Kingston Nucleum doesn’t require and external power source. You simply plug it into your computers power source and you are good to go. You can also use all of the ports and memory card reader slots simultaneously. What I do recommend however is that if you have an external hard drive and the power cord plugged into the hub at the same time, then unplug the storage drive before the power cord. The hub switches off for a second once you unplug it from power, which can theoretically mess with the external storage drive.

Now as I mentioned before, the multipurpose hub has slots for both SD and MicroSD memory cards. And according to the Kingston website, there is a speed difference between the two. Apparently the SD card slot is supposed to support UHS-II speeds as well. Which actually isn’t the case. Despite what’s said on the technical specification, you won’t get more than 90 MB/s from both of the memory card slots. Which means that the actual maximum speed rating is UHS-I. So that’s definitely something worth paying attention to.

The ports on the other hand are all standard. The HDMI port supports up to a 4K UHD resolution at 30 Hz. Which means that you can connect it to a bigger size monitor as well. But what surprised me the most, is that the Kingston Nucleum can also be used with an Android phone that’s equipped with a USB-C port. Pretty useful if you want to get data off memory sticks.

Conclusion

So is the Kingston Nucleum really designed for content creators? Kind of. It has the right design that just looks good and premium build quality. Also it has plenty of ports that are all useful and you can even hook it up with a 4K monitor. And most importantly it works with Apple MacBook Pro’s and Google Chromebooks. Plus of course all the other laptops that have USB-C ports.

The memory card reader is a disappointment however. Content creators generally require fast transfer speeds as they take a lot of photos and videos. And there’s nothing worse than waiting forever for them to load onto your computer. Which is why the best memory card readers now support UHS-II. Which Kingston should definitely had added to the Nucleum. But at the moment they have capped the speed at UHS-I.