Satechi Type-C MacBook hubs review: Add functionality back to Mac

Apple / Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
Type-C

A simple way to add some of your legacy I/O ports back to any Type-C laptop, including the MacBook Pro.

At some point we’re all going to have to face the USB Type-C beast as it muscles along to become the standard in computing I/O. Apple thought it would be best to just go cold turkey and remove every legacy I/O port from its MacBook and MacBook Pro. Since I own both a 2015 12″ MacBook and a 2016 15″ MacBook Pro, reviewing the Satechi Type-C accessories seemed a good fit. Read on for the full review.

Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter

Type-C

Specifications

The Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter has the following features and specifications:

  • USB Type-C connector
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • USB Type-C passthrough power
  • 4K HDMI (30Hz)
  • Aluminum construction

Design

The design and materials used on this adapter are premium feeling and well made. All the ports are well cut-out but I do wish the cable was a bit shorter, living the dongle-life with the new MacBooks is already a bummer. It would have been nice to not have this hang off so far. Overall, it is well constructed and well designed and matches the MacBook really well.

Ease of Use

Plug and play that’s all there is to it. There is no Apple MFi certification needed on USB-C products so no need to worry about Apple’s guidelines when it comes to their connections. This particular adapter gives you two USB-A 3.0 ports, a power passthrough, and a 4K HDMI port. The speeds on the 3.0 ports fell in line with standards and overall this was simple to use and performed great.

Price/Value

$59.99USD is a little on the pricey side, but it does give you back some essential legacy ports. Now that there is no Apple tax for these accessories, it would have been nice to see this in the $49.99 range. Still, it offers you some much-needed ports and you will get your money’s worth.

Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter
4.3 Out of 5
Nailed It
Adds back some essential legacy ports in just one hub.
Needs Work
A little pricey, considering there isn't a need for Apple MFi certification for Type-C products.
Bottom Line
A nice hub/adapter/dongle for use with computers with only Type-C connections.
Design4.25
Ease of Use4.75
Price/Value4.00

Satechi Type-C USB 3.0 3 in 1 Combo Hub

Type-C

Specifications

The Satechi Type-C USB 3.0 3 in 1 Combo Hub has the following features and specifications:

  • USB Type-C connector
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • SD card slot
  • Micro-SD card slot
  • USB Type-C passthrough power
  • Aluminum construction

Design

This Satechi product is also made from aluminum but I felt the construction was a bit cheaper feeling than the adapter above. The one thing I felt needed some improving was adding a second Type-C connector to plug into the 2016 MacBook Pro 15″ which would have added some rigidity. Other than that one bigger complaint, this hub does look good, though it doesn’t match the 2016 colors as well as the adapter above.

Ease of Use

Plug and play, much like the previous product. This adapter is great for photographers who need that SD card slot or Micro-SD card slot back. The 3.0 ports are great as is the power passthrough. I do wish there was an HDMI port here, it would have been nice to have that included.

Price/Value

This hub is priced a bit lower than the adapter above and it’s probably because of the lack of 4k HDMI. It’s still a nice hub, but I would be careful with its single connection to the MacBook body, it just feels a little flimsy.

Satechi Type-C USB 3.0 3 in 1 Combo Hub
4.2 Out of 5
Nailed It
Adds back some essential legacy ports to your MacBook or other USB Type-C only laptop.
Needs Work
The design is a bit flimsy, would have liked to see two Type-C connectors for the MacBook Pro to add some rigidity.
Bottom Line
A decent alternative to add back some ports but the design could be better.
Design3.75
Ease of Use4.75
Price/Value4.00
  Purchase from Amazon

Wrap Up

Overall both of these products will give you back I/O you’re missing and they’re a better solution than Apple’s official single adapters you need to have plugged into all 4 ports.

**We were sent samples of both Satechi Type-C products above for the purposes of this review.
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