The lack of ports has kept me from buying a new MacBook Pro for a long time. But soon, there was nowhere to go. On a MacBook in 2013 in 2021, you will not work much, and I had to update. Unfortunately, I didn’t wait for the firmware to be released on the M1 and took an ordinary MacBook Pro mid-2020 on Intel. Still, in terms of the number of ports, they are absolutely the same: two USB-C connectors and one 3.5 mm on headphones. After I had regular USB ports, an SD card slot, and HDMI for connecting to an external monitor in my laptop, the new MacBook Pro was very uncomfortable. So I started looking to fix the problem and buying an external hub for MacBook Pro 13.
It turns out choosing the right USB hub is not easy.
Satechi USB Hub Review
I’ve heard about the brand for a long time Satechi. It is periodically praised by bloggers – mainly for the build quality, materials (most accessories are made of aluminum), and durability. And in color, accessories for MacBooks supposedly should completely match the color of the laptop itself.
As a result, I decided not to save, Satechi Type-C Pro Hub Adapter. It cost me almost $99, but everything I needed was here. I ordered this hub on Ali, but soon Satechi left there, and now you can buy it either on the manufacturer’s website (where the device costs $ 99). Unfortunately, I was a little “screwed up” and chose the wrong color when ordering – as a result, the hub came to me in silver, while my MacBook is in Space Gray. Don’t be like me. Check the color when you order.
My hub was supposed to look like this.
And the silver came. As a result, it looks strange.
In fact, the hub pleasantly surprised me. There are two USB-C ports (one with Power Delivery support, the other for data-only), two regular USBs, an SD card slot, a microSD card slot, and an HDMI slot. It covers my needs completely. It is connected in a very original way – the hub takes up both USB-C connectors in the MacBook Pro 13 at once.
Ports, in general, should be sufficient for most users.
HDMI output was important to me
The build quality is really high. The body is aluminum, and the touch is almost the same as that of the MacBook itself. Beautiful things are always a pleasure to use. I would have ordered the correct color. In general, it would be great.
It assembled very coolly, and it is really aluminum.
However, in my case, it connects upside down. If the ports were on the right, it would be prettier.
But it also has disadvantages, which I identified already in the process of using it (I have had a hub for more than 3 months). First, the second USB-C port is only used for data transfer. You can’t connect a monitor there. I connected an iPhone to it, and it started charging, but a notification immediately popped up on the MacBook that an accessory with high power consumption was connected. At the same time, other devices connected to the hub (charging and SSD for Time Machine) continued to work. It turns out that the hub can be very easily overloaded, and although it will work, you don’t really want to know the consequences of this.
Connecting charging, SSD and iPhone were enough for an error to appear on the MacBook.
At the same time, everything worked, but I turned off the iPhone just in case.
Later, I found out that the manufacturer does not recommend connecting more than two external drives at a time. I tried it, the SSD and the memory card worked at the same time without problems. But SSD and normal HDD with a one-time connection – no, one of them must “fall off.” That is, I cannot transfer data from one drive to another using this device. This was the main disappointment for me.
And the hub gets very hot during operation. It is hotter than the MacBook itself. If you type on the keyboard, which I do every day for several hours, it becomes uncomfortable to accidentally put your hand on the hub (and since it is connected wirelessly, this is no wonder).
The hub heats and is easy .to touch due to the cable-free connection accidentally.
Which USB hub for MacBook should you choose?
Despite these shortcomings, on the whole, I am satisfied with the device. It covers my tasks. I can quickly upload photos from a memory card, make a backup, or connect an external drive to upload data and connect a monitor via HDMI. But I want to order a monitor with USB-C connectivity to charge the MacBook and display the monitor’s image via one cable (LG Ultrafine and Dell can do that). This leaves me with more free ports.
Would I order this hub again? Probably not. Now Ali is full of USB hubs for MacBook (and not only), which is much cheaper, and by judging the reviews, they are also devoid of the shortcomings that I noted in my device. For example, here is almost the same hub as mine, from UGREEN – USB-C for charging, HDMI, two regular USB 3.0, and two memory card slots. All the fun is $49. Is there similar, but connected via a cable so that the hub’s heating does not cause discomfort when it is near.
Well, it’s almost the same almost.
And the ports are all I need
Baseus is also a pretty popular brand on Ali. There is an even cooler hub for almost the same money. Choose from RJ45 and three USB 3.0 ports, supports Gigabit Ethernet, and has a sleeker design.
If someone doesn’t like Baseus, here is a similar hub from Anker, but more expensive. But 8 different ports, including USB 3.1.
My hub is no longer on Ali, but I think you have already understood that you can take more interesting things from other manufacturers. I will use Satechi for now – I hope it will last a long time for that kind of money. What solutions do you use to increase ports in MacBook?