Friday, December 1, 2023

Add 3 high-speed ports to Mac with this svelte Thunderbolt hub [Review] ★★★★½ – do phone


The Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub doesn’t take up a lot room in your desk, nevertheless it packs in a trio of very high-speed USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, plus a USB-A port.

The Thunderbolt 4 accent is sweet sufficient to earn a CES 2023 Innovation Award. I put to the check in my residence workplace.

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Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub evaluate

When you begin transferring large information round with Thunderbolt, you’ll have a tough time imaging the way you survived slower switch speeds.

Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 can transfer information at up to 40Gbps. That’s quick sufficient to switch a 10GB file between your computer systems in a couple of seconds. And Apple has constructed it into every Mac for years.

The Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub provides three downstream ports to your Mac or iPad, prepared for you to join exterior SSDs or excessive-res displays. And there’s a USB-A port for different equipment.

Thunderbolt dock lives up to its ‘slim’ title

The Thunderbolt dock takes up little house in your desk.
Photograph: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Thunderbolt docks usually take up fairly a little bit of house, however Satechi wasn’t kidding when it put “slim” within the title of this hub. It’s a mere 4.8 inches by 2.9 inches by 0.5 inches. It’s sufficiently small that one time I misplaced it in all of the muddle on my desk.

The design has rounded corners, and the aluminum-and-plastic exterior is the proper shade to match an area gray iMac, MacBook, and many others.

On the entrance is the upstream USB-C/Thunderbolt port prepared to be related to your Mac. Subsequent to it’s a USB-A port you’ll be able to plug flash drives into. That’s what I used it for, anyway.

On the again sits the trio of USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports. It’s additionally the place the ability provide plugs in.

Talking of which… whereas the principle unit of the Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub is small, don’t suppose you’re going to slip your entire machine into your pocket. It’s exterior energy provide is a hefty 6 inches by 2.1 inches by 1.3 inches.

In order for you a transportable Thunderbolt dock, take a look at the HyperDrive Thunderbolt 4 Power Hub.

Blazing-quick efficiency

Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub adds a trio of Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Add three high-speed SSDs or excessive-res displays to your Mac.
Photograph: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

It’s simple to be confused about Thunderbolt ports as a result of they use the USB-C format. It’s a little bit of an oversimplification, however you’ll be able to simply consider Thunderbolt as a manner improve the pace of file transfers over USB-C. However it’s not one thing you’ll want to fear about with the Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub as a result of its ports can be utilized with very high-speed Thunderbolt 4 equipment and slower USB-C ones.

The Thunderbolt 4 commonplace gives knowledge switch speeds at up to 40Gbps. Having the ability to transfer a 10GB file in underneath 5 seconds in actual-world circumstances is superb.

As a result of the Thunderbolt Slim Hub has three downstream ports, you’ll be able to join a number of high-speed equipment to your Mac. These don’t have to be exterior drives. It may possibly deal with up to two 4K screens at 60Hz or one 8K display at 30Hz relying on the capabilities of the Mac.

And the ports will be daisychained with different Thunderbolt equipment.

Don’t overlook the USB-A port on the entrance. It’s no slouch, and was in a position to switch a 10GB in underneath 20 seconds in my checks, so long as the exterior drive helps USB 3.2.

And keep in mind that the connection with Satechi’s hub can energy your MacBook at up to 60W.

Satechi video

Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub closing ideas

It’s excessive time for any professionals who’re nonetheless holding out to improve to Thunderbolt. And when you have older, slower Thunderbolt gadgets, make the transfer to Thunderbolt 4. The pace improve you’ll be able to anticipate from the Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub could be very noticeable when working with giant information.

It takes up minimal house in your desk, a pleasant bonus. There’s much more bulk underneath the desk, however that shouldn’t matter to most individuals.



The Satechi Thunderbolt Slim Hub prices $199.99. That’s a reasonably typical value for Thunderbolt hubs.

Purchase it from: Satechi or Amazon

The product is kind of comparable to the Plugable USB4-HUB3A that debuted in 2022. It’s value a glance, too. Try my evaluate.

Customers which might be balking on the value for both Thunderbolt accent can stick with far more reasonably priced USB-C variations, just like the Satechi 4-Port USB-C Hub, which I also reviewed.

Satechi offered Cult of Mac with a evaluate unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and take a look at other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.

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