At the beginning of the year, Satechi launched its new Pro Hub Slim, a more compact version of its USB-C expansions for Mac. A slimmed-down version of the original models, the new Satechi Pro Slim Hub arrives with much of the expected premium build, matching Apple finishes, and USB 4 interface with seven ports in order to deliver a compelling option right before the 15-inch MacBook Air ships.
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Hands-on with the new Satechi Pro Slim Hub
Satechi launched a pair of original USB-C hubs for the 14- and 16-inch side of Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup a couple of years back, delivering some of the best options out there to extend your I/O. Earlier this year, the company then went on to give those form factors a refreshed fit for the latest MacBook Airs. Plugging right into your machine, the new Satechi Pro Slim Hub provides seven essential ports over a USB 4 interface.
Wrapped in aluminum that comes in one of three designs fit to match Apple’s latest, we’re taking a hands-on look at how the accessory stacks up just in time to pair it with the new 15-inch MacBook Air. Its $80 price tag positions it as a premium option compared to some of the ultra-affordable alternates on the market. But we’ll be seeing if it’s worth the cost below the fold.
Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:
- Responsive ports with efficient pass-through. Left to right: USB 4 ports support 6k@60hz resolution, 40 Gb/s data transfer and 100W PD. 4K/60Hz HDMI extended and mirrored and SD/MicroSD card slots with 2TB capacity.
- Two USB 3.2 Gen2 ports capable of 10 Gbps transfer, one USB-C data port designed for transferring data at 10 GB/s, and dual USB-C connectors.
- All M2 and M1 MacBook laptops including M2/ M1 MacBook Pro (Pro & Max) 14-inch, 16-inch, M2/ M1 MacBook Air.
- Aluminum is a conductive metal that gets warm when in use. In case of temperate above 40 C or high current/voltage, the built-in safety mechanism system activates.
I’ve been using the hub since shortly after it was released earlier in the year and have largely found it to live up to the task of being a versatile way to expand I/O. But it’s unfortunately been on the back burner for the past few weeks as other reviews have taken precedence. Then Apple revealed the new 15-inch M2 MacBook Air – returning the new Satechi Pro Slim Hub to the spotlight.
As far as the Satechi Pro Slim Hub goes as an M1/M2 Pro MacBook Pro companion, you’re better off spending the extra bit of cash to score the brand’s solutions that are a bit more tailor-made for the professional experience. But with Apple’s MacBook Air lineup, this accessory is easily the way to go.
For starters, there are the matching colorways that the Satechi Pro Slim Hub comes in. The new 15-inch MacBook Air keeps up with releasing in four different designs, and Satechi is ready to match that with midnight, silver, and space gray counterparts. More than just looking the part, the USB hub provides just about all of the I/O that Apple’s slim machines ditch. Using both of the side-mounted Thunderbolt ports on the left of both 13- and 15-inch MacBook Airs, the hub plugs right into your machine in order to offer seven different ports. The sleek design means it doesn’t block the MagSafe charger on your machine, either.
Moving left to right, there’s a USB-C slot that is paired right next to a 4K-ready 60Hz HDMI port. Next on the list is a pair of two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports that each carry 10Gb/s transfer capacities to join the pair of SD card readers off to the right. Then last up, there’s another USB-C data port with much of the same 10Gb/s speeds as its counterparts. The entire build comes wrapped in an aluminum enclosure with support for 40Gb/s of overall throughput thanks to the USB 4 interface. So while it’s not true Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, it’s the next best thing.
All of these features lead me back to the Satechi Pro Slim Hub being the perfect addition to your new 15-inch MacBook Pro. Apple’s latest machine positions itself as quite the capable machine, despite being on the more affordable end compared to the pro side of the lineup. The latest in Apple Silicon and its performance really does speak for itself these days, with really the only thing holding it back being Apple’s desire to slap as few ports onto the minimalistic design as possible.
So if you’ve already got Apple’s new machine on order or are planning to score it anytime soon, having staples like USB-A and HDMI, let alone SD card readers and the like, is going to come in handy right out of the box. There might be alternates out there to complement your machine, but there’s no getting over just how perfect a match Apple’s MacBooks are with the Satechi Pro Slim Hub. Sleek form and versatile function combine to offer a sleek build that looks the part for living in your Apple everyday carry.
As often is the case with Satechi, its new Pro Slim hub may not be the most affordable model on the block. But it certainly is one of, if not, the best around.