Latest MacBook hub on Kickstarter is the neatest yet, with form-fitting design – 9 to 5 Mac (blog)

branch-macbook-hub

Ever since Apple launched the single-port 12-inch MacBook, we’ve seen a flurry of companies offering to add the missing ports back in through various adapters, hubsdocks and more. Latest to the party is Branch, a Kickstarter project whose USP is its ‘form-fitted’ shape, which is naturally available in each of the three MacBook colors.

The emphasis here is on packing the essentials into an extremely portable unit, providing USB-C pass-through, two USB 3.0 ports and one Mini Display port capable of driving a 4K monitor. The company had originally pitched with HDMI (shown above), but said that it has switched to Mini DisplayPort following feedback from Kickstarter users … 

You also have the option of 64GB of embedded flash storage, to extend the storage capacity of your MacBook through a slightly longer model.

The company’s claim that the hub “looks like it belongs on your Macbook” is something of an exaggeration. It still looks to me like a kludge, and I do have to raise an eyebrow at the sense or otherwise of buying a single-port MacBook only to bolt onto it something like this, but I guess the argument is you’ll add it when you need it.

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At the time of writing, there are still Early Bird Specials for $59, and the company will throw in a Mini Display to HDMI adapter. Once those are gone, it will be available for $69, still saving $79 on the planned retail price. The Branch 64 model, with 64GB of embedded storage, costs $119 on Kickstarter, saving $20 on the retail price.

Shipping is scheduled for July and August for the standard and extended storage models respectively. You can back the project here.

If you’re still wondering whether the 12-inch MacBook is for you, check out our review.


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10 Responses to “Latest MacBook hub on Kickstarter is the neatest yet, with form-fitting design”

  1. monty72 says:

    That’s not really entering into the spirit of it. is it?

    Like

  2. rogifan says:

    Why not just get a 13″ rMBP if you need more ports? The entry level is the same price as the rMB.

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  3. Lets hope it fairs a little better than the Zendock that premiered on Kickstarter over two years ago that has YET to deliver a product.

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  4. “one Mini Display port capable of driving a 4K monitor” but it shows an HDMI port in the picture. Plus, I know the MacBook’s supported (external) resolution is less than a retina thunderbolt, can it drive 4k even?

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    • monty72 says:

      My Late 2013 Macbook Pro 15 with a video card struggles to run youtube vids on a 4k screen, so I’m guessing no.

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    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      “The company had originally pitched with HDMI (shown above), but said that it has switched to Mini DisplayPort following feedback from Kickstarter users”

      Like

  5. jrv6 says:

    This is getting close
    I travel for work, and the small MacBook is tempting, but I want to travel with a minimum number of accessories and cords. I need a display port, one USB port, and one Ethernet port in addition to the USBC passthrough (mostly for charging)

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  6. These docks totally miss the point. AirPlay for display, iCloud or google drive for docs etc. I agree with the chap below. If you want ports get the pro. The MacBook is about style and portability. It’s not for mega users. It’s for people who want to type a letter on something beautiful.

    Better still. Companies need to start producing peripherals that have USB type C. It’s the port I wish was invented 20 years ago. All the plugs, ports, adapters etc exist because a uniform one has not been invetpnted yet. I think Apple are saying ‘here you lot. Give this ONE a go’ (I appreciate that Apple didn’t invent it!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rnc says:

    Say what you will…

    But the MB is ready to be docked: power, USB, video with just one (1) cable!

    It is the future

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  8. Why? It is butt ugly and ruins the MacBook design. If you can’t live without the missing ports, either buy a dongle or buy a different Mac!

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