Dongles for the USB-C port on the MacBook are easy to come by, but there arenât a lot of really good hubs. Satechiâs latest, which cleanly matchÂ the style and color of the latestÂ MacBooks, may be the best option.
Itâs a small, sleek aluminum array of ports packing three USB 3.0 inlets, a MicroSD card slot and an SD card port. A pinhole up top lights up blue when itâs plugged in, and Satechiâs branding is hidden on the underbelly.
The hub doesnât draw power from your MacBook; itâs simply a pass-through for peripherals. If you wanted to, you could leave it plugged in all the time.
You could use the hub to power an iPhone or iPad from your MacBook â or transfer photos â but it doesnât allow for pass-through charging of the MacBook (even if you had a USB to USB-C cable). You also canât use both SD card slots at the same time.
Thunderbolt andÂ ethernet ports are also missing.
Reading and writing to an external driveÂ was just as fast (or slow) as a MacBook Pro. Using a simple micro USB cable linked to a Samsung SSD, the speeds were identical.
Slipping USB cables in and out of the ports did give me a bit of pause, though. ItsÂ form factor isnât the sturdiest, so be gentle when youâre removing drives. Like your MacBook, Satechiâs hub isÂ gorgeous, but a bit delicate.
For many users, this USB-C hub will be just fine. It gives you most of what you may be missing from a MacBook Pro, and is light and durable enough for travel. Iâm not crazy about the factÂ thereâs no passthrough charging, or that the USB-C end doesnât have a protective shield, but those arenât deal breakers. The tradeoffs are far outweighed by three USB ports and two SD card slots; more than adequate, even if I do need extra dongles.
You can find the Satechi USB-C hub on Amazon for $34.99.