On launch, Appleâs new MacBook didnât have much going for it with regard to accessories. Now that USB-C is more familiar to device manufacturers, weâre getting some really powerful plug-in devices, and Minixâs NEO C is no different.
The hub plugs into a MacBookâs USB-C port and offers a lot of extensibility. Thereâs an HDMI or VGA port for monitors, ethernet, two USB ports for peripherals as well as SD and micro SD card slots. It also has a USB-C inlet for pass-through charging.
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About the size of a credit card â and a half-inch tall â the NEO C wonât take up much room on your desk. Itâs also small enough to pack in a bag for travel, though I find it best used at home. Itâs made of Aluminum, and matches my Space Grey MacBookâs surface in both color and feel.
Leaving it on my desk, NEO C has turned my MacBook into a fairly nimble desktop computer.
While I wouldnât dream of plowing through a heavy development session or editing a long video with my MacBook, NEO C may be the missing link for MacBook ubiquity. It satisfies many of those âbut I canât do ââ arguments we have internally with ourselves about the MacBook and USB-C.
Itâs not perfect by any means; Iâd rather have a Thunderbolt port than an HDMI, and the constantly-protruding cable is a deterrent for packing it in a smaller bag. The cable isnât supported well at the point it connects to the hub, either, which makes me over-think damaging it.
NEO C also gets warm to the touch during use. Not hot by any means, even when there are several devices using it at once, but still warm. Though it has pass-through charging, itâs about 20-30 percent slower than direct charging.
For travel, Iâd suggest other options. Satechiâs hub has been updated to support pass-through charging, and has a profile better suited for sliding into your bag.
But for the desktop, the Minix NEO C canât be beat. It retails for $89.90 via Amazon, and is available now.
â¤ NEO CÂ [Minix]