Satechi Pro Hub Slim review: Good port expansion for Mac, on a budget
Satechi Pro Hub Slim4.5 / 5
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One of Satechi's newest docks is the Pro Hub Slim, which adds seven additional ports to the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.
The company released it in January and specifically designed it for MacBooks with an M2-series chip. These models have two Thunderbolt ports on the left side, and that's how the Pro Slim Hub connects to the machine.
The Pro Hub Slim has seven ports designed to increase data transfer speeds and extend workplace connectivity. The two USB-A data ports on the hub support up to 10Gb/s of data transfer speeds, while the USB 4 pass-through port supports up to 6K at 60Hz video output, up to 100W of charging, and has data transfer speeds up to 40Gb/s.
The SD and Micro SD slots support UHS-I rates up to 104MB/s. Additionally, the 4K HDMI port for dual display supports up to 60Hz in resolution.
It works with any MacBook from 2017 to later and doesn't require drivers or software. Mac users can plug the Pro Hub Slim into their devices to start working.
Satechi Pro Hub Slim - Design
As the name implies, the dock is indeed slim. The hub is shorter than an iPhone 14 and nearly the same thickness, measuring a little under five inches long and slightly more than one inch wide.
The Slim Hub, like the majority of Satechi devices, integrates aluminum into a svelte form to match the Apple product. It will fit neatly in a pocket or bag for storage and transportation.
Using the Pro Hub Slim
The hub was especially nice to use on a 2023 MacBook Pro because it wasn't necessary to take over the USB-C PD port for charging. The USB-A ports at up to 10Gb/s of transfer are also nice, although it requires a USB 3.2 Gen 2 storage drive to achieve maximum speed.
The USB 4 port is an excellent addition to the hub as it has multiple functions. For example, it has pass-through charging for MacBooks without MagSafe, fast transfer speeds of up to 40Gb/s, a power output of up to 100W, and a video output of up to 6K at 60Hz.
Using an old USB 2 flash drive, transferring a 2.6GB folder with the Slim Hub took about five minutes. With the USB 4 port, moving the same folder to a USB 3.2 Gen 2 drive took about three seconds.
The SD and Micro SD slots support SD/SDHC/SDXC cards with up to 2TB capacity and up to 104MB/s transfer speeds. For example, using an SDHC (SD High Capacity) Micro SD card took roughly 10 minutes to transfer the 2.6GB folder.
Satechi notes in its guide that the USB-A and USB-C ports don't support charging or connecting to CD readers, including the Apple USB SuperDrive. But, although we didn't perform a time test, we could charge our iPhone 14 with each port.
The last port on the hub is the HDMI port that can output 4K video to an external monitor at up to 60Hz. This capability is excellent for those who need an extra display for productivity or gaming.
The hub slightly wobbles up and down because it can only attach to a MacBook on one side. It's not a significant concern, although we wouldn't leave it on while carrying a MacBook.
It solidly connects to a Mac otherwise, but you should hold on to the hub while removing cables because trying to pull one out also causes the hub to pull away. But, again, that's not a cause for concern, and it won't fall out on its own.
Satechi Pro Hub Slim - Pros
- A variety of different types of ports
- Fast data transfer on each USB port
- Nice design
Satechi Pro Hub Slim - Cons
- Slow data rates for SD and Micro SD cards
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Satechi Pro Hub Slim - Pricing
Photographers probably won't be happy with the SD slot speeds as transferring large files from their cameras takes a long time. But it's an excellent product in all other aspects, and the price of $79.99 isn't bad for what it offers.