The Mac mini, while a great device, has lacked some essential I/O since the 2018 refresh. The SD card slot in particular has been missed on this latest-generation mini. Thankfully, Satechi has designed a sleek and functional USB-C Hub for the new Mac mini.
Satechi’s Mac mini hub gives you 6 extra ports — three extra USB 3 ports, a USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a full-sized and micro SD card slot. It’s not even really the ports themselves that are a huge deal, but it’s the handy placement and overall package that helps everyday usability.
Having to move my desk off of the wall to manage ports on the mini’s backside can be very annoying. With this hub, assuming it’s just USB I/O that you’re dealing with, that problem has mostly disappeared.
If, however, you’re looking to connect additional Thunderbolt 3 accessories, you’ll still need to connect to the ports on the rear of your Mac mini because this hub doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3.
Design-wise, this is the perfect accessory for the Mac mini, It’s space gray, so to match your Mac mini and it’s also built with aluminum construction.
Satechi’s hub has a nice indention for the Mac mini’s bottom-side, so it fits flush and makes the machine look like a “Mac mini Pro” so to speak. All of the ports are powered by a single USB-C cable that’s only a little over an inch long. It’s made to slot right into one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the rear of the Mac mini.
Satechi made the smart move of putting a fan inside the hub to circulate air to help keep the Mac mini cool. So far in my testing, I’ve heard no difference in fan noise.
As far as performance goes, I’ve had no issues with the hub thus far. I haven’t experienced any random disconnects, overheating, or anything of that nature. I’d say the only drawback with this hub is that none of the USB ports can be used for charging, but that’s nitpicking. This hub is great! And the general concept of this accessory definitely got me thinking.
I think it would be really innovative if someone were to make this hub in the form of a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU. In this scenario you’d obviously need to have a proprietary graphics card, a taller chassis for better cooling and probably external power too.
If you were to keep the 6-in-1 aspect of this product, but with a GPU inside, it would be awesome, and solve one of the biggest issues with the Mac mini — the lack of graphics horsepower.
If you have Apple’s latest Mac mini, Satechi’s Mac mini hub is honestly a no-brainer for power-users and video editors. It’s great for quickly connecting an SD Card or a USB drive, but it obviously won’t work with Thunderbolt 3 accessories. Let us know your thoughts on this device down below in the comments section.