iPad Pro HyperDrive USB-C Hub for iPad Pro

blasto2236

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 4, 2012
792
386
Well, after two months of waiting my HyperDrive USB-C for iPad Pro arrived today. The only nice thing I can say about it is that it looks great. The fit and finish match the iPad in quality almost exactly.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for the product. It won’t charge using pass-through and the included 18w iPad charger. Even when using a higher wattage charger, it will give power but just barely. It basically keeps the iPad Pro battery from draining but does not charge it.

Additionally, it doesn’t allow for hot-swapping. Any time you want to switch devices, you need to unplug the whole hub, reconnect it, then plug in your new device.

Granted, Sanho has claimed to fix both of these issues via a firmware update...the only problem is it requires a Windows PC with USB-C, which I don’t own and I don’t know anyone else that does either. This is a product clearly aimed at iOS devices...why would the app to update firmware be Windows only?

But all of that can be fixed with time. The most troubling part of the HyperDrive is that other backers on KickStarter are reporting that the hub has damaged the charger on their iPad Pro, causing it to short and not receive a charge from *any* chargers, through the hub or otherwise. I simply can’t risk damaging my $1,000 tablet with a poorly made USB-C hub.

I wanted to leave this little mini-review here for anyone else who’s been considering one. Buyer beware! All the coverage on 9to5Mac, etc. for this thing has been really positive so far, and it’s bothersome that no publications have reported on these issues. I would not have bought it if it weren’t for the glowing 9to5Mac review.
 

A.R.E.A.M.

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2015
324
170
Los Angeles, California
The satechi tech one is a great second option. Ive had it since November and it works flawlessly. It does not have the SD card slots but i do have a satechi card reader dongle along with my Ethernet adapter. It’s fit and finish is just as good at hypers.

Ive been waiting for my February kickstarter hub to show up. It’s in the US....some..where... ill get it shortly.

I read about the issues on kickstarter and I’m happy to hear the update has fixed the issue. First and last time ill buy a product from them though.
 

Codeseven

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2008
793
310
Anyone have luck with the new Mac OS Firmware Update?

https://hypershop.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360027639571

Looking to fix the charging issue so I ordered a USB-C to USB-A 3.1 Adapter to connect to my older MacBook Pro. Also, for me, when connecting my TV to the Hyperdrive, the Hyperdrive mini HDMI port (using a mini HDMI to HDMI cable) doesn’t work (maybe it’s not supposed to be used that way?), I have to use a regular HDMI to HDMI cable.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=35254
 

ipos

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2011
1,005
84
The satechi tech one is a great second option. Ive had it since November and it works flawlessly. It does not have the SD card slots but i do have a satechi card reader dongle along with my Ethernet adapter. It’s fit and finish is just as good at hypers.

Ive been waiting for my February kickstarter hub to show up. It’s in the US....some..where... ill get it shortly.

I read about the issues on kickstarter and I’m happy to hear the update has fixed the issue. First and last time ill buy a product from them though.
any links to purchase?
 
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richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
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I can second the Satechi one works well. I didn't want to wait for the Hyperdrive so I got the Satechi from Amazon. The Hdmi, charging, and headphone jack all worked well.
Same here. I was tempted to wait for the HyperDrive for the card slot but decided not to wait and went with the Satechi. The first one I got had a short in the audio input and their service was great and sent me out a new one in a couple of days (and never asked for the first one back). The second one has worked flawlessly.
 
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blasto2236

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 4, 2012
792
386
Just wanted to chime in here and say that if you have a USB-C equipped MacBook Pro, this Hyper-Drive hub is immensely more useful.

After updating the firmware, all of my issues have been resolved. I've been using it with both my iPad Pro and my 15" MBP with no issues, and am no longer disappointed with my purchase.

If you can't install the firmware update, I still can't recommend the Kickstarter version (I'm sure the retail ones come with latest firmware), but I now am very happy with it. It even sits flush with my MacBook Pro with the flange for the iPad attached, so I can easily swap it between the two. Having a hub that works and looks nice with both devices makes it a lot more useful for me. YMMV.
 
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richpjr

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May 9, 2006
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Just wanted to chime in here and say that if you have a USB-C equipped MacBook Pro, this Hyper-Drive hub is immensely more useful.

After updating the firmware, all of my issues have been resolved. I've been using it with both my iPad Pro and my 15" MBP with no issues, and am no longer disappointed with my purchase.

If you can't install the firmware update, I still can't recommend the Kickstarter version (I'm sure the retail ones come with latest firmware), but I now am very happy with it. It even sits flush with my MacBook Pro with the flange for the iPad attached, so I can easily swap it between the two. Having a hub that works and looks nice with both devices makes it a lot more useful for me. YMMV.
Glad that it worked out! I gotta admit I'm not crazy about a hub hanging off the side of my iPad when using the keyboard though. I wish someone made a hub with a cable longer than the 5 or 6 inches that most of the portable hubs do.
 
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Codeseven

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2008
793
310
Just wanted to chime in here and say that if you have a USB-C equipped MacBook Pro, this Hyper-Drive hub is immensely more useful.

After updating the firmware, all of my issues have been resolved. I've been using it with both my iPad Pro and my 15" MBP with no issues, and am no longer disappointed with my purchase.

If you can't install the firmware update, I still can't recommend the Kickstarter version (I'm sure the retail ones come with latest firmware), but I now am very happy with it. It even sits flush with my MacBook Pro with the flange for the iPad attached, so I can easily swap it between the two. Having a hub that works and looks nice with both devices makes it a lot more useful for me. YMMV.
Good to know, thanks. ‘After updating the firmware, all of my issues have been resolved.’ Are you saying it will now charge using the provided 18w charger or it will charge but you still need a higher watt charger? Was the charging and hot swap problems the only ‘issues’ you had experienced and are now resolved?

I’m hoping the adapter I ordered will allow me to update using my old 2008 MBP’s USB-A port.
 

blasto2236

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 4, 2012
792
386
Good to know, thanks. ‘After updating the firmware, all of my issues have been resolved.’ Are you saying it will now charge using the provided 18w charger or it will charge but you still need a higher watt charger? Was the charging and hot swap problems the only ‘issues’ you had experienced and are now resolved?

I’m hoping the adapter I ordered will allow me to update using my old 2008 MBP’s USB-A port.
I'm now able to charge with the included 18w charger (although very slowly, I still prefer using my MacBook Pro charger), and the hot swapping issue was fixed.

Those were the only two problems I had been experiencing, so I'm pretty much set. I was also hesitant based on the few claims of damaged iPads, but I decided to go ahead and give it a go and have not experienced this problem at all. I think those may have actually been isolated incidents and/or user error.
[doublepost=1559230077][/doublepost]
Glad that it worked out! I gotta admit I'm not crazy about a hub hanging off the side of my iPad when using the keyboard though. I wish someone made a hub with a cable longer than the 5 or 6 inches that most of the portable hubs do.
The one for iPad Pro sits flush with the edge of the iPad, it doesn't hang off to the side. You *can* set it up that way with the included extension cable, but the default attachment provides a very clean look.

It also sits flush on my 15" MacBook Pro! But it covers up two of the USB-C ports so if I want both on that side to be accessible then I need to use the extension cable there.
 
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richpjr

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May 9, 2006
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The one for iPad Pro sits flush with the edge of the iPad, it doesn't hang off to the side. You *can* set it up that way with the included extension cable, but the default attachment provides a very clean look.

It also sits flush on my 15" MacBook Pro! But it covers up two of the USB-C ports so if I want both on that side to be accessible then I need to use the extension cable there.
I didn't word that well - what I was trying to say was I don't care for the looks of the cables hanging off the iPad (when using a keyboard) when the dock is plugged into the side of the iPad. I didn't realize the Hyper Drive had an extension cable as the Satechi one does not. A lot of people have issues with USB-C extension cables so I have been hesitant to use one.
 

blasto2236

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 4, 2012
792
386
I didn't word that well - what I was trying to say was I don't care for the looks of the cables hanging off the iPad (when using a keyboard) when the dock is plugged into the side of the iPad. I didn't realize the Hyper Drive had an extension cable as the Satechi one does not. A lot of people have issues with USB-C extension cables so I have been hesitant to use one.
Ahhh I see what you mean now. I'm not sure if the retail units come with the extension cable or not, I know all of the Kickstarter and IndieGoGo ones did as it was part of the stretch goals.

The extension cable works great, but it is a bit of a PITA because you can't just slide the flange attachment for the iPad off. It's screwed on, as is the extension cable when you attach it. They did include a little screwdriver and some extra screws though, which was nice. I generally will swap out if I need to free up the additional USB-C port on the side (if for instance I need to connect my Maschine, MIDI keyboard, microphone, and charger up all at once).
 

TotalMacMove

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2013
616
997
Texas
It seems like the hyperdrive is the best option right now for the iPad pro? From what i understand, it charges very slow but that wouldn’t be much of a problem if you are using it at a desk as a dock plugged in all day? For those of you who said they would rather wait a year, is there news of a better one/updated hub?
 

loekf

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2015
678
273
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
I read the comments on the Hyper forums. Should have done this before I bought one yesterday. Didn't test it yet. What a sh*tstorm. You need a Mac or PC with USB-C to update the firmware, which I don't have. Adapter cable problaby doesn't work. Adapter of (so no cable) USB-C female to USB-A male works best, but still no 100% guarantee it works. Make sure you remove the plastic screen protector first.

They promised an iOS Fw updater for end of April, but haven't seen anything.

I'm now leaning towards the Satechi one, which has a better chance working.
 
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TotalMacMove

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2013
616
997
Texas
I read the comments on the Hyper forums. Should have done this before I bought one yesterday. Didn't test it yet. What a sh*tstorm. You need a Mac or PC with USB-C to update the firmware, which I don't have. Adapter cable problaby doesn't work. Adapter of (so no cable) USB-C female to USB-A male works best, but still no 100% guarantee it works. Make sure you remove the plastic screen protector first.

They promised an iOS Fw updater for end of April, but haven't seen anything.

I'm now leaning towards the Satechi one, which has a better chance working.
Wow thanks for sharing. Thats going to help other like me from buying the hyper drive for now
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,225
1,630
I read the comments on the Hyper forums. Should have done this before I bought one yesterday. Didn't test it yet. What a sh*tstorm. You need a Mac or PC with USB-C to update the firmware, which I don't have. Adapter cable problaby doesn't work. Adapter of (so no cable) USB-C female to USB-A male works best, but still no 100% guarantee it works. Make sure you remove the plastic screen protector first.

They promised an iOS Fw updater for end of April, but haven't seen anything.

I'm now leaning towards the Satechi one, which has a better chance working.
I’m very happy with the Satechi hub. Works great and it’s a bit smaller than the Hyper so it doesn’t cover part of the speakers like the Hyper does. The one advantage of the Hyper is the built in card read.
 

loekf

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2015
678
273
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
I’m very happy with the Satechi hub. Works great and it’s a bit smaller than the Hyper so it doesn’t cover part of the speakers like the Hyper does. The one advantage of the Hyper is the built in card read.
I just ordered the Satechi hub, the one specially designed for the iPad Pro 2018 as well.

Just to be sure, I checked the Satechi hub with a short cable as well:

https://satechi.net/products/type-c-multi-port-adapter-with-ethernet-v2

This one definitely doesn't support passthrough charging. The iPad displays a "not charging" in the upper right corner. So it will go back to the shop.

I managed to update the firmware on the Hyper:

- Make sure you remove the plastic screen protector
- Use a USB-C female to male USB-A adapter (no cable is allowed). I still have a 2014 Mac.
- On my Mac, it crashed the hub for some reason, think too much power or incorrect negotiation for power (maybe linked to USB 3.1). This is a powered USB hub, so not sure what was going on here. After on/off, it returned to normal.
- On a Windows 10, after playing with which side up, the update tool saw the hub and updated the firmware.

This firmware fixes the audio jack plug and passthrough charging.

From what I know the Satechi one still has issues with charging. The iPad charges very slowly, just so it doesn't loose capacticity when the hub is doing something attached, e.g. when you connect something to the HDMI connector.

I also read somewhere that these hubs also get issues when you have a smart keyboard cover attached.

I think the Hyper hubs needs more work for their firmware, but if they fixed the charging maybe they have the edge.

I also have the Apple USB-C to HDMI cable here with this extra USB-A and USB-C connectors. This one does charging as well. Only find it funny that sometimes it take some time for the charging indicator to come up.
 

blasto2236

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 4, 2012
792
386
I just ordered the Satechi hub, the one specially designed for the iPad Pro 2018 as well.

Just to be sure, I checked the Satechi hub with a short cable as well:

https://satechi.net/products/type-c-multi-port-adapter-with-ethernet-v2

This one definitely doesn't support passthrough charging. The iPad displays a "not charging" in the upper right corner. So it will go back to the shop.

I managed to update the firmware on the Hyper:

- Make sure you remove the plastic screen protector
- Use a USB-C female to male USB-A adapter (no cable is allowed). I still have a 2014 Mac.
- On my Mac, it crashed the hub for some reason, think too much power or incorrect negotiation for power (maybe linked to USB 3.1). This is a powered USB hub, so not sure what was going on here. After on/off, it returned to normal.
- On a Windows 10, after playing with which side up, the update tool saw the hub and updated the firmware.

This firmware fixes the audio jack plug and passthrough charging.

From what I know the Satechi one still has issues with charging. The iPad charges very slowly, just so it doesn't loose capacticity when the hub is doing something attached, e.g. when you connect something to the HDMI connector.

I also read somewhere that these hubs also get issues when you have a smart keyboard cover attached.

I think the Hyper hubs needs more work for their firmware, but if they fixed the charging maybe they have the edge.

I also have the Apple USB-C to HDMI cable here with this extra USB-A and USB-C connectors. This one does charging as well. Only find it funny that sometimes it take some time for the charging indicator to come up.
Honestly, with the firmware update installed I think the HyperDrive takes the edge. It works great, looks great, and I can't find any fault in it now that everything's working properly.

It was pretty much useless to me without a USB-C MacBook Pro though. Luckily I upgraded for other reasons and then suddenly the HyperDrive was no longer a $70 paperweight. It also works great with the MacBook Pro, which is a bonus.

My only gripe is I wish it also included ethernet. I know that's not as useful on iPad, but now that I'm using it with my MBP I do wish it offered that feature as well from time to time. Most hubs either have ethernet or a headphone jack, but not both. I feel like offering both so it could be useful on both devices would make it the ultimate hub. That aside, it's working great for me now.
 
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loekf

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2015
678
273
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Honestly, with the firmware update installed I think the HyperDrive takes the edge. It works great, looks great, and I can't find any fault in it now that everything's working properly.

It was pretty much useless to me without a USB-C MacBook Pro though. Luckily I upgraded for other reasons and then suddenly the HyperDrive was no longer a $70 paperweight. It also works great with the MacBook Pro, which is a bonus.

My only gripe is I wish it also included ethernet. I know that's not as useful on iPad, but now that I'm using it with my MBP I do wish it offered that feature as well from time to time. Most hubs either have ethernet or a headphone jack, but not both. I feel like offering both so it could be useful on both devices would make it the ultimate hub. That aside, it's working great for me now.
I now also have the Satechi product, which mimics the Hyperdrive one. It isses the SD card reader(s). Biggest issue with that one, is that charging barely works. Hyper's version still manages to charge the iPad.

However, I am wondering whether plugging in a larger charger makes a difference. The standard iPad one is 18W, but Apple also sells 30W and others.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,225
1,630
I now also have the Satechi product, which mimics the Hyperdrive one. It isses the SD card reader(s). Biggest issue with that one, is that charging barely works. Hyper's version still manages to charge the iPad.

However, I am wondering whether plugging in a larger charger makes a difference. The standard iPad one is 18W, but Apple also sells 30W and others.
I have the larger charger and it charges the iPad through the Satechi with no issues.
 

A.R.E.A.M.

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2015
324
170
Los Angeles, California
They hyperdrive’s only feature the satechi does not have is the sd slots. The extra bits that come with the hyperdrive (case, tool, extension cable) don’t make it better.

The hyperdrive, with the included sd slots, has a different chipset than the satechi so the hyperdive will drain your iPad battery MUCH faster. I know this by experience because i had the satechi since the first week in December and used it daily until the hyperdrive finally shipped in April. Once i used the hyperdrive, i immediately saw the battery drain much much faster (mind you I’m NOT charging tight tablet, just letting the batter run down) so this was an issue i didnt like.

At the end of the day I went back to the satechi. i have a satechi Ethernet dongle and sd card dongle for those times I need to use those. The satechi looks much better, has a smaller footprint and didn’t have any issues with damaging the battery and bricking the iPad as some early users sadly found out on the crowd sourcing sites.

But NOW, with my ravpower file hub WD-009, it has Ethernet on it and i just connect the Ethernet directly to that. This allows me to access the company intranet directly rather than having to tunnel in through a VPN PLUS I get to share files and videos as needed with my phones (i do video and audio production on the iPad so this setup works for me when I’m not at home)

So in the end I’d much rather recommend the satechi and just get a SD card dongle for the times you need that option.
 
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Codeseven

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2008
793
310
Doesn’t *simply updating the Hyperdrive’s firmware negate the charging problem?



Mind you, *simply, meaning if you don’t have access to a USB-C ported laptop you can’t update it. I ask the above question because my old 2008 MBP’s USB-A’s are not 3.1 so even with a USB-C to USB-A adaptor my laptop wont recognize the Hyperdrive.
 
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