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Popular accessory company Satechi offers a wide variety of docks and hubs compatible with Apple's Mac lineup, and I've recently spent some time testing out the company's $150 USB-C Dual Dock Stand that adds a significant amount of connectivity to your Mac while remaining tucked out of sight and even giving your laptop a bit of extra breathing room.

satechi-dock-stand-front.jpg

Perhaps the most noteworthy design aspect of the USB-C Dual Dock Stand is right in the name, and that's the fact that it serves as a stand to elevate your Mac laptop on a desk, allowing for extra airflow to help keep things cool and giving a couple extra inches of height to the display to bring it a little closer to eye level and perhaps make for a bit more comfortable typing position if you're using your MacBook's keyboard.

The dock measures right around 12 inches (30 cm) wide, and its wedge-shaped form factor sits nicely under the rear portion of a Mac laptop. Rubber feet on the dock help with stability, and there's a raised rubber ridge on the top surface of the dock for your Mac to sit on without scratching either the Mac or the dock. Openings on the front and back bottom edges of the dock provide some ventilation for the dock itself, but I didn't notice anything getting significantly warm.

satechi-dock-stand-macbook-side.jpg

The dock is largely constructed of space gray aluminum with a black top, and there's some clean Satechi branding in white on the top, though all of this will be essentially invisible if you've got your Mac sitting on top of it. A 7.5-inch integrated dual cable sticks out one end of the dock, terminating in USB-C connectors for hooking the dock up to your computer. There's a space gray collar around the two connectors that spaces them perfectly to connect to adjacent USB-C ports on recent Macs with a single motion, or if you've got a compatible machine with different port spacing, the collar can slide back to give you more wiggle room with the individual connectors.

satechi-dock-stand-connectors.jpg

Most of the dock's other features are along the rear side, allowing you to route cables out of sight off the back of your desk. In addition to a color-coded sliding power switch and a white LED that confirms whether the dock has power, the USB-C Dual Dock Stand includes nine ports along the back side. There are two USB-C ports (one supporting up to 10 Gbps and one up to 5 Gbps), two USB-A ports (similarly with one at up to 10 Gbps and one at up to 5 Gbps), and a Gigabit Ethernet port if you need a wired data connection. For display compatibility, there are two HDMI 2.0 ports each supporting up to a 4K display at 60Hz, plus a DisplayPort 1.4 port also supporting up to 4K60Hz.

satechi-dock-stand-rear.jpg

Depending on your Mac, the USB-C Dual Dock Stand can support up to two external displays, with either both connected via HDMI or one via HDMI and one via DisplayPort. The USB-C ports on the dock do not support video, so you can't connect external displays via that method. If you're running an Apple silicon Mac, you'll need one of the higher-level Pro or Max chips to support dual external displays in addition to the built-in display on your laptop. If your machine has a base M3 chip, you can run two external displays with the laptop lid closed, while machines with the base M1 or M2 chip are limited to one external display.

In addition to Apple silicon Macs, select Intel-based MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models are also supported, as are a handful of Windows machines such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop Studio, Lenovo Yoga 6 and 7i, Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra, and Dell XPS 15.

satechi-dock-stand-macbook-rear.jpg

There's one final port on the rear of the dock, and that's a USB-C port for accepting incoming power. The dock can be bus-powered from the connected Mac, but performance under heavy load will be hampered. Using an external power adapter, which isn't provided in the box but should be readily available to most users, the dock can draw up to around 15 watts while providing up to 75 watts of passthrough power to the connected Mac, ensuring you only need one connection to your Mac for everything. I used the 140-watt Apple power adapter that came with my MacBook Pro, and it provided all the power the dock needed while I also saw 69 watts of power going to my Mac, which was plenty to refuel it quickly and keep it charged up during use.

satechi-dock-stand-ssd-bay.jpg

Beyond all of the rear ports. the USB-C Dual Dock Stand has one more trick up its sleeve, and that's a built-in SSD bay, letting you add some external storage (sold separately) to your Mac for backups or extra storage space without taking up any additional physical space. The enclosure accepts M.2 SATA and NVMe SSDs at up to 6 Gbps for SATA drives and 10 Gbps for NVMe drives. SSD sizes of 2242, 2260, and 2280 are all supported, and I used a fast 2 TB WD_BLACK NVMe drive in a 2280 size for my testing.

Installation was fairly simple, requiring easy removal of a cover on the bottom of the dock to access the drive bay and installation of an adhesive thermal pad to prepare for adding the SSD. From there, it was just a matter of sliding the SSD into the socket in the bay, pressing it flat, and securing it with the provided screw and screwdriver. Getting the tiny screw in the proper position down in the drive bay was a little bit of a finicky process, but it only took a couple of minutes to get everything assembled.

satechi-dock-stand-ssd.jpg

With the SSD installed in the dock, the drive mounts when the dock is connected to the Mac giving you easy to access to however much additional storage you've added. My testing showed write speeds of 975 MB/s and read speeds of 880 MB/s, and while there are certainly external enclosures out there that can support faster speeds with this drive, the performance was quite solid.

USB ports proved to be a bit more of a mixed bag. The ports on this dock are intended to be primarily for data... Click here to read rest of article

Article Link: Review: Satechi's USB-C Dual Dock Stand Adds an Array of Ports and Even Room for Extra Storage to Your MacBook
 
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chfilm

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Nov 15, 2012
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Thanks for the review- really the most interesting part was about the issues with external SSDs. Did you have those issues even when the dock was plugged into the power itself, or only if it had to draw power from the MacBook?
 
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Fuzzball84

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Apr 19, 2015
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A nice option.... I'd guess the angled nature provides a more comfortable typing experience. One thing I miss about the M1 MacBook Air...
 

DailySlow

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Aug 5, 2015
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I have a satechi hub under my M1 mini. I am touchy about it. The SD card slots are unuseable. Workaround is a USB C 10 GBS bus powered hub. Then plug in any number of card readers so that’s the way it is. Added an optional HD in its included slot. I would be wary around durability. At these prices there’s some leeway for griping but that’s the vig.
 

brofkand

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Jun 11, 2006
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I have a satechi hub under my M1 mini. I am touchy about it. The SD card slots are unuseable. Workaround is a USB C 10 GBS bus powered hub. Then plug in any number of card readers so that’s the way it is. Added an optional HD in its included slot. I would be wary around durability. At these prices there’s some leeway for griping but that’s the vig.

Does the hard drive continuously disconnect from the Mac with your dock?
 

DailySlow

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Does the hard drive continuously disconnect from the Mac with your dock?
I assume you are talking about the hd in the dock’s internal pocket. In that case no dismounting/remounting at all. It runs no prob always on desktop. Limited to 10GBS as the dock connects to Mac via one interconnecting USB C cable, a stubby one that powers the hub. That’s why external hds plugged into hub can cut out due to overloading of sys usb bus power. There are limits.
Work around: into one of the 10GBS hub usbc ports, plug in another POWERED hub. Note: this is not going to be good if you’re rendering 4K movies for Sony production. LOL
 
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nutmac

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Mar 30, 2004
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For that price it should be Thunderbolt so it can be a single cable. The huge two cable connector is ugly.
Two cable connector is probably necessary for 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, Ethernet, 2 HDMI, DisplayPort, and 1 USB-C PD external power. Furthermore, Thunderbolt requires the hub to be externally powered, whereas for USB-C hub, external power is optional.

But I do have several strong reservations:
  • Since it is NOT Thunderbolt, you cannot use Apple's Studio Display or Pro Display XDR.
  • Since it gobbles up 2 USB-C/Thunderbolt ports on the MacBook, you are effectively gaining only 2 USB ports. I would've preferred more USB-C ports instead of 3 ports for the displays.
  • No SD slot.
  • The cable is not braided.
  • No Silver color option.
 

chfilm

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Nov 15, 2012
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Berlin
Thanks for the review- really the most interesting part was about the issues with external SSDs. Did you have those issues even when the dock was plugged into the power itself, or only i
For that price it should be Thunderbolt so it can be a single cable. The huge two cable connector is ugly.
right! Why is it not TB?
 
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WildCowboy

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Jan 20, 2005
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Thanks for the review- really the most interesting part was about the issues with external SSDs. Did you have those issues even when the dock was plugged into the power itself, or only if it had to draw power from the MacBook?
Even when the dock was plugged in to external power. I tried three different external SSD setups and only one of them caused it, but I've seen some customer reviews mentioning similar issues, so it doesn't look like it was specific to that one I tested with.
 

vorkosigan1

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2017
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Meh. YMMV. For me, the OWC 11-port dock with 4 Tbolt ports, 3 USB-A 10Gbps ports, Ethernet port, SD card slot, audio jack, 1 USB-A port for keyboard/mouse, 96W power supply is a much better value--provided you buy it on Ebay. I did that, and I'm very happy with it. No problems at all so far.
 

rajs

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2004
100
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For that price it should be Thunderbolt so it can be a single cable. The huge two cable connector is ugly.
right! Why is it not TB?

Be realistic in your comments imo re: USB-C vs TB device for above.

If its TB "hub" for that price - it's equal at best to the existing "hubs" that are TB3 and being cleared out with all the same issues since it most likely would be using the exact same existing TB3 chipsets.

If its TB4 with the newer chipsets there is no way you are getting it at 130 - 150 right now.
 
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chfilm

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Nov 15, 2012
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Even when the dock was plugged in to external power. I tried three different external SSD setups and only one of them caused it, but I've seen some customer reviews mentioning similar issues, so it doesn't look like it was specific to that one I tested with.
Thanks! This is always the worst.
For me the EZquest USB C hub with four usb C ports is the best addition that I got for my MacBook Pro when I’m traveling. While it’s not thunderbolt or display capable it adds a ton of external storage connections!
 

nottorp

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May 12, 2014
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Hmm why does it take two usb-c ports? It kinda defeats the purpose.

How limited are those display connections?
 

G5isAlive

Contributor
Aug 28, 2003
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Doesn’t support ASD, takes up both USB C ports, low power bus, DOA for me. Interesting take on tilting the computer though.
 

tkaravou

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Dec 13, 2020
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Two cable connector is probably necessary for 2 USB-A, 2 USB-C, Ethernet, 2 HDMI, DisplayPort, and 1 USB-C PD external power. Furthermore, Thunderbolt requires the hub to be externally powered, whereas for USB-C hub, external power is optional.

But I do have several strong reservations:
  • Since it is NOT Thunderbolt, you cannot use Apple's Studio Display or Pro Display XDR.
  • Since it gobbles up 2 USB-C/Thunderbolt ports on the MacBook, you are effectively gaining only 2 USB ports. I would've preferred more USB-C ports instead of 3 ports for the displays.
  • No SD slot.
  • The cable is not braided.
  • No Silver color option.
If they ever made a thunderbolt version, i would assume that since it uses both ports, it might be able to connect to TWO 5K displays. I’d also hope that in that version, they would switch the hdmis to thunderbolt which would help with the extra usb problem. Thunderbolt would also help with the NVME speeds (though I’d imagine that you’d only be able to plug one 5K display at that point).

The SD slot I don’t care about since most modern MBPs have the slot on the side already which is easier to reach.

Not only should the cable be braided but it should also be angled.

No silver and no space black is a huge miss.

This dock is so close to being perfect for me.
 

ResolutionNZ

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2022
46
24
I'd be keen for a long term review. Both of the Satechi hubs I've purchased have had issues with overheating and cable reliability within 12 months.
 
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