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Satechi Review: Type-C USB Hub is Hit-or-Miss, Smaller Adapter is Reliable

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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When Apple launched the new 12-inch MacBook earlier this year, some of the first accessories for the laptop -- which uses USB Type-C exclusively -- were various adapters and dongles that allowed customers to expand the initially limiting capabilities of the hardware with access to traditional USB, HDMI, and SD card ports. Apple itself launched a line of expansion cables for USB Type-C devices, and now third-party accessory company Satechi has its own Type-C line of USB hubs and adapters for customers to choose from.

Satechi's Type-C USB 3.0 3-in-1 Combo Hub​

Satechi sent me two of the company's new accessories focusing on the connectivity between USB-C devices and more traditional inputs, mainly USB 3.0. One of the accessories is a complex "Hub" ($39.99, on sale for $34.99) with three USB 3.0 ports along with one SD and one microSD card slot, while the other is a simple dongle ($14.99) with a USB-C connector and a traditional USB-A 3.0 port. Each product comes in three different colors to match the shades of the new line of Retina MacBooks: Gunmetal (Space Gray), Gold, and Silver. Because neither dongle offers an additional USB-C port, there's no passthrough charging feature.

Satechi's Type-C USB Adapter​

Overall, Satechi successfully mirrors Apple's visual aesthetic with the two accessories, and although I was sent Gold accessories that didn't exactly mesh well with my Space Gray MacBook, it seems when color-matched the new USB hubs would blend right in with their respective MacBooks.


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Article Link: Satechi Review: Type-C USB Hub is Hit-or-Miss, Smaller Adapter is Reliable
 

Soccertess

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2005
1,251
1,742
hmm... Hopefully that is an early production model and those issues will be fixed. Seems like the killer feature missing is a C-USB port to charge at the same time you have all those new ports.

Personally, I don't agree with Apple that everything is wireless now. HDMI and USBs are quite common. Airplay is ok and limited to the Apple TV, and if I didn't have the App Beamer, it would be basically useless.

Also, Air Drop utility drops significantly as there is no App that works with window machines. So until these are addressed, the new Macbook is not ready for many consumers. But Adapters like these are a good way to fix these problems.

Crossing my figure for wireless charging!
 
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knemonic

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2009
681
150
Why can't any manufacturers find a chipset that does pass through charging? It's mind boggling how long the MacBook has been out and Apple really only has the only pass through charging dongle.
 
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freepomme

Suspended
Oct 30, 2015
813
608
Boston, MA
You know what? I don't even know how to use USB-C! ¯\(°_O)/¯

The Geniuses even had a hard time explaining it. It's kinda complicated.
 
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0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,574
2,908
Really? Implying they're marked down because they sent you a different coloured model to your MacBook? Seems like an odd thing to point out.
 
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jmh600cbr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2012
969
2,102
I hate it. So ugly in both color and form factor. Apples white plastic adapter already looks much nicer.



I'd rather buy a big stationary docking station for the MacBook than this fancy USB hub.


Exactly my thoughts
 
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jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
1,624
852
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
Roll-on Tbolt 3 over USBC. Put two gen 2 ports on the next macbook Apple, and then can you finally then introduce THAT port across your whole product line, so we can all move on to the new thing.
Thank you and goodnight.

It's obvious to me the first edition new macbook is not there yet, it's a second gen device for sure, as the first one doesn't even do gen 2 10gbit speed.
 
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BMcCoy

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2010
1,655
3,274
Jeez.. talk about serious workarounds..
The need for such an adapter surely proves that Apple is wrong about customers wanting a laptop with no useful ports on it.
 
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Jonny1989

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2010
104
11
Jeez.. talk about serious workarounds..
The need for such an adapter surely proves that Apple is wrong about customers wanting a laptop with no useful ports on it.

The need for eyelashes on womens cars does not prove car manufactures are wrong about customers wanting a car without headlight eye lashes. I've had a macbook for 5 years and it's not had a disk or usb in either of them. This will be for people who need this for whatever reason, may it be they bought the macbook that doesn't suit them or they only need it rarely.
 
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DennisD7

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2012
62
2
London, UK
Just give me a USB-C hub/dongle with a long cable so I can hide it all under my desk. This is an extremely neat solution just waiting to happen, I don't know why it's so hard to figure out. Clean desk, one cable, I plug in my laptop and bam, I have keyboard/screen/mouse/charging/etc
 
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BornAgainMac

macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
6,598
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Florida Resident
If you need all those adapters and ports, you were the wrong buyer for that laptop. The Macbook shoud be used like a iPad as a device that isn't wired to anything but with Mac OS X capabilities instead of iOS capabilities. With a bonus you can hook up a to a portable USB-C drive when they are available.
 
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nick42983

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2009
442
344
California
The need for eyelashes on womens cars does not prove car manufactures are wrong about customers wanting a car without headlight eye lashes. I've had a macbook for 5 years and it's not had a disk or usb in either of them. This will be for people who need this for whatever reason, may it be they bought the macbook that doesn't suit them or they only need it rarely.

LOL like there is any comparison between eyelashes on cars and USB ports on computers. "may it be" said that you're on the radical fringe pretending like it's normal.
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
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The need for eyelashes on womens cars does not prove car manufactures are wrong about customers wanting a car without headlight eye lashes.
What are you even talking about? You're making a comparison between a purely ornamental add-on for "womens" (lol) cars and use of a port that's been standard on computers for -- I don't know -- 15 years or so? Just because you're on some other level from everyone else and don't use USB devices doesn't mean you're anything but an edge case at this point.
 
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lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
5,350
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Germany
I hate it. So ugly in both color and form factor. Apples white plastic adapter already looks much nicer.



I'd rather buy a big stationary docking station for the MacBook than this fancy USB hub.

I think this is more for on the go.
 
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MacFan23

macrumors 6502
Feb 17, 2010
392
402
What are you even talking about? You're making a comparison between a purely ornamental add-on for "womens" (lol) cars and use of a port that's been standard on computers for -- I don't know -- 15 years or so? Just because you're on some other level from everyone else and don't use USB devices doesn't mean you're anything but an edge case at this point.

Isn't this the point.
Right now we need things like this because not everything has USB-C, and we're restricted to one port on the current MacBook. In future macs and devices we likely won't need accessories like this. I know the first thing I did when I got the MacBook was buy USB-C cables for anything I might need (micro USB, lighting, etc) and just swapped them out for my USB cables.

Having only one port is a problem for me, but often with my MBP I need more than 2 USB ports (say I'm charging my watch, phone and a pair of headphones and a spare battery overnight when traveling) and I have carry a USB hub with me. It's pretty much the same thing.
 
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toke lahti

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2007
2,656
377
Helsinki, Finland
Pretty simple corrections to basic design flaws:
1. Put card readers to the right end; they produce less torque.
2. Put c-male plug one usb port step to the middle. Hub sticking out of mb's corner, if carried around attached to closed mb, is less likely to break mb's socket than when devices are attached to current design.

Satechi, feel free to use these tips free of charge. You can also contact me for rewards...
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
3,245
4,302
Isn't this the point.
Right now we need things like this because not everything has USB-C, and we're restricted to one port on the current MacBook.

I'm totally in agreement with you -- I was addressing the previous poster who was generalizing that nobody needed multiple ports because he didn't.
 
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burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
2,149
1,630
LOL like there is any comparison between eyelashes on cars and USB ports on computers. "may it be" said that you're on the radical fringe pretending like it's normal.

What are you even talking about? You're making a comparison between a purely ornamental add-on for "womens" (lol) cars and use of a port that's been standard on computers for -- I don't know -- 15 years or so? Just because you're on some other level from everyone else and don't use USB devices doesn't mean you're anything but an edge case at this point.

Just because the two of you don't get his pretty funny comparison. Or get the progression to USB-C By several big named companies, well I feel kinda sorry for you, actually not really. I look at adapters as an interim solution until rest of the industry catches up.
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
3,245
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Just because the two of you don't get his pretty funny comparison. Or get the progression to USB-C By several big named companies, well I feel kinda sorry for you, actually not really. I look at adapters as an interim solution until rest of the industry catches up.
Good for you! Enjoy your adapters. I'm glad you're out there driving the market for this stuff but I'll be milking some more use out of the considerable arsenal of USB-A devices I already have while the rest of the world "catches up" to you.
 
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nick42983

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2009
442
344
California
Good for you! Enjoy your adapters. I'm glad you're out there driving the market for this stuff but I'll be milking some more use out of the considerable arsenal of USB-A devices I already have while the rest of the world "catches up" to you.

Just because the two of you don't get his pretty funny comparison. Or get the progression to USB-C By several big named companies, well I feel kinda sorry for you, actually not really. I look at adapters as an interim solution until rest of the industry catches up.

Yes it's a hilarious comparison. Actually good humor should have an element of truth to it, this does not.

As for the "rest of the industry catches up" do you mean until they create USB-C peripherals that we're forced to buy to replace our perfectly functional USB-A tech? Great idea to have to buy a $79 adapter to connect to a VGA projector, who does presentations anymore anyway? Thinness over functionality isn't innovation.
 
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SvenSvenson

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2007
197
153
You know what? I don't even know how to use USB-C! ¯\(°_O)/¯

The Geniuses even had a hard time explaining it. It's kinda complicated.

It's a port. Just like USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, serial, parallel, PS/2 etc etc. It's a different shape, it can receive power. It's not complicated.
 
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