USB hub for MBA 11" connected to external display

zen

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
I was going to get a Thunderbolt display to use my 11" MBA as my main desktop computer, but I'm impressed with my wife's Samsumg 24" monitor and figured I could get one of those for the MBA and save myself £700!

(I'm assuming I've read the MBA specs correctly and the Thunderbolt port will power a non-Apple monitor via DVI - the Samsung has a res of 1920 x 1080).

What are the best recommendations for a USB hub, then? I have the MBA in one of those metal upright stands (I can't remember the name, but it's a curve of metal that holds the machine upright), and I obviously need more USB ports. I do have a powered USB hub, but it's a nasty little plastic thing that doesn't sit flat.

Any suggestions? Various companies used to make Mac-like hubs that would sit underneath a Mac Mini or similar, but I can't find that much online.

EDIT: This is the Mac Mini hub. Would that work with a MBA?
 

jj48

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2011
181
0
UK
I was going to get a Thunderbolt display to use my 11" MBA as my main desktop computer, but I'm impressed with my wife's Samsumg 24" monitor and figured I could get one of those for the MBA and save myself £700!

(I'm assuming I've read the MBA specs correctly and the Thunderbolt port will power a non-Apple monitor via DVI - the Samsung has a res of 1920 x 1080).

What are the best recommendations for a USB hub, then? I have the MBA in one of those metal upright stands (I can't remember the name, but it's a curve of metal that holds the machine upright), and I obviously need more USB ports. I do have a powered USB hub, but it's a nasty little plastic thing that doesn't sit flat.

Any suggestions? Various companies used to make Mac-like hubs that would sit underneath a Mac Mini or similar, but I can't find that much online.

EDIT: This is the Mac Mini hub. Would that work with a MBA?
I too have a 24" Samsung display, and mine is hooked up to my 2011 MBA through the thunderbolt port - so you will have no difficulty there. Sorry but I don't have any recommendations on the USB hub, as I have no experience with any.
 

zen

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
Cool, thanks. I guess I just need to shop around - all I need are about 4 extra USB ports (iPhone/iPad, external HDD, mouse, one spare). I use an Apple BT keyboard.

I guess something like this would be good, if it'll fit with the stand I have.
 

jj48

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2011
181
0
UK
From what I've seen, there aren't any particularly attractive USB hubs, so you might just have to go with something a bit ugly but functional.

I did see a design concept for a great MBA dock with additional ports a while back though. It looked brilliant too. They were still at the stage of looking for funding for mass production though, and it's probably not what you're looking for anyway.
 

jamesr19

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2009
251
0
Just checkout eBay for hubs. They all do the same job really. You might be better off with a powered hub so it will charge iPhone/iPod through the hub when connected to the computer.

I got a 10 port for £7. iHubs do the job and they look nice too. 10 ports will open you up to a lot of flexibility
 

zen

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
Just checkout eBay for hubs. They all do the same job really. You might be better off with a powered hub so it will charge iPhone/iPod through the hub when connected to the computer.

I got a 10 port for £7. iHubs do the job and they look nice too. 10 ports will open you up to a lot of flexibility
Have you got a link that one? Is it powered?

----------

I too have a 24" Samsung display, and mine is hooked up to my 2011 MBA through the thunderbolt port - so you will have no difficulty there. Sorry but I don't have any recommendations on the USB hub, as I have no experience with any.
I take it that's via a Minidisplay to DVI cable? I've looked at the online Apple Store but their listings are confusing and the customer reviews decidedly odd, as always!
 

mac26

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2011
387
0
I was going to get a Thunderbolt display to use my 11" MBA as my main desktop computer, but I'm impressed with my wife's Samsumg 24" monitor and figured I could get one of those for the MBA and save myself £700!

(I'm assuming I've read the MBA specs correctly and the Thunderbolt port will power a non-Apple monitor via DVI - the Samsung has a res of 1920 x 1080).

What are the best recommendations for a USB hub, then? I have the MBA in one of those metal upright stands (I can't remember the name, but it's a curve of metal that holds the machine upright), and I obviously need more USB ports. I do have a powered USB hub, but it's a nasty little plastic thing that doesn't sit flat.

Any suggestions? Various companies used to make Mac-like hubs that would sit underneath a Mac Mini or similar, but I can't find that much online.

EDIT: This is the Mac Mini hub. Would that work with a MBA?
Just wondering what are the specs for your MBA and which model samsung monitor do you have?

P.S. I believe your stand is the Rain Mstand
 

jj48

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2011
181
0
UK
I take it that's via a Minidisplay to DVI cable? I've looked at the online Apple Store but their listings are confusing and the customer reviews decidedly odd, as always!
Actually it's Minidisplay to HDMI adaptor + standard HDMI cable.

I don't know whether this is the best solution - but its what I do, and it works great! My "monitor" is actually a HDTV/monitor, so might be slightly different to what you're getting.
 

dlim

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2012
108
0
Have you got a link that one? Is it powered?

----------


I take it that's via a Minidisplay to DVI cable? I've looked at the online Apple Store but their listings are confusing and the customer reviews decidedly odd, as always!
Minidisplay to any combination (VGA, DVI, HDMI) will work fine depending on what connectivity the monitor you want to use utilizes. Only difference may be in if you buy an older model vs newer one of the minidisplay-HDMI adapters. The older ones don't transmit audio while the newer ones do (if you have a 2010 or newer macbook model).

I've purchased several mini displayport to HDMI adapters off of meritline for MUCH cheaper than Apple sells them, and I've had 0 issues with connectivity with them. I haven't purchased any mini displayport to DVI, but assume they'd be the same quality.

I have the 2011 13" MBA currently connected to my HP 2311x via a Minidisplay to HDMI adapter connected to an HDMI cable. Everything works perfectly :]

----------

Sorry to hi-jack your thread, but I'm also wondering about USB hubs.

I currently use this Belkin one from 8 years ago, but it's about met it's grave. I was considering getting the ATD, but it's so expensive :[ So I've been looking at the Dell U2412m.

My question is: do the USB on the dell function the same as on the ATD (if anyone knows the answer). And since the ATD would be connected via a TB cable, and the Dell via a minidisplay-dvi adapter, is there a difference in power/performance/reliability/functionality/(insert proper word here) between the two in regards to devices connected to the USB ports on the monitors?

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Any suggestions? Various companies used to make Mac-like hubs that would sit underneath a Mac Mini or similar, but I can't find that much online.

EDIT: This is the Mac Mini hub. Would that work with a MBA?
That one will work fine. But it seems to not have an external adapter, and while it should be fine for connecting your iPhone/iPad and mouse, you may have problems powering your external HDD's (unless they have their own power source).

If it's to be used at home as a "desktop dock," I'd highly recommend a USB port with an external adapter.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,860
2,131
I would think the only difference between the USB ports on the ATD is the ATD can run the SuperDrive.
 

zen

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
Just wondering what are the specs for your MBA and which model samsung monitor do you have?

P.S. I believe your stand is the Rain Mstand
My MBA is an 11-inch, Mid-2011 model (Thunderbolt port and backlit keyboard): 1.6GHz i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD

My wife's monitor is a Samsung B2430H. Not the top-end monitor at all, but for £220 seems really good value and is well-reviewed.

I would be tempted by a 27" one, if I can find one for not much more than that. Even so, it's cheaper than the £900 Thunderbolt display.

My stand is a Twelve South BookArc.
 
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