If you already own or are considering buying an Apple MacBook you have to come to terms that you’re going to be limited to its few USB-C ports. So if you want to connect to a bunch of older devices you may be on the lookout for a USB-C hub that allows you to connect to them. We’ve covered a number of cable connected USB-C hubs here, but the Satechi USB-C Pro Hub is our first hub that connects itself directly into your MacBook Pro.
Once plugged in, the Satechi USB-C Pro Hub features a variety of additional I/O ports that allow you to connect your Apple MacBook 13-inch or 15-inch to six other devices and technologies. Inside the retail box comes just the hub itself. It can be connected to your MacBook on either side, however, it has been designed to be used on the left side, which makes sense because if you were to plug it into the right side you would block the MacBook 13-inch 3.5mm headphone port.
With its dual USB-C port connection, this limits what MacBooks it can connect to. The 2019/2018/2017/2016 MacBook Pro and 2018 MacBook Air are supported. It does not support MacBook models with a single USB-C port. The spacing of the two ports does look like it would work with the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, but I can not confirm this. With both ports connected to the MacBook, this makes the hub pretty firm and stable.
On the opposite end of the two USB-C connectors are a suite of four main I/O ports and a small LED power status light. From left to right we start with the USB-C port with Power Delivery fast charging. This port allows up to 87W of power to pass through to the MacBook from a connected mains power adapter, and it can also be used to connect to a USB-C memory stick or an external hard drive.
Next, we have an HDMI port that supports 4K resolution at 30Hz. This is good enough to stream casual viewing videos directly from the MacBook or to connect to an office display to cast video or slide presentations. I also tried the hub with a number of video streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Plex and YouTube and I was able to stream all of its copyrighted content through HDMI to my Samsung display.
The last two ports on this side are two USB-A 3.0 ports. If you have any kind of device over the past two decades, you will likely be able to use both of these ports to connect them to your shiny new MacBook. This alone saves on buying additional cables or replacing your old tech for something new that works with your USB-C ports. Both USB 3.0 ports are rated up to 5 Gbps speeds, so if you’re connecting to an external hard drive or something that requires fast data transfer, these ports will be fit for purpose.
At each end of the hub are two additional ports, the furthest end that’s encased in black plastic is the hub’s gigabit ethernet port. To maintain the hub’s low profile the ethernet port has a flap on the top surface which needs to be opened to enlarge the port and allow you to insert an ethernet cable into it. An ethernet port is always useful to have, in case you find yourself in poor Wi-Fi areas or without any Wi-Fi at all. It’s also useful if you need to transfer large files from your MacBook across a local network.
Finally, the port on the other end, nearest to you, is a small slot for microSD cards. This port is convenient if you are a photographer wishing to transfer large photos from a camera to your MacBook, or simply for importing files from a small device such as a video or audio recording devices such as an in-car dashcam.
As you come to expect from Satechi, the hub looks smart in its sleek aluminium casing. The hub comes in two colours, space grey and silver, both colours that will suit your own MacBook colour. The Satechi space grey colour is close in its shade, but it is slightly darker in colour than the Apple MacBook space grey exterior.
Retailing for $89.99 from Amazon US and £89.99 from Amazon UK its price is on the high-end of the scale for MacBook USB-C hubs. Where price can heavily sway your tech decisions, it is difficult to recommend the Satechi Pro Hub, mainly due to its uncompetitive price. However, it is without question, that if you overlook its price point, you are getting a high-quality, great looking, and well built USB-C hub for your MacBook with the Satechi USB-C Pro Hub, with a well-picked selection of I/O ports built into it that will serve you well, no matter what you decide to connect to it.