Satechi is well-known for producing Mac-centric hardware, so it’s no surprise that the company has made several USB-C accessories, including a handy multiport adapter. This particular adapter, which is similar in stature to a pack of chewing gum, features two USB-A ports, HDMI, and a USB-C pass-through for charging. Should new MacBook Pro owners consider this little accessory?
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The first thing that you’ll notice about Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter is that it’s very tiny. Excluding the permanently attached USB-C cable, the unit is a little over 4-inches tall, and a hair over an inch wide and a quarter-of-an-inch thick.
The USB-C cable, which measure over 6-inches, is longer than the adapter itself, but it might not be long enough for some. I wish the adapter featured a detachable cable, or at least a cable that’s a little longer, but it’s really going to boil down to personal preference.
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My Satechi adapter came in silver, but the company offers gold, rose gold, and space gray color options as well. Overall I’d say the build quality of this unit is above average, and you can tell that extra attention to detail has been paid.
Unlike some USC-C dongles available today, this particular unit is slim on options. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a USB-C pass-through for charging. In other words, you’re not going to find options for Gigabit Ethernet, an SD Card reader, or additional USB-C ports like you’ll find on some adapters.
The unit supports 4K external display output, but it’s capped at 30Hz. That makes such a device, at least in my eyes, a non-starter for using to connect to a 4K display over the long-term. 30Hz is serviceable in short bursts, but you’re really going to want 60Hz for any sort of long-term usage. We’re still looking for a reliable third-party dongle that allows for 4K @ 60 Hz.
The unit’s USB 3.0 connections are going to provide you with basic 5 Gbps speeds, which is the max speed that you’ll get from legacy USB 3.0 connections anyway. The USB-C port is only there to provide pass-through charging, but it’s a nice feature to have, especially on MacBooks with two or fewer USB-C ports.
At the end of the day, there’s really nothing extraordinary about Satechi’s $59.99 Multi-Port Adapter. Unless you need the especially small form factor, you might be better served by options that can handle a wider variety of connections. There are many dongles available for the new MacBook Pro, and that kind of money can get you a more feature-filled product. Satechi itself makes a more versatile USB-C dongle that you may consider looking into.
That said, Satechi’s build quality is some of the best that I’ve seen, and I’ve used quite a few dongles since I purchased a USB-C-equipped 12-inch MacBook earlier this year. Little details, like the fact that there is a rubber gasket near the end of the USB-C cable, will help prevent scratches when plugging the device in to one of the MacBook Pro’s USB-C ports. The cable itself has a generous amount of shielding, and is also reinforced on both ends. Finally, the brushed-aluminum casing is well-put-together, features sleek curves, and provides an overall solid feel in the hand.
Have you used any USB-C-enabled dongles thus far? If so, sound off with your experiences down below in the comments.