Satechi's USB hub packs an integrated SSD storage slot

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,619   +139
Staff member
In brief: Apple only recently took steps to walk back some of its questionable MacBook Pro design decisions – namely, the return of the HDMI port, SD card slot and a row of physical Function keys. For many, these changes could eliminate the need to carry around additional hardware in the form of dongles, adapters and hubs, but if you still find yourself needing third-party hardware, this hybrid multiport adapter from Satechi might be worth a look.

The USB-C adapter features a 4K HDMI display output, USB-C Power Delivery (PD) charging and two USB-A 3.0 data ports across a single USB-C connection. What really sets the device apart from other hubs, however, is the built-in SSD enclosure.

Simply pop the cover off the back of the dongle to access the expansion port. According to the specs sheet, it accepts SATA M.2 SSDs in sizes of 2230, 2242, 2260 and 2280 but doesn’t work with NVMe. Satechi says the hub is compatible with a wide range of platforms including select MacBooks, Chromebooks, laptops and tablets.

The hub is constructed of aluminum and measures 5.3 inches x 1.8 inches x 0.6 inches. It tips the scales at just 3.8 ounces, so it shouldn’t add a noticeable amount of weight to your laptop bag.

The Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport Adapter is offered in your choice of gray or black and comes backed by a one-year warranty. Pricing is set at $89.99.

Permalink to story.

 

VitalyT

Posts: 6,033   +6,401
I'm, for one, an avid user of such adapters, and I can tell you that market is filled by 99% with cheap and kind of crappy station adapters like this one.

One thing that bothers me - you can buy a new adapter that connects via Thunderbolt 3/4, with 40Gb, and yet they all fail to deliver Ethernet port faster than 1Gb. This is pathetic. I have to buy a separate, and way more expensive dedicated adapter, if I want 2.5Gb or 10Gb Ethernet for my Macbook Pro.

As for adding an M.2 drive inside one such adapter - I think this is the wrong choice altogether. Today's M.2 drives are so fast, they need a dedicated adapter, not to create a performance bottleneck. And performance of M.2 Gen4 SSD-s is such, it doesn't fit into even Thunderbolt 4 throughput.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,337   +2,625
Neat but docking stations with m.2 slots have been available for a good while already. The idea it's neat if you want to say, grab your work computer, and "dock" it and booting from the dock so you use your same work hardware but without touching your production disk image at all which is neat.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,467   +6,266
Why would I want a portable M.2?

If I need 2TB or 4TB of storage for portable use, I'd be better off getting a regular 4TB portable USB 3.0 HDD.

Are you seriously running games or apps through the damn USB port?

I only use portables to store "files" and "videos" nd a HDD is just fine for that.

However, I'll relent that if the free market decides this is necessary, so be it.

The Free Market is ALWAYS right.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,731   +644
I mean, ~500MB/s down and up isn't all that terrible considering the average speed of most USB 3.0 thumb drives top out at maybe half that due to temperature (or artificial) constraints, which a SATA III m.2 controller should have no issues with.

Odd yes, but certainly useful if you need the extra ports, but also could use the additional storage.