Well-known hub manufacturer Satechi Has Come out with a new dongle which combines additional ports and a slot for an M.2 SATA SSD to expand both the I / O and the storage of your computer while using only one of your valuable ports. It comes without an SSD, but has a memorable name: the Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport Adapter. The concept has already been created by lesser known brands, but now that you think about Satechi doing one, maybe wait a moment while we break down the caveats and potentially better options.
As a hub, it is fairly standard and harmless: It has 100 W USB-C PD passthrough (which supplies your computer with around 85 W after it has consumed the power it needs to operate), two USB-A 3.0 ports and an HDMI -Connection to control a 4K screen at 60 Hz. Then of course there is the M.2 port for adding a SATA SSD of almost any size.
The main problem with the new Satechi hub is the value proposition: at $ 90, it’s an expensive hub (although I found Satechi’s aluminum designs to be very nice if you’re looking to spend the money on them). But even at this price, there is no M.2 SSD. Unless you have one of those floating around you, you have to spend even more money to use the definition function of this hub.
For just $ 10 more you get Anker’s PowerExpand, which includes USB-A ports, an HDMI port, USB-C PD passthrough, and 256 GB of built-in storage. Sure, you don’t have the option of adding a larger SSD, but it’s significantly cheaper than Satechi’s option when you factor in the additional cost of buying a separate M.2 SSD. You could just buy it one of Satechi’s other hubs (which adds SD and microSD card slots) and a 256 GB flash drive, and you’d be pretty close to the price of the USB-C hybrid multiport adapter alone.
Of course, a flash drive is much slower than an SSD – at least under normal circumstances. However, that’s the second major caveat of Satechi’s new hub: you can only access the SSD at USB 3.0 speeds, i.e. 5 Gbps. That will severely limit the performance of even the SATA SSDs the hub supports. (Satechi’s side says you can’t use NVMe drives.) If you need a fast external SSD then you should probably just go a dedicated external SSD – If not, you should probably just get a cheaper flash drive.
It seems like this product is hard to recommend unless you have absolutely no connections – maybe if you own it this MacBook that just rocked a single USB-C port (or more realistically an iPad Pro or Air) and you need to add more storage, this is for you. It could also come in handy if you’re an IT technician who spends all day popping drives out of laptops and you want an all-in-one solution for reading and hooking up things. For everyone else, however, it’s a difficult product to recommend. Hopefully some of our other suggestions will suit you well.