With the release of the 2021 M1 MacBook Pro, Apple took a step backwards that was actually a step forward in that it moved away from the ultra-minimalism of four USB-C ports that was seen on the earlier MacBook Pro laptops and added an HDMI port, an SD card slot, and a new MagSafe charging port to the laptop.
That’s good, but professionals might need a little more.
This is where the Satechi Pro Hub Max comes into play. This sleek dock connects to the two USB-C ports on the left-hand side of the MacBook and transforms those two USB-C ports into an array of ports that will be useful to professionals and power users.
- Fantastic array of ports
- Well built
- Great performance
- Sometimes a cabled hub offers more flexibility
- Can be a bit cumbersome when not using your MacBook on a table or desk
Here’s a rundown of the ports you get:
- 1 x USB 4 – up to 96W charging, up to 5K 60Hz display output, up to 40 Gbps data transfer (note that to get 5K you will need to use the appropriate Thunderbolt cable and compatible display)
- 1 x HDMI port – up to 4K 60Hz
- 1 x USB-A 3.0 data ports – up to 5 Gbps, does not support charging or CD drives
- 1 x micro/SD card readers – supports SD/SDHC/SDXC, SD3.0 UHS-1, up to 104MB/s, and both slots can be used simultaneously
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
- 1 x USB-C data port – up to 5 Gbps
- 1 x Audio jack port
The fit and finish is exactly what I would expect from Satechi — it attaches to the MacBook well, the silver and space gray finishes match Apple’s finish almost perfectly, and it’s strong, robust, reliable, and does exactly what it says it will do.
My only recommendation is that you consider whether it’s best for you to get a hub that attaches solidly to your MacBook, or whether you’d be better with one that connects using a cable. If you’re using your laptop on a desk, this is great, but for those times when I’m out and about — maybe using my laptop in the field or truck — then I feel a cable connection is more versatile (especially since I use Velcro to attach my accessories to the lid of my laptops to tame them).
The inclusion of both SD and microSD card slots will be welcomed by photographers who use dSLR/mirrorless cameras and drones in their work, because they can inject the captured data from both platforms.
Pros that need Ethernet will also benefit from the built-in Gigabit Ethernet port. I don’t use Ethernet a lot anymore, but when I do need it, I really need it, so having it on this hub is a nice touch.
The Satechi Pro Hub Max is compatible with the following Apple MacBooks
- 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch, 16-inch (M1 Pro & Max)
- 2020/2019/2018/2017 MacBook Pro
- 2021 MacBook Air M1
- 2020/2018 MacBook Air
- 2020 M1 MacBook Pro