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Satechi Pro Hub Max Review: This Dongle Does it All

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $99
Satechi Pro Hub Max dongle ports
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

While Apple’s latest 2021 MacBook Pro has more ports than older models that only come with four USB-C spots, it’s still missing a wide range of helpful I/O ports. So instead of carrying around a slew of dongles, your best option is Satechi’s new Pro Hub Max.

If you’re a MacBook Pro user, you’re plenty familiar with buying different cable adapters and dongles to get more from your machine. Business professionals, power users, or anyone else for that matter, could benefit from Satechi’s solution. This slim little dock connects beautifully to the side of your laptop and delivers essentials like HDMI-out, Ethernet, SD card readers, and more without sacrificing USB-C ports. While it’s expensive, I think this do-it-all dongle is the only one most people will ever need.

Here's What We Like

  • Quality design and fit
  • Plenty of I/O ports
  • Silver and Space Gray colors
  • Performs as promised

And What We Don't

  • Doesn't work with a case
  • Expensive

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Satechi Pro Hub Max Specs & Ports

Satechi Pro Hub Max Ports
Satechi

The Pro Hub Max plugs in perfectly to the side of your MacBook Pro, using up the USB-C ports, then sends that power to eight different I/O ports to give owners more options than ever before. Here’s what you’ll get from this one sleek little dock.

  • USB 4 (USB-C) port
  • HDMI port capable of 4K 60Hz output
  • USB-A 3.0 data port
  • SD/MicroSD card readers
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • USB-C data port
  • 3.5mm audio port
  • LED power light

The main USB-C (USB 4) port delivers up to 96W charging, which should power or recharge any of your favorite gadgets. It’s also capable of 5K 60Hz display output for external monitors, while the HDMI-out does 4K at 60Hz. Additionally, this port does 40Gbps data transfer for those who need it.

The second USB-C port only does 5Gbps data transfer, but that’s still plenty fast. The regular USB-A port does the same 5Gbps data transfer, but it’s only a data port, so it can’t charge or power devices. And finally, the SD slots support SD/SDHC/SDXC, SD3.0 UHS-1, up to 104MB/s, and you can use both simultaneously.

As you can see, this one little dongle gives you all sorts of options for I/O and getting more done.

Will the Pro Hub Max Work With My MacBook Pro?

Satechi Pro Hub Max USB-C power port
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Considering the design of Satechi’s Pro Hub Max, it won’t work with every Macbook Pro on the market, especially older models that don’t have dual USB-C ports on the side. Here’s a list of supported laptops, according to Satechi.

  • 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch, 16-inch (M1 Pro & Max)
  • 2021 MacBook Air M1
  • 2017-2020 MacBook Pro
  • 2020 M1 MacBook Pro
  • 2018/2020 MacBook Air

Build Quality and Design

Satechi branding on pro hub max dongle
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

The overall design and build quality will make you think it’s an Apple product. Like Satechi’s Slim keyboard series, this has a premium aluminum frame in the same Silver and Space Gray color options Apple offers. From the sturdy ports, rounded edges to the little LED that lights up when you connect the dongle, it’ll feel right at home with your MacBook Pro.

Coming in at just 4.86 x 1.22 x 0.46 inches, the hub is small enough to fit easily in any laptop bag or pocket. The Pro Hub Max features a design that works for several different MacBook models, and we like that there’s even a fake dummy 3.5mm jack you can fold out next to the male USB-C plugs for added stability. So if you have a 2021 MBP, it’ll fit like a glove while leaving MagSafe free and clear.

On my 2019 MacBook Pro (16-inch), the Satechi Pro Max fits great on either side, although it is a few millimeters taller than the laptop itself. After using this device for over a month, I have no complaints about the design or durability.

Using the Pro Hub Max

Satechi Pro Hub Max design
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

In daily use, this gadget is excellent. I primarily use it to get the classic USB-A cable back on my MacBook Pro for printing, HDMI-out to a secondary monitor, and pulling drone footage from my microSD card. Doing this all from one device, rather than several dongles, makes it a gamechanger. If you don’t need the SD slots, Satechi offers a smaller Pro Hub Mini for $69.

Also, while I don’t have much need for the Ethernet port anymore, it’s still nice to have the option if I really need it somewhere.

One of my biggest concerns was being able to output 4K video through the HDMI port, as that’s important. Thankfully, the Satechi handles it like a champ. From hooking up an external monitor to playing 4K movies to the big screen TV in my living room. I’ve owned several of those cheap dongles from Amazon, including those claiming to do 4K, but none could handle it. Basically, you get what you pay for.

All the ports feel great, too. Everything feels tight and snug when using either a USB-C port, HDMI, or plugging in an SD card to transfer video. The ports aren’t so tight that it’s difficult to work with or unplug things. There’s a perfect middle-ground for plugs, and Satechi nailed it.

Conclusion: Is It Worth It?

Satechi Pro Hub Max showing all ports and plugs
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Whether or not the Satechi Pro Hub Max is worth it depends on what you need. But when you consider that Apple charges around $30 per dongle, and this is an 8-in-1, the price is absolutely worth all it has to offer. This is a do-it-all USB-C hub that looks right at home on a MacBook Pro and works great.

My only hesitation in recommending it to anyone that needs a dongle is regarding where you use your laptop. If you’re using it on a desk and mostly stay stationary, you’ll love the Pro Hub Max. If you work from the couch or are constantly traveling, you may want something that connects with a cable instead of directly to the side of the MacBook Pro.

Satechi’s Pro Hub Max is the perfect combination of ports and size, making it an excellent compact USB-C hub for your daily workflow. So, if you don’t need a crazy expensive $250 Thunderbolt docking system but want more flexibility from your Mac, this is for you.

I think it’s worth paying a little extra to ensure quality, and the $99 price is still cheap enough that it’s easy to recommend.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $99

Here’s What We Like

  • Quality design and fit
  • Plenty of I/O ports
  • Silver and Space Gray colors
  • Performs as promised

And What We Don't

  • Doesn't work with a case
  • Expensive

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »