Satechi makes one of Apple’s favorite USB-C multiport adapters [Review]

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Satechi Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter review
Add plugs for many types of accessories to your Mac or iPad Pro with this Satechi adapter.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Apple Store has just two USB-C hubs with multiple types of ports, and one of them is made by Satechi. This offers USB-A and HDMI ports, as well as dual memory card readers, but so do many other accessories. What makes the Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter so good that Apple picked it from all the other USB-C hubs on the market?

Read our review to find out.

Satechi Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter review

This accessory has five ports in its slender casing. It’s 4.3 inches long, 1.3 inches long, and 0.4 inches thick. It weighs in at 2.3 ounces (0.14 pounds).

Perhaps it’s this last specification that caught Apple’s attention. The Satechi Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter is surprisingly heavy for its size, likely because most of the exterior is relatively thick aluminum.

The 6-inch cable that connects the body of this hub to its USB-C connector is also quite rugged.

In short, Satechi’s offering feels like a tank. It seems like a product capable of standing up to years of regular use. Apple likes quality products, and this truly feels like one.

Plus, the corners are curved but the edges are sharp, making this add-on match the style of the 2018 iPad Pro, and other Apple devices too.

Ports

Naturally, the Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter has a USB 3.0 Type-A port so that legacy accessories can be used with today’s MacBooks and iPad Pros. It works with hard drives, keyboards, mice… a plethora of options.

That said, just one USB-A port is somewhat limiting. Moving files between two external drives isn’t possible, for example. Of course, a USB-A hub can be plugged in to bring in additional ports. We tested to be sure.

The world is full of HDMI screens, so an adapter that allows these to be used with an Apple laptop or tablet comes in very handy. Satechi’s offers up to 4K resolution.

The SD and microSD slots are very convenient for pulling images off a camera. Unfortunately, only one of these can be used at a time so it’s not possible to move files from one memory card to another. That’s not typical — even another hub made by Satechi allows both card slots to be accessed simultaneously.

The USB-C port built into the Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter enables this accessory to send power to its host computer so this add-on doesn’t monopolize a valuable USB-C port. That’s especially important when using it with an iPad Pro that has only one such.

To be clear, this adapter can get all the power it needs from the computer it’s plugged into. It doesn’t need a second source plugged into the USB-C port to function. This is for pass-though current to the host computer.

Satechi Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter
Satechi’s hub has USB-A, USB-C and 4K HDMI ports, as well as SD and microSD readers.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Satechi Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter performance

We tested all the ports in this accessory, both alone and in combination. There were no problems.

Using an HDMI TV as an external monitor went without a hitch. The same goes for streaming a video stored on a microSD card to that same TV.

We connected a variety of USB-A accessories to the Satechi Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter, and everything functioned as expected. That includes external drives, a mouse, even an Ethernet connector. As mentioned earlier, a USB-A hub plugged into this port allowed multiple accessories to be used at once.

The USB-C port kept our host computer — an iPad Pro — powered through these tests.

Satechi Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter final thoughts

There are certainly USB-C multiport adapters with more features. But there’s something about this Satechi product that caught Apple’s eye, which is why it’s one of just two similar products on the Apple Store.

Maybe it’s the simplicity. The Aluminum USB-C Multiport Pro Adapter does exactly what it promises without trying to do too much. And its design seems unusually rugged.

Pricing

This Accessory is available only on the Apple Store where the price is $64.95.

Comparable products

Those looking for additional ports should consider the rival Inateck 8-in-1 USB-C Hub which has two USB-A ports, VGA, Ethernet, and more. It’s $59.99. Or there’s the Twelve South StayGo, which has nearly as many ports for $99.99. The Minix Neo Storage has dual USB-A ports, HDMI, and includes 240GB of built-in storage. It’s $99.90.

Tablet users might consider the HyperDrive iPad Pro, which can clip to the side of this slender computer.

Satechi provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.