Satechi Apple Mac Mini Type-C Stand & Hub with SSD Enclosure review

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REVIEW – One of the main frustrations I’ve had with the Apple Mac Mini (M1, 2020) is the low number of ports, and that they’re always on the back. I’ve tried various hubs but none seem to be as slick as the Satechi stand that sits neatly under the Mac Mini itself. I got to try the latest version of this hub/stand combination that also includes an M.2 SATA SSD slot.

What is it?

The Satechi Type-C Stand & Hub is an all-in-one Apple Mac Mini stand that includes three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, headphone jack, microSD and SD slots in the front. It connects via single USB-C connector and has an internal M.2 SATA SSD slot.

What’s in the box?

  • Hub/Stand
  • Tiny screwdriver and screw for SSD

Hardware specs

  • Now includes internal SSD enclosure – fits M.2 SATA SSD drives (not included)
  • Elevates your M1 Mac mini and provides convenient access to USB peripherals
  • Equipped with USB-C data port, 3 x USB-A data ports, micro/SD card readers, and 3.5mm audio jack port
  • Easy SSD installation with included tools
  • Compatible with Mac Mini (M1, 2020). Does not support 2018 & earlier Mac Mini models.

Design and features

One of the first things I noticed was the four rubber feet that raise the Mac Mini up a little. There are also air vent slots that continue on the bottom of the stand.

The rubber feet measure just under 1-1/2 mm high.

This is the bottom of the stand. For some reason, there’s a slot for the USB-C cable. It will never be used this way, but I suppose it makes it smaller for packaging.

The SSD door is on the bottom. No tools are needed to access the SSD bay but I did find a tiny screwdriver and screw wrapped in foam.

Setup

SSD installation is a snap. I even used the teeny screwdriver, and it works! Yes, you could use a beefier tool but you risk stripping the threads. Note that you can only use M.2 SSDs, not NVMe. This 1TB Samsung will be my new Time Machine drive.

The USB-C cable plugs in the back of one of the two USB-C ports in the back of my Mac Mini (M1, 2020). No, it’s not perfectly aligned, and it doesn’t bother me.

Performance

One of the first things I noticed is the tiny white LED indicator is slightly smaller and offset from the Mac Mini’s.

I noticed the microSD card “locks” into place in the slot. In the photo below, it’s nearly flush. To remove the card, you have to push in with a fingernail, and it’ll pop back out.

I did not notice any significant changes with heat management. On a warm summer day (75F), the famously cool Mac Mini M1 still ran cool to the touch.

What I like

  • Zero-footprint design
  • Convenient ports in front
  • SSD enclosure

What I’d change

  • NVMe SSD support would be nice, but not necessary.
  • Would be nice if there was a Thunderbolt 4 version.

Final thoughts

I’m so glad I don’t have to fuss with external hubs anymore. The Satechi Apple Mac Mini Type-C Stand & Hub with SSD Enclosure has all the ports I’d want to reach in the back, but now they are in the front!

Price: $99.99
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Satechi.

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