Put everything within reach when you use this USB-C Hub Pro.
I’m a fan of making things simple with the addition of functional accessories. There are a lot of different types of hubs out there, but not many that are designed to fit in with the new Apple iMacs. Satechi, a premium accessory company, has created the Type-C Clamp Hub Pro specifically for the new 2017 iMac and iMac Pro. It’s meant to add convenient access to three (3) USB-A 3.0 ports, one (1) USB-C (data only) port, SD card, and Micro SD card slots without cluttering up your desktop. The hub is available in two colors – Space Gray and Silver (available March 9, 2018).
The hub gives you access to that additional connectivity through USB-C. You simply plug it into your iMac and then fasten the hub to the bottom of your desktop computer. Since it’s offered with a brushed aluminum finish and in the colors, the iMac comes in, the hub blends right in with the computer. The hub is plug-n-play and you don’t need any special software in order for it to work. The hub is designed for data transfer and not charging so don’t expect that your connected devices will gain battery life when they are plugged in.
The USB-C Clamp Hub Pro comes in a well-designed, branded box from Satechi. There is a bright, colorful photo of the hub on the front of the box with some minor details and a photo of the device in use on the back. When you open the box, you will find the hub nestled inside a plastic inner packaging. In addition the hub, there is also an illustrated quick start page. It simply shows how and where the hub should be plugged in and attached to the iMac.
Aside from the clamp, this product is a pretty standard hub. Even if you don’t have an iMac, you could still use it but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to since it’s specially made to attach to the iMac. The clamp actually slides up inside the vent on the underside of the iMac. I did actually try to attach the clamp inside the vent of a MacBook Pro, too, but it wouldn’t fit. Once you have the clamp inside the vent, you can open the clamp to secure it using the wheel.
Once it’s in place, you plug it into your iMac using the USB-C extension. It’s only about 6 inches long so you have to make sure it’s in line with the ports on the iMac before you tighten it to the iMac vent. When you plug the hub in, you will see a pin-sized indicator light come on directly to the left of the USB-C port on the hub. This shows that there is a connection to your computer. I first plugged in my USB 3.0 flash drive to test how strong of a data connection there was. I transferred a file that 2.36GB in size in just under 29 seconds. I then ran the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test on the flash drive and got a result of 48.4MB/s write and 128.5MB/s read.
Next, I tested a SanDisk 8GB SDHC card under the same type of conditions. I used the same file as a data transfer test and it took 4 minutes and 21 seconds for the file to finish copying. This timing was in line with another test I did with a USB-C hub using the same SD card. It’s write/read time was 8.7MB/s and 38.3MB/s, which again, matched the timing from another USB-C hub. I did, however, notice that the hub got quite warm while completing these tests. I used an infrared thermometer to test the heat coming off of it and got a reading of 102 on the bottom and 95.5 on the top.
I think the Satechi USB C Clamp Hub Pro is a very capable hub for productivity sake. I love its design and think that its concept is unique. I would like to see more detailed installation instructions — maybe include some writing along with the images so that people don’t get confused. I do also have some concerns about the heat generated by actively using the hub. I believe that is potentially caused by the aluminum casing because I’ve used other multiport hubs with a plastic casing that don’t heat up at all. All in all, this is a sophisticated hub for a sophisticated computer.
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