The latest Apple MacBook Pro laptops are so incredibly powerful they can easily wipe the floor with the high-powered Mac Pro desktop systems of barely a few years ago. It’s all thanks to the adoption of the second-generation Apple silicon in the form of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that make these laptops fly. The laptop format means these workstations can be taken almost anywhere and can gobble up processor-intensive tasks like 4K video editing.
So, once you’ve got your shiny new MacBook Pro, what’s the best accessory to get it for life on the road. There are a lot of products out there but this handy hub from Satechi looks to me like the ideal traveling companion for Apple’s latest laptops, although it works fine with non-Apple gear.
The Satechi USB4 Multiport Adapter With 8K HDMI is smaller than a smartphone and about the same thickness as a slim paperback book. It’s the ultimate tool for maximizing the efficiency of your workspace and is small enough to slip into a pocket.
This diminutive device houses three USB ports for high-speed data transfer. The ports are USB-A style and two of them can carry data at rates up to 10GBps, while a third port is USB 2.0 speeds for peripherals like mice or keyboards. There are also two slots for MicroSD and SD cards, a Gigabit Ethernet port, audio, 8K HDMI, plus a 100W USB-C PD charging port for feeding the power supply to the host device. The hub itself requires 15W of power from the host.
The USB-4 Multiport Adapter has a compact and rugged design featuring a ribbed surface for efficient heat dissipation. The ultra-hi-res 8K HDMI 30Hz output. It requires a direct HDMI connection and when used with macOS the resolution is limited to 4K at 60Hz.
Like all hubs, the Satechi USB4 Multiport Adapter With 8K HDMI is a plug-and-play device. Connect it to the host computer using the hub’s fixed USB-C cable and then plug in the device power supply to the PD USB port and you’re good to go. The hub can also be used without a connection to a power adapter and draws 15W.
This little gizmo has everything you need to extend a laptop’s connectivity and it all just works perfectly. The support for 4K HDMI on macOS is a limitation but PC users with a compatible graphics card supporting 8K will be able to take advantage of the higher resolution.
Verdict: The Satechi USB4 Multiport Adapter With 8K HDMI is quite pricey but it does a lot and is probably the only tool you need for life on the road. It has all the extra ports you need and means you can run two external monitors as well as the laptop’s screen. It’s not capable with Thunderbolt speeds but can work with those devices at the slower 10Gbps transfer rate. If you own an Apple MacBook Pro, the new Satechi USB4Multiport Adapter With 8K HDMI is worth a look, especially if you use multiple monitors.
Pricing & Availability: The Satechi USB4 Multiport Adapter With 8K HDMI is available now and costs $149.99.
More info: www.satechi.net
- Compatibility: MacBook Air/Pro 13-inch M1, 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch, 16-inch (M1 Pro & Max), 2020/2019/2018/2017/2016 MacBook Pro, 2020/2018 MacBook Air, 2020/2018 iPad Pro, Mac mini M1, iMac M1, 2019/2017 iMac, iMac Pro, 2015/2016/2017 MacBook, Microsoft Surface Laptop 3/Surface Pro 7/Go, Google PixelBook Go, ChromeBook, Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S, HP Spectre Convertible, Razer Blade, Huawei Matebook and more USB-C devices.
- Connector type: USB-C
- Video: 8K 30Hz HDMI output
- Power USB-C PD charging up to 100W (15W used for operation)
- Ethernet: Gigabit
- Ports: 2 x USB-A 3.2 data ports – up to 10 Gbps, 1 x USB-A 2.0 port for peripherals
- Card readers: Micro/SD
- Audio: 3.5mm jack