Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub review: Portable, speedy, and flexible

Posted:
in General Discussion
Announced at CES 2023, Satechi's Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub expands a person's work or play space adding legacy ports in a small package.

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub
Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub


The CES 2023 Innovation Award Honoree increases the functionality of Macs and PCs with three Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports that support daisy-chaining up to six Thunderbolt devices. A slimmer and more simplified version of its popular Thunderbolt 4 Dock, users can easily transport this new compact hub for their convenience.

Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub - Specifications

The three Thunderbolt 4 ports support speeds up to 40 Gbps and 15W charging for phones and tablets with backward compatibility with USB 4 and USB-C Gen. 1 and 2. The one USB-A port on the hub supports speeds up to 10 Gbps.

Satechi designed the Slim Hub for PCs with Thunderbolt 4 and Macs with Thunderbolt 3 and 4 running macOS Big Sur 11 and later. It can support two 4K screens at 60Hz, one 8K screen at 30Hz on compatible PCs, or one 6K screen at 60Hz on M1 and M2 Macs.

It won't grant the ability to use multiple displays to M1 Macs that can't. But, it works fine for multiple monitor support on Intel, M1 Max, M1 Pro, and M1 Ultra machines.

The ports on the front and back
The ports on the front and back


The included 100W power supply provides good power efficiency and distribution. More on that in a bit, though.

Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub - Design

The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub is clad in aluminum, and fits the Apple aesthetic. It's a compact device measuring just under wide inches long, nearly three inches wide, and a half-inch in height.

The Slim Hub will fit neatly into a desk corner to streamline a person's gear setup.

Pricing & Verdict

We couldn't find much to complain about the Slim Hub. It's a well-constructed product that gets the job done and is an excellent choice for people with multiple monitors.

However, it requires a 100W power brick that connects via a DC port. And, that brick is not small.

The brick is much thicker and heavier than the hub
The brick is much thicker and heavier than the hub


In practical use, that 100W is enough for everything attached, and to keep a 16-inch MacBook Pro fully charged while under load. It's not a fast charge, but it also isn't the mandatory MagSafe to get that, either.

We'd like this brick to be smaller, using GaN, perhaps. That might increase the price, but we think $199 is already a steal for the amount of Thunderbolt 4 ports that the Slim Hub provides.

Size comparison with an iPhone 14
Size comparison with an iPhone 14


We also think the price is fair for a device like this, considering that every port on the hub can handle fast data speeds -- even the USB-A port.

Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub - Pros


  • Excellent price-to-performance cost

  • Sturdy design

  • Low profile

Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub - Cons


  • Pretty large DC power brick

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Satechi's Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub is available now for for $199.99 and is 20% off with code CES20 until January 12.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 2
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,354member
    I don’t understand why all thunderbolt hubs need a proprietary power adapter. Why can’t they allow for being powered over usb-c? Like say it had the power requirement printed on the back. Like 45W-100W USB-C. All these power bricks and chunky cables are killing the vibe completely. And when losing the charger, if it was usb-c compatible I know I could always find a charger wherever I am.
    commentzilla
  • Reply 2 of 2
    palegolas said:
    I don’t understand why all thunderbolt hubs need a proprietary power adapter. Why can’t they allow for being powered over usb-c? Like say it had the power requirement printed on the back. Like 45W-100W USB-C. All these power bricks and chunky cables are killing the vibe completely. And when losing the charger, if it was usb-c compatible I know I could always find a charger wherever I am.
    Absolutely! It makes no sense. Why not just bundle it with a generic USB power brick or none at all? The EU went all crazy on waste from charging cables but then overlooks this nonsense.
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