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Satechi's $99 Mac Mini USB-C Dock Adds M.2 SSD SATA slot, SD Card Reader, USB-A Ports
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: July 27, 2021 01:45PM
from Tom's Hardware



Satechi's $99 Mac Mini USB-C Dock Adds M.2, SD Card Reader, USB-A Ports
[www.tomshardware.com]

The latest Apple's Mac mini systems with Apple's M1 or Intel's Core i7 processors pack quite a bit of performance and capabilities, but they lack upgradeability, card readers, and ports on the front. As spotted by Notebook Check, Satechi's new USB Type-C dock not only adds an M.2 SSD slot and additional ports to a Mac Mini, but it also looks like an extension of the PC, not a standalone unit. Yet, there is a catch.

Satechi's Stand & Hub for Mac mini with SSD Enclosure docking station installs under the Mac Mini and connects to a Thunderbolt/USB-C port of the computer. The dock has an M.2 2280 slot for a SATA SSD, three USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C connector, a 3.5-mm audio jack, and a microSD as well as an SD card reader.



The manufacturer has not revealed any of the Stand & Hub's internal architecture, but we suspect that the device packs a USB-to-SATA bridge to enable the M.2-2280 slot, a USB-to-SD bridge to power card readers, and a USB hub that splits one USB port into four ports and can extract audio signal from USB-C's DP Alt Mode signal.




Wasting one of Mac Mini's two Thunderbolt 3 ports and not getting its full performance is not exactly a very good idea, but if you don't need the second port, then it is not a problem. Meanwhile, it is unclear whether it is possible to use a USB-C-to-USB-A adapter and connect the dock to a USB-A port instead (of course, the 3.5-mm audio jack will not work this way).

more at above link
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Re: Satechi's $99 Mac Mini USB-C Dock Adds M.2 SSD SATA slot, SD Card Reader, USB-A Ports
Posted by: sekker
Date: July 27, 2021 05:21PM
I posted this earlier. This is sweet goodness, and I want one - even though I clearly do not need it!
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Re: Satechi's $99 Mac Mini USB-C Dock Adds M.2 SSD SATA slot, SD Card Reader, USB-A Ports
Posted by: rz
Date: July 27, 2021 06:52PM
Unfortunately, I need one Thunderbolt 3 port for an external NVMe boot drive, and the other to do two displays. If it is indeed possible to connect to one of the USB-A ports, it might work for me. But I doubt it.
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Re: Satechi's $99 Mac Mini USB-C Dock Adds M.2 SSD SATA slot, SD Card Reader, USB-A Ports
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 27, 2021 07:24PM
Quote
rz
Unfortunately, I need one Thunderbolt 3 port for an external NVMe boot drive, and the other to do two displays. If it is indeed possible to connect to one of the USB-A ports, it might work for me. But I doubt it.

Yeah... same. Gonna need one of the $200 pluggable docks with the display port.

it cant plug to USB A, cause USB A wont do all those other ports.

In reality its a basic $39 dongle in a case.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Satechi's $99 Mac Mini USB-C Dock Adds M.2 SSD SATA slot, SD Card Reader, USB-A Ports
Posted by: Gareth
Date: July 27, 2021 10:11PM
Quote
jdc
it cant plug to USB A, cause USB A wont do all those other ports.

USB-A absolutely can do all of those functions, just depends on how they've manufactured it. There are USB-A to M.2 cases, USB-A to SD card readers, USB-A to minijack audio, USB-A to USB-C adapters...
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Re: Satechi's $99 Mac Mini USB-C Dock Adds M.2 SSD SATA slot, SD Card Reader, USB-A Ports
Posted by: AllGold
Date: July 27, 2021 10:19PM
Quote
jdc
In reality its a basic $39 dongle in a case.

Except for the M.2 slot.



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