Base Hub Recommendations

Hey MPU,

I am redesigning the layout of my desk, proper cable management, and all that jazz.

I have an old 10 USB port Anker Hub attached under the bottom of my desk which has helped with things that don’t necessarily move (Time Machine, Carbon Copy) But an issue arising is when I need to plugin my SD Card Reader (out of ports in my M1 Mac Mini) or just need to use a device quickly and plug-n-play for something.

So as I am redoing the layout, I am thinking about what needs to be plugged in, the line between ‘future-proof and overkill’ is quite easy to cross regularly. :rofl:

Does anyone have experience with the following? (or add links for what you use and a photo of your desk would be nice!)

The Satechi caught my eye because it would give me an SD Card Reader in the front, attach to the Mac Mini, and give me a ports in the front. Although, I only get 1 USB-C port.

The CalDigit looks good, but also looks like it maybe overkill? I don’t really need any additional HDMI or DisplayPorts. I already have 2 Monitors (Dell and LG). The LG Monitor has 2 HDMI ports and a DisplayPort. So I am not hurting for that.

I’ve got the Satechi hub and can recommend it. I originally used it with my 2018 Mac mini and now use it with my Mac Studio. I have the model you link to. And I suspect you know that is another model which allows for adding a SSD drive. I purchased it in 2019 and get plenty of use of the front ports, even with the Studio.

And I use USB A to C adapters to address the only one USB C port issue.

Good luck whatever you decide.


I’ve kept putting off the purchase of a Satechi hub, but my real bugbear with the Mac mini is no front ports, so I should really purchase one! My concern though is the power draw. I can get the one that’s got an SSD in, but even without that, I’d have some concerns if all the USB sockets were in use, as everything is being powered out of one USB port.

Some of the negative reviews mention it overheating as well - in the end, I’ve got cable spaghetti and an Anker hub that was a third of the price.

My (Satechi) one with the SSD bay is arriving today. It’s for a Mac Studio.

SSD arrives 3 days’ time.

I can let you know how I get on.


I have had both a TS2 and TS3 hub from CalDigit, and I’ve been very happy with both.
As for future-proofing, there’s no such thing :slight_smile:
But I’m currently using the TS3+ with no plans to switch to TS4 even though my computer supports it, if that’s any consolation.

The more I look at it…it seems that either the TS3+ or TS4 will be purchased today.

Just have one question for those that use it…since it accepts a microphone input, and has an audio output…does this retire my focusrite scarlett 8i6 (overkill when I bought it) ? Volume would be controlled via the Mac Mini, what would be the reason for keeping the focusrite on my desk?

I got the iMac version of the Satechi device and it has worked well. I mainly use it for USB-A devices and the occasional SD card. Only issue is it takes two hands to plug in because the M1 iMac is so light and twists on the desk.

So the Satechi pancake arrived yesterday. It fits well and was very easy to install. It and the Studio fit under the Studio Display - just. “Just” is good enough for me.

They fairly warned me you can’t charge anything from it - but that wasn’t the point. I want it for hosting the SSD (arriving later this week) and providing extra connectivity. (I have a separate 4 x USB-C hub and spare ports on the Mac Studio to do any charging / powering.)

Will update on the SSD when it arrives. It replaces a slow, slightly noisy, possibly dying HD. Not good for reliability or podcast recording.

1 Like

Interesting. As noted above I have the non-SSD version, and I can charge my AirPods, iPhone, Trackpad, from it.


I plugged in a Raspberry Pico - via USB-C - and it wouldn’t run. But I’m not sure what wattage the Pico requires. I will probably investigate further.

My power needs are actually just to run a Pico and a Pico W - as automation devices. These right now are plugged in via a USB-C hub plugged into the back of the Studio. That works but I would’ve preferred to plug her in the front - with short cables. The Pico’s have no other means of being powered.

But, if you’re saying reasonable low wattage devices can get charged I’ll experiment some more.

Turns out I was wrong (but I’m not sure why). :slight_smile: I have a Pico W powered by the USB-C port on the front. Likewise my Adafruit Keys (with embedded Pico) powered by the neighbouring USB-A port.

Both are communicating with the Mac Studio - as you would expect them to.

But then Pico’s are pretty low powered.

1 Like

This is such a hard decision to make!!

As of now…I only have 3 devices left that still need to be plugged…

  1. WD Passport (Time Machine) * can be usb-a or usb-c
  2. WD Passport (Carbon Copy) * can be usb-a or usb-c
  3. SD Card Reader * usb-a

On my M1 Mac Mini, ports in use…

  1. USB-C is going to Monitor 1
  2. HDMI is going to Monitor 2
  3. USB-A going to Stream Deck
  4. USB-A going to Focus Rite

leaves just 1 USB-C port available…

who gets the prized area???

  1. Satechi
  2. CalDigit
  3. Anker (find the cheapest hub that gives me 3-5 ports)

For those following up with my decision…LOL…

The prized winner for that remaining USB-C Port… :drum:

CalDigit TS4

  • it’s beefy
  • is it safe to sit on my mac mini?
1 Like

How much did it cost? And “on your Mac Mini”?


placing it on top of the mac mini (versus next to it)

1 Like

I have the Satechi. Put off getting it for months but glad I did. Enough ports for me and I don’t even think about it. It “just works”

Caveat: I am not a power user

1 Like

I’m looking at different hubs and realized that there are very few that deliver USB-C or USB-A at 10 Gbps. Most only have 5 Gbps. I decided to get the Anker 555 because it has 1x USB-C 3.2 and 2x USB-A 3.2 at the higher speeds. It’s currently on sale for $59.99.