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HyperDrive Slim 8-in-1 USB-C Hub Review


HyperDrive Slim 8-in-1 USB-C Hub Review

With Apple’s recent moves to standardise on Thunderbolt 3/USB-C on all their new pro tablets and Mac devices, there is a rapidly growing market for hubs that give access to older accessories.

When the first MacBook with USB-C was released the wailing about ‘endless dongles’ and forecasts of Apple doom reached a fever pitch. Some years later, Apple is still with us and their full range of Mac devices now have Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, (excluding all others on notebooks). (The MacBook is USB-C only.)

After several years of the Android and Win fanatics decrying USB-C and TB 3, we’re seeing USB-C at least becoming standard with a growing list of manufacturers.

As a result USB-C and to a lesser extent Thunderbolt 3 hubs are now commonplace. As always, product ranges from the shoddy to premium quality.

The Product for this review.

Having tried a couple of single-function dongles when setting up the 2018 MacBook pro 15”, and the new iPad Pro 12.9 we decided it was time to try a multi-port device.

We didn’t want one of the devices that attach directly to the side of the MacBook (and presumably iPad Pro) as they all seem to block the second port on that side (some use both ports).

We quickly ruled out any of the cheap and cheerful looking products and zeroed in on two of the premium manufacturers, Satechi and Hyper.

For us, the HyperDrive Slim 8-in-1 USB-C Hub ticked all the boxes.

Packaging

This is one seriously professional packaging. With a slim box that features a magnetic latching flap, it’s a concept Apple could be proud of.

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Unboxed, the unit is indeed slim with USB-A, HDMI and Mini Displayport on one side

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On the opposite side SD and MicroSD slots,

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while the end houses an ingenious tilt-up Ethernet port and USB-C Power Delivery.

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An interesting point here, the box states 100W Power Delivery, while their site FAQ states 49W. We’ve reached out for clarification.

***** Response from Hyper support ‘The USB-C power delivery figure of 100W on the box means it supports a 100W power charger. If you use the Apple 87W power charger, the output from the USB-C port is  60W, and 49W output with Apple 61W USB-C charger. However, if you use a 100W power charger, the output can go up 70W.’

First Impression.

This is a stylish, compact unit and all ports work as advertised. It seems robust, certainly well made and has as good a combination of ports as one could want on a USB-C hub.

I prefer using it with the iPad Pro to the direct plug units offered by Hyper and Setachi due to fears of the socket or connector being damaged if one had a ‘clumsy moment’.

The unit is warm to the touch with multiple cables connected and very warm, almost hot with the USB-C Power Delivery connected to a 15” MacBook Pro. I choose to direct connect power delivery.

As mentioned in their FAQ, the unit does not support the Apple SuperDrive through the USB-A ports.

Downsides

As seems common with all the USB-C hubs and drives on the market, apart from one very shoddy looking 3rd tier unit, The cable is too short. It needs to either come with a longer cable or have a USB-C socket to allow the use of longer cables.

Most users may not find this an issue, however, if you use your MacBook with a tilt stand to bring the screen up to a more user-friendly height, expect this problem.

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Yes, it hangs nose down, potentially straining both the MacBook socket and the cable.

Summary

The HyperDrive Slim 8-in-1 USB-C Hub is a well-made unit that does everything advertised (apart from a question about Power Deliver). It’s certainly a good looker, is professionally presented and offer a great combination of ports.

As mentioned, with Power Delivery on a 15” MacBook Pro, the unit borders on hot, causing me to direct connect power to one of the other USB-C ports on the MacBook. ****Response from Hyper support – the unit can reach 45 degrees when outputs connected.

For us, the short, fixed cable is a pain and prevents this unit from gaining 5 Thumbs. We give it 4 Thumbs, though with a longer or removable cable would be pressed to not give it 5.

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