The world of Mac peripherals has a lot of complete and utter garbage in it, so it’s a breath of aluminum-scented air to see the new USB-C slim dock from Satechi. The dock is exactly the same size as Apple’s wireless keyboard, so when it’s not in use, your alphanumerics have a sleek metal hammock for some rest and recuperation. More importantly, the dock slides neatly on top of the 24-inch iMac’s foot, adding a slew of easy-to-reach features and functionality without ruining the dastardly good looks of your silver-and-glass design masterpiece.
It makes so much sense that as soon as I saw it, I sighed in a not entirely safe-for-work way. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud Apple for its shapely computers, but the company has long been leaning pretty deep into form-over-function territory. The number of times I’ve been swearing to have to crawl behind my computer to plug in a peripheral for a few minutes, then accidentally yank the wrong USB cable out of the back of it when I’m done… It’s a gorgeous design and a terrible user experience.
Satechi, then, swoops in with a product that just… works. It’s Exclusively designed for 2021 iMac (24-inch) models, and adds extra data storage space and extends the number (and reachability) of the USB ports, all through a single USB-C cable running to the back of your trusty work-steed.
The dock packs a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 data port (with transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps). It also has a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 data (with up to 10 Gbps), and a couple of slower USB-A 2.0 ports. There’s also microSD and SD card reader slots; perfect for a grumpy-ass journalist or photographer trying to get some work done.
Another neat trick the USB-C dock has up its sleeve is a tool-free NVMe SATA NGFF enclosure. That’s a lot of alphabet soup, but in a nutshell, it means you can install a small solid state harddrive to extend the storage available on your computer, all at 10 Gbps speeds.
The dock costs $150, but the company is running an early-bird special that knocks $30 off the price if you order now. Deliveries start now-ish. If I didn’t have a dumb Windows box as my work computer, my finger would be twitching over the “add to cart” button right now.