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Mark is a freelance reviewer for How-To Geek and Review Geek, a seasoned freelance writer, and a marketing manager with a strong footing in the gaming and esports industries. He’s been featured across the net on Cultured Vultures, Heavy.com, Bloody Disgusting, and more. Read more...
When working on a laptop with few connections, a USB hub can be a lifesaver. Unfortunately, not all hubs deliver the speed, power, and ports needed for a full range of uses. Satechi changes that with the USB-4 Multiport with 2.5G Ethernet, a 6-in-1 device that serves as an answer to many problems.
Satechi is no stranger to multi-port adapters. Its line of well-received and functional hubs all serve different purposes, and while the USB-4 Multiport with 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet offers fewer connections than the company’s most premium MX adapter, this six-port hub is a powerful little unit. Unfortunately, though, you may feel the absence of the SD card reader that’s available on most of the company’s other hubs.
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8K HDMI May Be Overkill Ethernet Is Always Faster Than Wi-Fi Should You Buy the Satechi USB4 Multiport Adapter?
Satechi boasts file transfers of up to 10Gbps, and for the most part, the hub shows promise of hitting that mark. I tested a USB-A flash drive with the USB4 hub plugged into an iMac Thunderbolt port against the same drive plugged into my 2020 Lenovo laptop’s SuperSpeed USB port. Considering Satechi’s claim, I wasn’t too surprised when the drive plugged into the iMac transferred the same 1.5GB file in nearly half the time.
When I upped the file size to 5GB, I noticed the drive attached to my Lenovo stalled on several occasions. The flash drive plugged into the Satechi hub exhibited a smooth transfer with no drop in speed. If you’re in a field that requires a constant transfer of files, such as photography, the USB4 hub is undoubtedly going to prove to be a vital resource.
Unfortunately, the USB4 Multiport adapter is limited in how you can transfer files. The six-in-one hub features two USB-C ports and one USB-A port but fails to include an SD card slot. Considering other Satechi adapters include SD card support, it’s a surprise this little powerhouse fails to. So long as you’re not in desperate need of an SD slot, though, it’s easy to look past.
Transfer photos and videos from your micro SD and full-size SD cards with ease.
Resolution is absolutely important when it comes to video, but we haven’t quite reached an age where 8K is a home standard. The fact that the USB4 Multiport supports 8K HDMI at a 60Hz refresh rate is impressive, but I can’t imagine many getting much use out of the higher resolution. Part of the issue is that Mac devices only support up to 4K, and this hub is very much so built with Apple products in mind.
That the device can output 8K certainly isn’t a detriment, it just feels unnecessary. The 4K resolution, however, is as crystal clear as you could hope. On the two devices I tested the adapter on, I was only able to see the 4K in action, and it didn’t disappoint. Support for 120Hz would have been great, but 60Hz is a good standard for gaming and movies.
While testing the HDMI, I realized that there’s limited compatibility with the USB4 hub. My first test was running the HDMI of my NZXT 27″ gaming monitor to my 2019 desktop PC. Unfortunately, my desktop’s USB-C port didn’t support the DisplayPort function and couldn’t read the HDMI plugged into the adapter. This isn’t really an issue with the Satechi, but it does highlight the limitation of who can use it. Apple MacBook owners need not worry.
Maybe one of the best features of the adapter is the 2.5G ethernet port. It’s rare for a laptop to have an ethernet port, especially one as thin as my Lenovo or a MacBook, so there is a lot of value here if you need a direct connection to your computer. For a thorough test, I hooked the adapter to my Lenovo and hardwired it to my router.
Over Wi-Fi, I was hitting about 200 to 220Mbps on a plan that should be topping out at around 300Mbps. Hardwired through the Satechi multiport adapter, I achieved on average 280 to 290Mbps. I really wish I had a faster plan to really see what the 2.5G ethernet port could do. However, its compatibility with 10, 100, and 1,000Mbps connections will provide the necessary speeds if you’re working on a slower connection.
Whether or not you need the Satechi USB4 Multiport with 2.5G Ethernet adapter is all based on what you’re working on. If your laptop is low on USB-C or USB-A ports, or you need a high-speed wired connection, then yes, Satechi’s hub will serve you well. If you want latency-free 4K, 60Hz gaming filtered from your laptop to a monitor? Then this is absolutely the way to go. And there’s no need to worry about losing that USB-C charging port, as one of the ports on the hub offers pass-through charging.
There was only one glaring issue I could find with the hub, and that’s the lack of an SD card slot. To be so conscientious of smooth file transfers and fail to include what’s still a relatively common means of storing data seems like a glaring omission. It may not be an issue depending on the laptop you’re using, as many do come with an SD slot built in, but it would have been a good addition to the USB4 adapter.
From the improved connection speed when hardwired into the 2.5G ethernet port to the stutter-free transfer speeds using the Thunderbolt port, I was quite delighted by Satechi’s multiport adaptor. There’s definitely a specific audience for its many uses, and if you’re someone that needs the additional connectivity, you’ll surely be pleased with how it functions.
2.5G ethernet provides the fastest network connection for laptops Thunderbolt 3 port drastically improves file transfer 4K, 60Hz capabilities enhances laptop-to-monitor gaming Supports USB-C pass-through charging
No SD card slot Only one USB-A port Limited compatibility based on laptop/PC ports Plastic feels a little cheap
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