This stylish iMac stand is also a multiport hub [Review]

This stylish iMac stand is also a multiport hub [Review]

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Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac review
Lift your iMac with the Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub, and add some ports, too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac adds some extra height to the all-in-one desktop. And it makes room for four additional USB ports, an SD card reader and an audio jack.

I put stand/hub combo through its paces to see how it stands up in everyday use.

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Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac review

Perhaps the most frustrating limitation of the iMac is the lack of height adjustment. For many people, the only way to raise the screen to eye level is with a stand.

The Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac does that. And it’s a also a multiport hub so the space isn’t wasted.

Hardware and design

The stand/hub combo doesn’t take up much more room on your desktop than your iMac does. To get specific, it’s 8.5 inches by 8.4 inches and 1.75 inches tall. Which means it raises your iMac by 1.75 inches — not a huge amount, but still useful.

The space underneath is 0.8 inches tall and 6.75 inches wide at its narrowest, which isn’t a lot. Still you might consider keeping something like Post-It notes there. Just keep in mind that your keyboard is going to sit in front of the stand, which is why Satechi doesn’t put anything below the hub.

The Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac is available in either silver or space grey to match the computer. And the design, with its curved feet of brushed aluminum, looks great..

The stand holds up to 50 pounds. That’s 5X the weight of a 24-inch iMac. The accessory itself weighs 1.2 pounds.

Ports

Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac ports
The ports in the Satechi Type-C stand/hub sit conveniently right by where’ll you’ll put your keyboard.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

All the ports in this stand/hub combo are across the front, where you can easily reach them.

USB-A ports: Satechi built in a trio of USB-A ports. These are well positioned for plugging in thumbdrives, and make a nice addition to the iMac: recent models don’t have any of this type of port.

Just note that these max out at 5 Gbps. More on what that means down in the Performance section.

USB-C port: While USB-A was once the standard, many devices are switching to USB-C. The charging cable that comes with iPhones has a USB-C connector, for example. That’s why there’s a USB-C port in Satechi’s combination stand/hub.

But it’s not any faster than the USB-A ports, as noted in the Performance section. It provides more power, though.

In addition, Satechi bundles an adapter to allow you to plug a USB-C accessory into one of the three USB-A ports. That’s a nice touch because USB-C is growing in popularity.

SD/microSD card reader: Those who have a drone or another accessory that saves files onto an SD card will appreciate  the card reader in the stand/hub combo.

But note that both types of cards can’t be used at the same time. It’s one or the other — whichever is plugged in first. If there’s already a card in one slot, the reader will ignore a card inserted into the other. So no copying from one card to the other.

3.5mm audio port: The headphone jack is right there where you can plug in and start listening. If you’re using speakers, you should use the one in the iMac.

I tested this port, and it performs as expected.

USB-C connector

The Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac connects to your desktop via a 2-foot USB-C cable. This is plenty to reach the ports on the back of the Mac. If it’s longer than you need/want, there are clips on the bottom to hold the extra.

Just so there’s not any confusion, you can not connect a power cable to the stand/hub combo and use the hub’s cable to run power to your iMac. Power has to flow from your Mac to this accessory.

Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac performance

All the USB ports, whether USB-A or USB-C, top out at 5 Gbps because they use USB 3.0. That’s fine for typical users, but this hub doesn’t offer the high-speed data transfers that professionals are accustomed to.

That said, the port is not that slow. I copied a 1GB test file from a USB drive to my computer through the hub in 4 seconds. Copying the same file back took 9 seconds.

Which means that when using typical thumbdrives, you’re unlikely to see much slowdown when plugging them into Satechi’s stand/hub combo. But high-speed drives should connect directly to the iMac.

The SD and microSD card slots are UHS-I so they transfer data at a relatively pokey 104 Mbps at best. But that’s not unusable slow. In my testing, coping a 1GB test file from a microSD card to the computer via the hub took 14 seconds. Copying it the other direction took 22 seconds.

iPhone Charging

The USB-A port is adequate at charging an iPhone. In my tests, it raised the battery level of my iPhone 13 by 20% in 30 minutes.

But, the USB-A ports were not useful for this. In half an hour of charging, the iPhone’s battery level went up only 6%.

For comparison, an old 5V iPhone charger raises the battery level of the handset by 14% in 30 minutes.

Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac final thoughts

Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac
Satechi’s stand/hub combo fits the design of older iMacs.
Photo: Satechi

Think of this product as a way clean up — but not speed up — your setup. The USB ports are easily accessible, and mean there are fewer cables stretching up behind to your computer.

Plus, Satechi’s stand lifts your screen so it’s more ergonomic and easier to see.

Pricing

The Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac is $89.99 whether you choose the silver or space grey colorway.

Buy from: Satechi

Buy from: Amazon

If all you want is front-facing ports for your 24-inch iMac, consider the Satechi USB-C Clamp Hub ($54.99) instead.

Or if you’d prefer a stand/hub combo that can spin and has an HDMI port, you might wait for the HyperDrive Turntable Dock for iMac ($199.99).

Satechi provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.