August 3, 2022

The handy portable iPad holder is also a 6-port hub [Review]

The Satechi aluminum stand and hub turns your iPad into a useful desk. Not only does it support your tablet, but it includes six useful ports. And it goes almost everywhere, from a meeting room to a cafe.

I have used the tablet stand for weeks, including on a recent vacation. Here’s why I love it… despite a limitation or two.

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Satechi Aluminum Stand and Hub Review for iPad Pro

A 12.9-inch iPad Pro is my primary computer in the office and on the go. I spend my working day writing articles on them and posting them on Mac Cult. And the Satechi aluminum bracket and hub immediately fit into my workflow.

Its aluminum casing allows it to securely hold the iPad, while the padding prevents scratches on the tablet. And the range of ports – USB-A, HDMI and more – are the ones I use the most.

Plus, I took this accessory on vacation to see how well it copes with the most demanding situations. Its foldable design lets it pass brilliantly.

Material and design

The Satechi aluminum bracket and hub start bent into a 5.1-inch by 4.2-inch by 0.9-inch block. It’s not exactly a pocket, but easily fits into any backpack or even a large purse.

The color matches a space gray iPad, with the exterior featuring curved edges and all corners rounded. It’s comfortable to hold.

It’s portable, but the design also means it takes up little space in a drawer. The stand / hub is a good alternative for a home office that has to come and go from your kitchen table.

Support

Satechi’s latest tablet stand can securely hold a variety of computers, including a 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Photo: Ed Hardy / Cult of Mac

Open the accessory and it becomes a stand that firmly holds an iPad Pro or iPad Air. Unlike some tablet mounts, there is no shaking when the computer screen is touched. It’s solid.

In landscape mode, my 12.9-inch iPad Pro is held at 120 degrees (30 degrees beyond vertical). It is a useful angle for watching videos or accessing the web. But one of the few limitations of the Satechi attachment is that there is no adjustment – you get the angle you get.

The stand also securely holds my tablet in portrait mode, if that’s your thing.

In my experience on vacation, the stand allows typing on the screen but not particularly comfortable. If you plan on writing a lot in a cafe, you’ll probably need an external keyboard. You can choose one wireless or plug in any USB keyboard through the hub.

I tested the Aluminum Stand & Hub with my iPad Pro, and it also supports Windows and Android tablets. They just need to be less than 0.5 inch thick and use a USB-C port.

Hub

Satechi designed the device so that the ports are easily accessible for an iPad held in the cradle, but that’s not the only option. Connect the cable to a MacBook or other computer with a USB-C port, and it can access the ports just as easily.

The hub connects to the computer via a USB-C connector on a 7-inch cable. The cable fits into a covered slot on the go.

This portable iPad holder is also a 6 port hub
The six ports of the Satechi bracket / hub are all along the rear edge, where you don’t have to look at them.
Photo: Ed Hardy / Cult of Mac

On the back of the Satechi aluminum bracket and hub is its range of ports. I tested all of this while trying the product.

Useful ports

His HDMI port offers 4K at 60Hz. It’s better than many competitors, which peak at 4K and 30Hz. The result is smoother, more beautiful video.

A USB-A port allows you to connect legacy accessories. I tested it with a mouse, keyboard and both worked perfectly. With a USB drive, I transferred a 1GB test file from the iPad to the USB drive in 11 seconds, and transferred it the other way in 81 seconds. Not particularly fast, but fast enough to be useful. The downside to the single USB-A port is that you’ll need a USB-A hub to connect to multiple accessories at once. But at least those hubs are definitely working.

A USB-C port is used to charge your tablet while using other accessories. You can plug in the Satechi aluminum stand and hub and it will keep your iPad full of juice. This USB-C PD charging port supports up to 60 watts, but no data. It’s only electricity – I checked.

… and other connections

the 3.5mm audio jack lets you connect your tablet to speakers to listen to music while you work. It also supports microphones. And I confirmed that it does not support audio from iPad if there are no speakers plugged in.

The Satechi stand includes both SD and microSD card readers. But you can’t use both at the same time. The hub reads whichever is plugged in first. In my testing, copying a 1GB test file from a microSD card to an iPad took 25 seconds, while copying the same file to the removable card took 110 seconds. It’s slow but usable.

I have also tested the ports in various combinations. I copied files from an SD card to a USB stick, for example. And I pulled a video from a USB drive and watched it on an external display. I did not encounter any problem.

Final thoughts on Satechi aluminum bracket and hub

Satechi aluminum support and hub for iPad Pro on the back
The aluminum bracket and hub for iPad Pro does both of its tasks very well. With limits.
Photo: Ed Hardy / Cult of Mac

I like gadgets that do two things at the same time. If they do them right, of course. Fortunately, the Satechi Aluminum Stand & Hub is both a stable iPad stand and a useful multiport hub.

Price

The product is available now on the Satechi website. The price is $ 99.99.

Or it’s available on Amazon for the same price.

Comparable products

The Maotoam Pro ($ 119) is a rival stand and hub with no less than 13 ports. It can be used for iPad and MacBook, but is much larger.

IPad users who simply want an adjustable stand without the built-in USB-C hub can consider the Satechi Aluminum Desk Stand ($ 44.99) or the Twelve South HoverBar Duo ($ 79.99).

Satechi has provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. Check out our review policy and see other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.