Review unit provided by Magfit
Mac mini docking stations or hubs such as this is quite common. You will also find similar designs with similar specifications sold by different companies so these products are not unique. Having said that, Mac mini docking stations or hubs are useful as they can provide more ports and for this particular docking station there's also a SATA SSD enclosure.
Magfit Mac mini docking station is priced at US $69 and this is competitive with other brands.
These are the items included in the box:
- Screws for the SATA SSD enclosure
- Screw driver
- USB-C to USB-C cable with USB-A adapter
- Foam cushion padding for the SATA SSD
I installed a Samsung QVO 870 8TB SATA SSD and it worked fine.
This docking station is meant to be used on top of the Mac Mini so that the ports are easily accessible. There are two colours available, gray and silver, but the silver one was out of stock hence I received the gray one for this review.
On the back is just a single USB-C port that connects to the Mac mini.
These are the ports available:
- 2x USB 2.0
- 2x USB 3.0
- Micro SD card slot
- SD card slot
These are the read and write speeds I measured with various storage devices:
- Samsung 870 QVO SATA SSD (6Gb/s): 352 MB/s and 380 MB/s
- Samsung T7 SSD (USB 3.2): 318 MB/s and 284 MB/s
- Samsung T5 (SSD USB 3.1): 347 MB/s and 372 MB/s
- SD card: 84 MB/s and 76 MB/s
- NVME SSD in enclosure: Can't power up from USB port
Here are the theoretical speeds for the USB standards for reference:
- USB 2.0/Hi-Speed: 480 Mb/s
- USB 3.0/SuperSpeed: 5 Gb/s (625 MB/s)
- USB 3.1/SuperSpeed: 10 Gb/s (1250 MB/s)
For some reason, most Mac mini docking stations in the market are limited to USB 3 transfer speeds. Docking stations with USB 3.1 speeds are actually quite rare.
The transfer speeds I manage to get from this docking station is not even close to the theoretical USB 3 speeds. Having said that, if you use SATA SSD, the speed is still fast enough for editing 4K 25FPS or 30FPS videos.
Another interesting thing to note is the newer Samsung T7 is actually slower than the older Samsung T5 SSD.
SD card transfer speed is normal, as expected.
The docking station could not provide enough power to power the NVME SSD enclosure. I don't have a 2.5-inch external hard drive to test so I can't say if that will work due to power limitations. Anyway, even if the 2.5-inch external hard drive can be powered, I will be wary about power cutting off during file transfers because that has happened to be several times with other non-powered USB hubs.
Is this worth the money?
For US $69, the pricing is reasonable. This is essentially a USB hub with SATA SSD enclosure which can give you storage expansion.
Note that there are other models that can house SATA SSD and NVME SSD inside the docking station. I'm not sure how those perform in terms of power requirements though. I'm not too worried about transfer speeds but I am worried about power cutting off during file transfers. When you have a SATA SSD and NVME SSD inside, they are bound to use more power.
If you're interested to get this Mac mini docking station, you can find it on Magfit online store. Use coupon code Teohontech for 10% off.