Satechi makes some of my favorite 24-inch iMac accessories: the Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac, R1 Aluminium Hinge Holder Foldable Stand, Dual-Sided Eco-Leather Deskmate, M1 Wireless Mouse, and the USB-C Combo Hub for Desktop. And the company continues its roll with what may be my favorite peripheral yet: the USB-C Slim Dock.
Design and expandability
The US$149 dock — built exclusively for the 24-inch iMac — provides a built-in enclosure to add external storage and access to the most-frequented ports and peripherals on the all-in-one. These include: one 10 Gbps USB-C data port, one 10 Gbps USB-A data port, two USB-A 2.0 ports, micro/SD card reader slots and a built-in NVMe Sata enclosure.
My favorite feature is the tool-free, built-in NVMe SATA enclosure that allows for the installation of M.2 NMVe SSDs or M.2 SATA SSDs. There’s support for up to 10 Gbps High speed M.2 NVME to USB 3.1 Gen 2, 6Gbps speed M.2 SATA to USB 3.1 Gen 1, which offers a seamless solution for data transfer and data backup.
The NVMe/SATA enclosure lets you add external storage to your 24-inch iMac without taking up the desktop real estate that external drives require. (The dock itself is exactly the same size as Apple’s wireless keyboard.)
The accessory fits M.2 NVMe SSDs or M.2 SATA SSDs within a small slot underneath the USB-C Slim Dock. The USB-C Slim Dock can handle both SATA and NVME in sizes: 2242/2260/2280.
A brief aside: NVMe and SATA
What’s the difference between NVMe and SATA, you may wonder. Here’s a (somewhat technical) explanation from Kingston Technology: When it comes to superior storage technology, NVMe is in a league of its own. Even at a glance, the differences between NVMe and SATA in performance are impressive. The communication drivers and interface between NVMe and SATA are completely different as SATA uses AHCI drivers that are designed for hard disk drives (HDD) with spinning technology while the NVMe driver is specifically designed for SSDs with flash technology. In addition, NVMe is able to take advantage of the PCIe sockets to communicate between the storage interface and system’s CPU for even greater leverage. If this matchup were a sporting event, it would be like comparing a F1 race versus a super touring race.
Moving on, the design of the Slim Dock ensures all peripherals are easily within reach. However you should note that the USB ports are data only; they don’t provide enough juice to, for instance, charge your iPhone.
Featuring a slim aluminum build, the USB-C Slim Dock offers good heat dissipation and requires no extra drivers or installation. You just attach it to the M1 iMac.
The USB-C Slim Dock is available in both silver and blue colors. I prefer the latter as it’s a perfect aesthetic match with my blue iMac.
Overall, the USB-C Slim Dock is a great iMac accessory that just works — and looks good doing it.