Satechi has been known for making high-quality Apple accessories for years, but the USB-C Slim Dock for iMac may be its crowning achievement. For most M1 iMac users, this dock has all the basic ports you need to connect your favorite peripherals and can even add flash storage to your Mac. It may not be well suited for super-heavy workflows, however, no other Mac dock comes close to matching its style.
Seamlessly integrates with the iMac (2021)
A good selection of ports (USB, USB-C, SD card slot, etc.)
Support M.2 SSD up to 2TB
Heavy workflows may need some more powerful ports
Only comes in silver and blue colors
No Ethernet port
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The iMac (2021) comes with two or four USB-C ports (some with Thunderbolt), which means if you want to use any accessories, you have a limited amount of space. This is why I suggest getting a USB-C dock or USB-C hub for Mac users because it adds flexibility to your workflow. Enter the Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac.
This USB-C dock is a great value for people who use their iMac for everyday uses and need something that can add a few essential ports and even some storage if needed.
Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac: Price and availability
You'll find the Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac at Best Buy and at Satechi's own website. You can find it on Amazon too, but beware, it's coming from a third-party retailer, and you'll pay more than you need to.
The dock is priced at $149.99 and comes in two colors — silver and blue.
Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac: What you'll like
First off, let me just gush about how much I love the aesthetic of the Satechi USB-C Slim Dock — it feels like something that was designed by Apple itself.
The dock slides right onto the base of the iMac (2021)and just makes it look like the iMac has a larger base than normal. In fact, it looks like many monitor and display stands from other manufacturers. It doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, and if you showed it to someone who didn't know what the iMac looked like without it on, I doubt they would even give it a second thought.
Regarding functionality, I like what the USB-C Slim Dock for iMac offers. It has three USB-A ports (two 2.0 and one 3.0), which lets you connect many accessories. I typically have a USB microphone and a flash drive connected, with extra room for another accessory like a webcam.
On top of that, it offers a USB-C port capable of 10GBps data transfer, which is great for moving over big files to a drive or any other higher-data requirements you need. Plus, it also sports both an SD card slot and a microSD card slot on the side, making it super useful for transferring photos from a digital camera, for instance.
Lastly, it's important to mention you can add storage right into the dock. Throw in your favorite M.2 SSD (up to 2TB), and you can enjoy a whole separate drive to store your important documents, project files, or anything you want. It eliminated the need for a separate storage drive for me.
All in all, it offers a lot of the basic ports you need to get through many different workflows, can add storage to your iMac, and looks absolutely stunning while doing it.
Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac: What you won't like
I think for most people the Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac is a great accessory, but some of the ports may be underpowered for really heavy workflows.
Both the SD and microSD card slots only support UHS-1, meaning they won't transfer data as fast as UHS-II card slots would. If you're used to using a faster port to upload all your images from your camera's SD card, you'll likely notice a difference when transferring lots of photos to your iMac. Plus, there's no Ethernet port, so if you have the base iMac (2021) with only two USB-C ports, you'll need something else for Ethernet. However, if you have the upgraded iMac with the Ethernet port in the power brick, you might not care.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac only has silver and blue color options, meaning it only matches the colors of those two iMacs. I would assume Satechi did some research and figured out that those were the two most popular colors; however, it doesn't help you if you have a purple iMac now does it?
Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac: The competition
While you could say that the competition for the Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac is any of the best USB-C hubs for Mac (opens in new tab), I think the Satechi's USB-C hub and iMac stand (opens in new tab) is the best comparison. When we reviewed it we found that it offers many of the same ports that the Slim Dock does, and it doubles as a stand for your iMac (2021), giving it a much need boost to sit at an excellent eye level for work days.
It doesn't have the option to add any storage, but it is about $50 cheaper as well, so if you weren't going to use the storage anyways, saving some money may be worth it to you.
Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You need both SD and microSD card slots
- You want extra ports on your iMac
- You have a silver or blue iMac (2021)
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You need additional ports or more powerful ports
- Don't have a silver or blue iMac (2021)
Aside from a few underpowered ports and the lack of an Ethernet port, for most people, the Satechi USB-C Slim Dock for iMac hits all the marks.
With three USB-A ports in total, ports for SD and microSD cards, and a USB-C port that offers great transfer speeds, you'll be able to connect almost anything you could want. Add in the fact that you can add in storage, so you always have your SSD connected right to your iMac, and it can alleviate many pain points for iMac users.
At $150, you'll want to make sure that you don't need anything that it's missing, and if you have an iMac color that's not blue or silver, I can see how this dock would lose its appeal.
Still, Satechi shows us once again that it has an eye for design because if you do happen to color match the Slim Dock, it's going to look fabulous on your desk.
Ports and storage in a stylish package
For most iMac users, the USB-C Slim Dock for iMac is going to give you everything you need. With three USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and both SD and microSD card slots, you won't have to think twice the next time you go to plug in your favorite accessory. Plus, this stylish package also includes the ability to add SSD storage with no hassle. It's a shame that it only comes in two out of the five iMac colors.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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