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Twelve South StayGo review: A multi-port hub designed for mobility

I've been USB-C-only since I purchased a new MacBook Pro in 2016. For the most part, I haven't had any issues with connecting my accessories or charging my devices, but that's only because I've got a wide variety of USB-C hubs in my arsenal. For the most part, a hub is a hub (as long as it has the ports you need), but where Twelve South's StayGo stands out is in the two connector cables it comes with; one long one for your home base and one super short one for when you're on the go.

The Good

  • 4KHDMI support
  • Slim design
  • Second travel cable that's hidden inside
  • Pass-through USB-C charging port

The Bad

  • No Thunderbolt support

Ultimate hub

StayGo: The features

Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

The StayGo is an eight-port USB-C hub that lets you connect all of your legacy devices to your not-so-legacy Mac laptop with USB-C only ports. It has one 4K HDMI port, three (count 'em three!) USB-A ports, an SD card reader, a microSD card reader, and a USB-C port that's not being used to connect to your Mac laptop. The second USB-C port supports pass-through power, so you can connect your power source to the StayGo and it'll keep your MacBook Pro charged up while powering your other devices, like your iPhone, AirPods, Apple Watch, and more.

The 4K HDMI cable lets you connect your Mac laptop directly to a supported display, including a TV set, for high image quality. The Ethernet port lets you hardwire your Mac laptop to the Internet for zero interruptions. With the SD and microSD card slots, you can transfer data from your audio, video, or photography devices with ease and without having to unplug anything.

The StayGo includes a 1-meter long connection cable so you can keep your many device cables away from your workspace, hidden from view. Instead of a short cable that is less than a foot from your MacBook Air, this hub can be stretched more than three feet away, giving your workspace the illusion of only having one thing connected instead of 8.

While the long cable is nice for tucking your unmentionables under a desk, it's the hidden travel USB-C cable that I'm enamored with. It tucks into a small hole on the side. The mini cable is only about four inches long, but it's perfect for travel. By hiding the connection cable, you've just made the StayGo the most useful USB-C hubs I've tested so far.

Portability for days

StayGo: What I like

Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

As far as USB hubs go, the StayGo is the perfect combination of versatility and usefulness. It's got three USB-A ports, which we all know is the most common accessory cable right now for chargers, external keyboards, and other such things. The HDMI and Ethernet cables are perfect for connecting to your home office workflow so you can have a strong internet connection and connect to most external displays. The SD and microSD card readers are the icing on the cake of versatility giving you more data transfer options.

What really won me over with the StayGo, however, is the fact that I can leave the 1-meter cable behind when I travel. The smaller USB-C cable hides inside a compartment until it needs to be used, so I can slip the entire thing in my skinny-jeans back pocket without missing a beat. When I need to plug in the hub, I just pull out the connection cable and I'm ready to go.

MBP drain

StayGo: What I don't like

Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

Though there is a USB-C port with passthrough power support, it's the only additional USB-C port. If you're using it to power your MacBook Pro, there isn't a second one to connect any other USB-C device or accessory.

There is no Thunderbolt support for high-speed data transfer. The current Mac laptop lineup has two to four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. So if you have a Mac laptop with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports and one of them is taken up with the StayGo and one is being used to, say, charge an iPad Pro, there isn't any Thunderbolt 3 port left to transfer data from an external drive.

Bottomline

StayGo: Conclusion

Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

If you want to get back the ports you missed from your 2016 (or older) MacBook Pro but you still want convenient portability, the StayGo offers up five different types of ports, with eight ports in total, and can even be connected to a power source so you can pass through power to your Mac laptop, saving those precious USB-C ports for other things.

The included four-inch USB-C cable hidden in a compartment makes this the perfect travel hub. You can slip the whole thing into your pocket and never be without your connector.

Though there is no support for Thunderbolt 3, this hub is still a solid, versatile device, and combined with its portability, I highly recommend it for people that travel with their USB-C-only Mac laptop and various devices that don't support USB-C.

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

2 Comments
  • Wish people would quit calling these hubs. (not just you Lory, the people who make them too) These are port replicators or docks. A hub turns one of something into more of the same, like an ethernet hub splits an ethernet port into multiple ethernet ports. A USB hub turns a USB port into multiple USB ports. I would actually like someone to make a USB-C hub, so I could attach multiple USB-C devices to the one USB-C port on the PC left after powering it. After getting a PC with USB-C, it doesn't take long to acquire assorted USB-C peripherals that now make more USB-C ports desirable. It was alluded to here. I want to charge my iPad, attach a USB-C external SSD, drive a monitor, power the laptop, and my headsets are USB-C as well. A Hub would be nice. BTW, don't get the excitement about a portable dock, if you are leaving it behind the desk with all the cables attached. My portable dock has a short cable and goes with me. The desk one stays where it is and doesn't need to be svelte.
  • Better than the USB-C HooToo hub that I have (which I really love, btw), HOWEVER Lory it's 4K @ 30 Hz which HURTS! I already get 3 USB-A, 4K HDMI 30 Hz, Power pass thru and 1 Gbps Ethernet on my HooToo which is a third of the price.