Satechi recently launched its latest Mac accessory, aiming to fix the most clunky feature of Apple’s latest M1 iMac. Wrapped in an aluminum design that rests on the stand of the desktop computer, the new Satechi iMac Slim Dock brings out ports alongside an M.2 NVMe enclosure and more. But is it worth it? premium price tag† our newest Tested with 9to5Toys review takes a closer look at what to expect.
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Satechi iMac Slim Dock hands-on look
Satechi’s latest addition to its lineup of Apple accessories comes with one device in mind. Aimed at the latest M1 iMac, the Satechi iMac Slim Dock complements the sleek design of the desktop with its own sleek footprint that adds a number of additional ports to the foundation of Apple’s latest screen-based desktop computer.
An aluminum exterior houses six ports, including 10Gb/s USB-C/A inputs, SD card readers and more. Inheriting the features of some of its other desktop accessories, the Satechi iMac Slim Dock also has an M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure to round out the $149.99 package† But is that high price point worth opting for a Thunderbolt-based alternative? Let’s take a closer look at that.
Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:
- Designed exclusively for 2021 iMac (24-inch) models to add additional data storage space and expand your USB ports for fast data transfers and access to peripherals
- Tool-less NVMe SATA NGFF enclosure for quick and easy installation of your M.2 NMVe SSDs or M.2 SATA SSDs
- Available in silver and blue, the Slim Dock’s sleek aluminum design is the perfect complement to your 2021 iMac
After its release late last month, Satechi kindly sent me one of the new iMac Slim Docks to check out. I’m one of the many writers here at 9to5 who drives an M1 iMac on a daily basis, so I was excited to see how the latest accessory is an extension of what is already a capable desktop.
Right out of the box, with its premium build, the Satechi iMac Slim Dock stands out like many of the brand’s other accessories. The whole unit consists of an aluminum exterior that comes in two different colors. I’m wearing the blue style to match its matching iMac counterpart, but there’s also a silver colorway that should go better with some of the other colors in Apple’s stable.
Aside from the impeccable build quality, the best part of the new release has to be the actual form factor itself. Numerous other brands have released iMac-specific docks in the past, almost all of which have a design that mounts to the bottom of the display. Satechi, on the other hand, plays things differently with a dock that rests right on the stand of your machine.
There’s a range of ports in that design, but there’s nothing that rivals a full Thunderbolt 4 hub. So if you go into the I/O grid and don’t see it as a replacement for a more capable, one-size-fits-all accessory, but as a way to get around the inconvenience of those rear-facing ports, it’s a remarkable option.
In total there are six slots to expand your M1 device. The Satechi iMac Slim Dock has a pair of USB 2.0 slots on the back that are perfect for mouse or keyboard dongles and the like, while things get more interesting on the side. First up is a 10Gb/s USB-C slot which is joined by a USB-A counterpart with the same specs. Then a pair of SD and microSD card readers complete the kit.
At the bottom, however, is the final piece of the puzzle that makes the Satechi iMac Slim Dock so appealing. Removing the magnetic panel on the left frees up space to insert into an NVME drive. Satechi seems to have learned from previous criticisms of supporting only SATA-based drives, as this time the company has unlocked the full 10Gb/s speeds needed to run an M.2 SSD. It’s a great feature that hides some extra storage space out of sight in the rest of the streamlined build.
All that praise is still for saying that the Satechi iMac Slim Dock is one of the more expensive options on the market Bee $149.99† That said, it’s as complete an experience as you’ll find with a third-party accessory and well worth the price of admission in my book. Satechi has a reputation for making accessories that fit Apple perfectly, and that feeling has never been more true than with the iMac Slim Dock.
It will be easy to join people like the Twelve South Backpack I previously rated it as one of the essential accessories for any M1 iMac owner, thanks to merging must-have features with a stylish look.