Satechi recently launched its latest Mac accessory, aiming to fix the most inconvenient feature of Apple’s latest M1 iMac. Packed into an aluminum design that remains on the stand of the desktop machine, the new Satechi iMac Slim Dock brings ports to the front alongside an M.2 NVMe enclosure and more. But is it worth the premium price tag? Our latest 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 stable of Apple accessories arrives with a single device in mind. Focused around the latest M1 iMac, the Satechi iMac Slim Dock complements the desktop’s sleek design with a streamlined footprint of its own that adds some extra ports to the base of Apple’s latest screen-based desktop machine.
Housed within an aluminum exterior are six ports, including 10Gb/s USB-C/A inputs, SD card readers, and more. Carrying over the features from 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 steep price worth picking over a Thunderbolt-based alternative? Let’s take a closer look.
Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:
- Exclusively designed for 2021 iMac (24-inch) models to add extra data storage space and to extend your USB ports for fast data transfer and access to peripherals
- Tool-free NVMe SATA NGFF enclosure allows 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
Following its release at the end of last month, Satechi was kind enough to send over one of the new iMac Slim Docks for me to check out. I’m one of the many writers here at 9to5 to daily drive an M1 iMac, and so I was excited to see how the latest accessory expands what is already a capable desktop.
Right out of the box, with its premium-feeling build, the Satechi iMac Slim Dock stands out like many of the brand’s other accessories. The entire unit is comprised of an aluminum exterior which comes in one of two different colors. I am sporting the blue style to go with its matching iMac counterpart, but there is also a silver colorway that should blend better with some of the other colors in Apple’s stable.
Impeccable build quality aside, the best part of the new release has to be the actual form factor itself. Plenty of other brands have released iMac-specific docks in the past, almost all of which take on a design that mounts to the bottom of the screen. Satechi on the other hand is playing things differently with a dock that rests right on the stand of your machine.
Packed into that design is a series of ports, but there isn’t anything that’s going to rival a full Thunderbolt 4 hub. So if you go into the I/O roster seeing it not as a replacement for a more capable, one-size-fits-all accessory but just as a way to sidestep the inconvenience of those rear-facing ports, it’s a notable option.
In total, there are six slots for expanding your M1 device. The Satechi iMac Slim Dock has a pair of USB 2.0 slots on the back which are perfect for mouse or keyboard dongles and the like, with things getting more interesting on the side. First up is a 10Gb/s USB-C slot that’s joined by a USB-A counterpart with the same specs. Then, a pair of SD and microSD card readers round out the kit.
On the bottom, however, is the final piece of the puzzle that makes the Satechi iMac Slim Dock so compelling. Removing the magnetic panel from the left-hand side reveals a spot to place in an NVME drive. Satechi seems to have learned from previous criticisms of only supporting SATA-based drives, as this time around the company has unlocked the full 10Gb/s speeds required to use an M.2 SSD. It’s a great feature that hides some extra storage out of sight within the rest of the sleek build.
All of that praise is still to say that the Satechi iMac Slim Dock is one of the pricier options on the market at $149.99. That being said, it’s as well-rounded of an experience as you’ll find from a third-party accessory and is well worth the entry fee in my book. Satechi has a reputation for making accessories that are the perfect Apple companions, and that sentiment has never been more true than with the iMac Slim Dock.
It will easily be joining the likes of the Twelve South Backpack I previously reviewed as one of the essential accessories for any M1 iMac owner, thanks to merging must-have features with a stylish exterior.
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