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Hands-on review: Twelve South StayGo Mini USB Hub

By Owen McCarthy, Mon 13 Dec 2021

I don't believe that right on the cusp of Christmas, Twelve South swung into my ken. 

This mini USB hub has become part of my solution to a problem faced by many. I'm sure that I am not alone in having a work desk that screams out for Marie Kondo to come in and restore order. 

This tiny USB hub offers a solution that promises to have my laptop (and my iPad Pro) looking more like a computer and less like a hedgehog.

Advertised as a hub for Mac users, I've happily had it connected to my HP Elitebook too. My MacBook Pro will eventually retire to be replaced by one of the new M1 Pro models, after more than a decade of amazing service. 

Andrew from Twelve South has posted an interesting video where he literally echoes my words. Imagine a small hub hidden at the back of your workspace area, with just one USB C cable connected to your laptop or iPad.

Suddenly you have a clean-looking environment with all the peripheral cables hidden out of sight. This marks a point of difference with other mini-hubs. You can connect this hub directly to a USB C port. What if you want all those cables to disappear out of the way?

Andrew says, simply use the cable and run everything out the back, out of sight. Suddenly, my six-year plan to declutter my workspace looks to be a reachable goal.

This is just one of the myriads of options that Twelve South provide. They also have a similar hub that includes an SD card reader, although Apple is bringing those back in their latest MacBook Pros.

What's included?

Besides the hub, you have a handy USB cable that connects to a USB port on your computer.

With the USB C port, there is the pass-through power option, enabling you to charge up or power accessories. As well as the USB C port, there is a USB-A, HDMI, and headphone/audio out port. 

As I write, I'm gazing at the clutter caused by my bulky, ancient, powered USB port. Twelve South's offering is less than half the size and, being USB C, does not need its own power. I am exploring the addition of a Lightning to USB-C adapter to see if I can use the hub on my earlier model iPad Pro. Watch for later updates to see how I got on.

Twelve South report, "It's all about connections." 

They say on their website, "iPads have become multimedia tools, but connecting accessories to them has been really clunky - until now. StayGo mini snaps onto your iPad, giving you four neatly arranged extra ports for must-have accessories, like studio headphones, your favorite display and USB drives. 

"Other flush-mount docks don't work with protective cases. StayGo mini does, by using the included USB-C cable to connect this little hub to your iPad without removing your case." On top of that, the StayGo Mini will connect to your MacBook Pro via the USB port. Plug it in directly or via their handy cable. 

Priced at US$59.99 on their website, this promises to be a winner, and it is just an aperitif for the huge range of products Twelve South offer for passionate Mac and Apple users to feast on. As I write, I see the bigger brother is available in New Zealand, offering more ports and at a price of around NZ$143.

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