Minix NEO C Mini USB-C to HDMI: Low Cost, Low Weight

| Quick Look Review

The Minix NEO C Mini is the little brother of the USB-C NEO C Multiport Adapter Dock previously reviewed. This smaller, less expensive model has fewer ports, but it’s also half the price and half the weight. I liked it a lot and highly recommend it for the Apple MacBook and new 2016 MacBook Pro.

Minix NEO C mini

Shown in space gray. HDMI Port is on other side.

For reference, see my previous review (March, 2016) of a similar Minix product. “Minix NEO C USB-C Multiport Adapter (Dock) Includes VGA or HDMI.

The Ports

  • 2x USB-A, 3.1 Gen 1 ports (5 Gbps)
  • 1x HDMI port with support up to UHD (3840 x 2160) at 30 Hz.
  • 1x Pass through USB-C port for charging.
NEO C mini schematic.

Schematic showing ports on both sides.

Benefits

Unlike some other products, this Minix adapter connects with short 6 inch (15 cm) cable. That largely eliminates static strain on the MacBook’s USB-C port when at rest. It also helps reduce strain when plugging and unplugging the cord.

The HDMI support works nicely out of the box at up to UHD resolution (3840 x 2160/30p.)

NEO C Mini connected to HP Z34c.

Shown with MacBook maxing out my HP Z34c curved display at 3440 x 1440.

It’s made of sturdy feeling aluminum and comes in four colors: silver, space gray, silver, gold and rose gold. Despite its low cost, there are four very nice rubber feet to protect your desktop.

The two USB-A ports operate at 5 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 1) which matches the MacBook. However, that’s half the speed of the 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2) ports on the 2016 MacBook Pro.

The manual makes no mention of a limitation of its big brother. On that model, when outputting 4K resolution, the USB 3 ports drop to USB 2 speeds. This limitation isn’t cited for the NEO C mini. However, it does recommend the Apple power adapter be plugged in when multiple ports are in use.

Unlike the full-sized NEO C, there’s a pale white indicator light (easily visible on the top) that confirms its connection to the MacBook’s port. (And won’t blind you in the dark.) I liked that a lot.

NEO C Mini in use.

Shown next to an Apple TV remote for scale.

Weight and Dimensions

  • Size: 3.5 x 1.5 x 0.38 inches (8.9 x 4.0 x 1.0 cm)
  • Weight: 2.0 ounces (56 grams)

Documentation and Warranty

In the box is a small, double-sided 6-pane pamphlet that contains setup, usage and contact information. (English and German.) Technical information is provided on HDMI output and the power available from the USB-A ports. The print is small, but not awfully hard to read. There is easy to find contact info. The warranty is one year and is handled directly by Minix.

Bottom Line

When I reviewed the NEO C, I lamented that, for travel, it’s a fairly good-sized metal device and weighs a goodly 4 ounces. In the end, the design swayed me in favor of it. In this case, the Neo C Mini solves the (modest) bulkiness and cost problem nicely. It’s half the weight of the NEO C, but has what I think is the minimum, perhaps optimum, set of ports.

As I said before, I really like the idea of having the dock sit separately and connect with short cable, as shown in the photo above. That way, when I insert devices and connectors, there’s no strain on the MacBook. I also love the status indicator light because it’s all too easy to not push the USB-C connector in all the way.

If you don’t need the SD and Micro SD card slots and gigabit Ethernet, this is a winning product in functionality, design and price. Drop it in your travel bag and be good to go.

Product: NEO Mini C Multiport Adapter with HDMI

Company: Minix

List Price: US$49.90

Rating:

Outstanding Product. Get It Now!

Pros:

Small, light, but solid aluminum. Minimum essential ports. Supports HDMI at 4K/UHD at 30 Hz. Two USB-A ports. Pass through power. Available in four colors. Not very expensive. LED indicator. Good documentation.

Cons:

The two USB-A ports are USB 3.1 Gen 1 (not Gen 2).

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