The Minix Neo C USB-C "Multiport Adapter" is dock for the Apple MacBook that has two USB-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, pass through charging, two camera card slots, and either HDMI or VGA depending on the model. It has some design and feature aspects that set it apart from similar products.
First, this product should be compared and contrasted to two similar products reviewed previously.
- OWC’s USB-C Dock Has a Complete Set of Ports and is Fully Powered (This is a desktop, externally powered dock.)
- Satechi USB-C Hub is Small & Has Pass Through Power (This is a one ounce, minimalist USB-A dock.)
This Minix dock falls between the above two products in price and capability. Like the two other products, it has pass through power. But it goes well beyond the Satechi product by adding wired Ethernet and either VGA or HDMI, depending on the model selected. To achieve this it draws the power it needs from the MacBook's 29 watt charger. Here's the official list of ports.
Note that microSD and "TF" cards are functionally equivalent.
1. Unlike the Satechi dock, this Minix dock connects with a short cable. The connector has a gray, thick (plastic) band that makes it feel sturdier than Apple's. The overall design goes a long way towards relieving any mechanical strain on the MacBook's one and only USB-C port when in use and when inserted/removed. (I complained about that in the Satechi review.)
Shown in use with MacBook and power pass through.
2. If you do a lot of presentations with overhead projectors, the VGA version would be preferable. If you want to connect a larger display to the MacBook, there's a version with HDMI.
3. This device is made of metal, aluminum, and the build quality is excellent. While Minix calls it a "Multiport Adapter," technically it's a dock and could even be used as a desktop docking station for a display, Ethernet and external disk drives.
4. You can match your MacBook colors: Space Gray, Silver or Gold. There are four 6 mm rubber feet on the bottom.
The front-side USB-A & Camera card ports.
5. Like the Satechi dock, the two USB-A ports are effectively USB 3.0. This matches the capability of the MacBook. When connected to pass through power, the USB-A ports can supply up to 3 amps.
1. According to the manual, "Due to the limited bandwidth provided by the MacBook, when outputting via HDMI at 4K resolution the 2 x USB ports will be converted from 3.0 to 2.0." So far as I know, this doesn't happen with the OWC powered dock.
For scale: Each model on top of a MacBook.
A video review on the Minix product page shows some USB throughput benchmarks when connected to an HD display. I don't think most users will complain about the performance, but critical users will want to take notes.
2. An Ethernet driver must be installed first or the Gigabit Ethernet port will not work at all. (The OWC dock has limited functionality without its driver.) The required software can be downloaded from the Minix website. On the plus side, the documentation, a 14 page PDF file is splendid. And an uninstaller script is also included. My review representative added: "The driver should not interfere/conflict with other USB-C devices with Ethernet port, the driver only relates to the AX chip used on our adapter."
3. Because of the design, SD cards must be inverted before insertion.
Weights and Dimensions
- Size: 3.5 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches (8.9 x 5.6 x 1.5 cm)
- Weight: 3.72 ounces ( 106 grams) The weight listed at Amazon.com is incorrect.
Documentation and Warranty
In the box is a small, double-sided 4-pane pamphlet that contains setup, usage and contact information. When you download the Ethernet software, the PDF manual is chock-full of screenshots and is very clear and specific. I was impressed with the detail and how easy Minix makes it to contact them.
The included pamplet is small but readable.
The warranty is one year, handled directly by Minix.
The key question in my mind is whether I would travel with this dock or the one by Satechi that I reviewed. The Minix is larger and has ports I probably wouldn't need during travel, but the design sways me. 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. This alone would make me tolerate the small extra weight in my equipment bag.
On the other hand the Satechi dock is half the price, weighs less than an ounce and is focused solely on USB-A and photo cards. If that's all you need and can't afford the Minix, then it's a good alternative.
Final note: there are two models (VGA and HDMI) and three color options. All six combinations are available at Amazon.