Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro made quite a splash when it was introduced in October 2016. The new OLED Touch Bar stole the show, and the drive toward ever-thinner devices was also on display with the new MacBook Pro models being the thinnest ever. One consequence of making the machines so thin is that every legacy port was removed, leaving the MacBook Pro with either two or four USB Type-C connections and nothing else. Apple’s unpopular solution is a bundle of dongles, which is costly and inconvenient for anyone who needs to connect to most of today’s external devices. The HyperDrive Compact Thunderbolt 3 USB-C hub aims to solve that problem, and it’s available for ordering now in a Kickstarter campaign.
Basically, the HyperDrive plugs into two of the USB Type-C connections on a 2016 MacBook Pro and offers a host of full-speed ports without the fuss of a single dongle. The following ports are supported on the MacBook Pro with and without Touch Bar:
- MicroSD UHS-1 slot (104Mb/s)
- SD UHS-1 slot (105Mb/s)
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port (5Gb/s)
- USB-C port (5Gb/s)
- USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 40Gb/s port (with max 100-watt power delivery)
- HDMI video (1080p)
What separates the HyperDrive from other snap-on hubs is its status as the first that uses two USB Type-C connections to maximize bandwidth. The HyperDrive offers up to 45Gb/s bandwidth to support the use of all seven ports at the same time. The Thunderbolt 3 port provides a full 100 watts of power to fully charge the MacBook Pro at either 61 watts for the 13-inch model and 87 watts for the 15-inch.
One issue that has popped up regarding the 2016 MacBook Pro is Apple’s decision to support only the newest Thunderbolt 3 controllers. According to Sanho Corporation, maker of the HyperDrive, the hubs work “perfectly” with the 2016 MacBook Pro hardware and so shouldn’t suffer from these issues.
The HyperDrive has just concluded their campaign on IndieGoGo, and can be ordered on Hypershop.com for $49.95. There you can choose from their three different colors. They have gold, silver, and space gray options. If you have run into the dongle dilemma, let us know what you think in the comment section below.