If you are the owner of a modern Ultra-Portable Laptop such as the Google Pixelbook, you likely already carry a USB Type C hub to allow you to connect to classic USB devices. Most USB Type C hubs often pack features such as USB-PD Pass-through and HDMI output to allow you to use the hub as a docking station when you need to share your laptop to a full size display. I have a growing collection of USB Type C Hubs and when I got my hands on the MINIX NEO Storage Type C Hub, I could definitely say that it stands out from the others by packing a 250 GB M.2 SSD inside.
Update : Although not supported by MINIX, you can upgrade the M.2 SSD by following the instructions here
I have been on a mission to minimize the size of my backpack which required me to leave some devices behind and also look for ways to consolidate others into devices that combine multiple features into a smaller package. The MINIX NEO is a compact USB Type C hub that combines a Type C OTG Cable, Type C to HDMI Dongle and a 250 GB SSD into one easy to carry package.
Officially MINIX states that the MINIX NEO Storage only supports USB C Equipped Macbooks however I have successfully tested it with the Pixelbook, HP Chromebook X2, GPD Pocket 2 (running ChromiumOS for GPD) and even the Samsung Galaxy Note 9/Tab S4 (yes, it supports Samsung DEX). Each device tested was able to access the SSD, output video, accept power via the USB C Passthrough and all of the USB A ports worked flawlessly. On devices that do not support Video Out such as the GPD Pocket 1, all functions except the HDMI port work without issue.
The MINIX NEO Storage has the following features
- 2x USB 3.0 Ports
- 1x HDMI Port (with support for 4K @ 30Hz)
- 1x USB Type C Power Pass-through Port
- 1x 250 GB SSD (both Read and Write Speeds exceed 400MB/s in my testing). This is actually faster than the storage in most Chromebooks with the exception of the 250 GB Pixel Slate and 512 GB Pixelbook
Sadly the MINIX does fall short on a few features that several of my other hubs have such as SD/MicroSD Card Support and Ethernet Support – both problems can be solved with a USB Card Reader or USB to Ethernet Adapter – which are devices I typically carry in my accessory pouch.
You can pick up the 250 GB version of the MINIX NEO Storage at Amazon for $99.99 with Free Prime Shipping.
Also published on Medium.