Updated to include response from Canohm regarding Thunderbolt 3 support.
Minix has combined a 240GB SSD and USB-C Hub to create an all-in-one portable storage solution for $189.
The NEO S2 Storage Hub from Minix, available for preorder now on their website, includes an M.2 240GB solid-state drive, a 4K HDMI port, dual USB 3.0 Type-A ports and a single USB-C port for power delivery only.
Describing the hub as part of the ‘next-generation computing’, Minix sees themselves as a market-leading technology company with stylish designs and innovative advancements for the tech world.
It follows the original Minix NEO S1 storage hub which came a 120GB SSD, with the same ports as the S2.
The Minix NEO S2 Storage Hub is a smart way to combine multiple devices into one and eliminating the dongle headache that has arisen following the introduction of the USB-C port standard.
Compatible with macOS, iPadOS, Android OS and Windows OS devices, the all-in-one Minix hub can move between operating systems, despite being designed for the Apple Macbook.
The integrated 240GB M.2 SSD supports read-write speeds of up to 400MB/s for USB to USB transfer, sadly much lower than the 540MB/s read/write speeds found in portable SSD’s from Samsung.
However, considering the dual functionality of the Minix hub, I think the speed drop can be excused.
Unfortunately, there is insufficient bandwidth to support both Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI output in the Minix NEO S2, limiting the hub to USB-C power delivery only.
For Thunderbolt 3 support you can always grab the NEO C-D, which takes up two USB-C ports to supply the extra bandwidth required for the format.
While the 4K 30HZ HDMI port allows for dual monitor displays, Minix has missed the opportunity to allow for single-cable connectivity.
Users will instead have to use the USB-C port exclusively for power delivery, which honestly takes away from the selling point of the hub as ‘ the ultimate business accessory,’ especially at nearly $200.
Hopefully, in the third iteration of the all-in-one hub, we will see Minix add in Thunderbolt 3 support, though I would expect this would come at a premium to the consumer.