Quick Take Review: Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

Quick Take Review: Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub: Twelve South doesn’t just make well-designed leather cases for iPhones and iPads. It also makes a variety of accessories. The most recent is the $99.99 Stay Go USB-C Hub.

Overview of StayGo USB-C Hub: MacBook Edition

This round-edged black rectangle houses a 4K HMDI port, 3 USB-A ports, Ethernet, USB-C, along with SD and micro-SD slots. Until a couple of weeks ago, it played host to connections on my wonderfully small, but port deprived 12-inch MacBook.

The hub does a great job of bringing in power from a 65W USB-C power source (from HP, not Apple) and connecting it through to the MacBook. I put all the ports through their paces: Solid video. Multiple USB devices in parallel. Both SD readers also work with aplomb. 

The port challenged MacBook now connects with all aspects of the wired world. The hub works with all the USB-C devices I have connected it to including a Dell XPS-13 and an HP EliteBook 830 G5. Even though Twelve South typically targets Apple-centric uses cases, when it comes to USB-C the protocols and the ports turn out to be pretty universal.

By keeping the cables in the front and memory on the side, the StayGo Hub casts a neater profile on a desk at home or on the road than many of its competitors.

Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

Overview of StayGo USB-C Hub: iPad Edition

The now-discontinued MacBook isn’t the only port challenged device in my Apple Arsenal. I also use a USB-C powered iPad Pro 12.9. Besides passing along power, nothing much about the StayGo USB-C Hub mattered to the iPad Pro under iOS12.

And then iPadOS (the iPad version of iOS13) arrived. iPad OS turns the previously wireless-only iPad into a more wire-friendly device. Apple always offered single purpose dongles for video and USB (primarily for cameras and audio input). Apple has now unleashed the USB-C port to enable it for all the features common to PCs and Macs.

The StayGo USB-C Hub includes short and long USB-C cables to connect the device at the desktop and on the road. The shorter one tucks inside the low profile unit for travel. It works well with devices on a flat surface, but it a bit short for an iPad Pro 12.9 in landscape mode.

It should also be noted that the hub doesn’t work with low-powered USB-C charging blocks aimed at mobile devices. For the hub to power the iPad Pro and any auxiliary inputs, it requires a PC-level charging input. I am using a New Genuine AC For HP 65 Watt 20V – 3.25A USB Type-C AC Adapter 860209-850 purchased on Amazon.

Twelve South USB-C Hub: Next Gen?

While there is nothing wrong with the Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub, the release of iPadOS does point out a deficiency not important to the MacBook. The hub does not include an audio port. Hopefully, the next version will unit will include audio capabilities.

The only other asks for the next generation StayGo USB-C hub would be a smaller footprint in line with tablet use rather than notebook-sized computer use, along with slightly longer mobile cable.

Final Analysis

A well-made and well-designed USB-C hub for MacBooks—at the desk and on the road. The hub needs a longer “portable” cable and audio out to better support the emergent iPad Pro USB-C market.

Twelve South provided the StayGo USB-C Hub to Serious Insights for review purposes. Images compliments of Twelve South.

Daniel W. Rasmus

Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.