I’m the type of person who prefers everything to be neatly compressed into a single item, so when I heard the MINIX Neo S1 USB-C Multiport SSD Storage Hub had built-in SSD storage, I couldn’t resist calling it in for a review.
I mean, how often do you hear of hubs with SSD storage embedded? My HDMI port sure as hell doesn’t have it, and neither does my memory card reader hub.
Well…the MINIX Neo S1 has.
What is the MINIX NEO S1 USB-C Multiport SSD Storage Hub?
To put it succinctly, the MINIX Neo S1 USB-C Multiport SSD Storage HUB (let’s call it the MINIX Neo S1) is a device that you connect to your PC (or any USB-C device) to expand its output ports.
In the case of the MINIX Neo S1, it comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI (4k @30Hz) port and USB-C port (power delivery only). Of course, the biggest draw here is it’s built in 120GB of SSD storage.
There’s also another version with 240GB, but I wasn’t sent that version for review. The 120GB version’s on sale for $120, while the 240GB is $240. You can get them through Amconic’s website or through Lazada, which is currently having them on sale at a MUCH lower price than MSRP.
Worth the price?
For a hub, the MINIX Neo S1 certainly looks the price.
Its chassis seems to be made from aluminium, which gives it a sleek and stylish look. It’s solidly made, and holds together quite well. It certain feels like a premium product (which is what you’re paying for) and not like a cheap gadget.
There are even a couple of rubber nubs at the bottom to give it some traction when you’re using it, which is a rather nice thought, especially if you’re using it on a glossy or slippery surface.
I like that there’s an indicator on the top of the MINIX hub that shows you when it’s in use. All of my other hubs are just chunks of plastic that just sit there with no sign that they’re powered up or being used.
The MINIX Neo S1’s aesthetics go well if you’re a Mac user. Hell, even the packaging makes it a point of saying so. Despite the marketing aimed at the Apple crowd, make no mistake; the device is usable on most devices that accept a USB-C input, like PCs and smartphones.
In fact, that’s one of the things I really like about the hub. I can use it with my Samsung Note 8, transfer a ton of files and then connect it to my PC with barely any hassle. With its 120GB storage, I don’t even need to think too much about managing storage space.
Of course, you can also use it as a display hub (with the HDMI output) or more likely, as a regular data transfer hub.
Here’s where the MINIX Neo S1 stumbles a bit.
It has built-in storage, and USB input but there’s no SD card (or micro sd) reader, which is a major oversight in my opinion. Considering the cards are still widely in use in phones and cameras, not having an option for them is a flub.
Sure, you can solve it by using an adapter, but that’s really not the point. Speaking of adapters, I also wish that Amconics had bundled in a USB C to USB A adapter.
It’ll lower transfer speeds definitely, but it’ll also open up the MINIX Neo S1 to a whole boatload of users who have devices without USB-C ports. I certainly would’ve loved that, since it means I can use the MINIX Neo S1 on my older notebook and possibly even on the PS4 or Xbox One.
There’s also the case to be made for having only 2 USB 3.0 ports. I’d certainly have preferred more ports, with 4 being ideal.
Personally speaking, I usually have my external HDD, a USB charging cable and a memory stick plugged in to my hub so 2 ports won’t cut it for me. Still, 2 USB 3.0 ports might be more than enough for you.
Of course, the MINIX Neo S1 isn’t just meant for home use; its small profile (and handy carrying bag) means that it can also go on the road with you, which is great if you’re constantly on the go.
I’m rather impressed with the MINIX Neo S1. It’s a decent hub that works just as advertised; giving you extra on-board storage, more ports and USB-C power with portability in mind.
There are a few issues I found that I’d love Amconics to fix in their next iteration of the product though. The omission of an SD (or micro sd) card reader is chief among them. I’d also love to see more ports, and support for USB-A input for older hardware too, even if it’s via a detachable adapter.
Still for an MSRP of $120, you do get a quite a decent amount of value. I’d definitely recommend getting a MINIX Neo S1 (or the 240GB S2) if you’re looking into a nearly all-in-one hub that’s also portable and sleek looking.
Great hub for the price and on-board storage is awesome. No SD card reader is a downer.
– Built-in storage.
– Compact and sleek.
– USB-C connection is future-proof.
– Fast transfer speed.
– No SD card reader.
– Only 2 USB 3.0 ports.
– USB-C input requires adapter to use on older USB devices.