Twelve South StayGo Mini review: A versatile USB-C hub with 4K HDMI for iPad and MacBook

Twelve South StayGo mini hero

The Twelve South StayGo mini was introduced at the tail end of last month as the brand’s lightest and most compact USB-C hub yet. As the name implies, this is the miniature version of its original StayGo hub, shrinking the overall footprint down significantly to leave users with a more succinct set of connectivity options on MacBook and iPad. Doubling as one of those tight-fit hubs that effectively snaps onto the side or bottom of your device via USB-C, it also comes with a “desk cable” for a more traditional USB hub experience. Head below for a closer look at our hands-on Twelve South StayGo mini review. 

Twelve South StayGo Mini review

Twelve South has now introduced a miniature version of its StayGo hub, expanding a single USB-C port on your Mac or iPad with USB-A, HDMI, and a headphone output. Designed primarily to sit flush against the port on your USB-C-laden iPad model, it works just as well with your MacBook setup. It includes the aforementioned somewhat proprietary cable if you don’t want it directly joined at the hip with your notebook or tablet. 

Build

The Twelve South StayGo Mini comes in a compact 2.8 x 1.25 x 0.3-inch package (excluding the USB-C connector that sticks out on one side). It features a black aluminum exterior designed to dissipate heat — it does get a touch toasty during extended usage, but not in a concerning fashion. The included 19.7-inch desk cable that attaches to the USB-C connector provides a little bit of breathing room and allows you to accommodate other accessories in your setup when you don’t want it affixed directly to your machine.  

One of the main selling points for the Twelve StayGo mini for me is the ability to have a miniature hub cleanly attached to the side or bottom of my machine while still offering up the ability to connect a series of additional I/O in the traditional way; with a cable lead so you can situate it off to the side or behind and out of the way of your work/creative space. 

I/O specs and details

The StayGo mini’s USB-C, USB-A, 4K-ready HDMI jack, and headphone ports are derived from a single USB-C connector on the other side. Everything works as expected here with no needed drivers. Everything is plug and play out of box, even offering backward compatibility on the USB 2.0 connector. 

USB-C with power pass-through, 4K HDMI, and more…

The USB-C pushes 85W of pass-through power across the device, more than enough to charge your iPad or MacBook while other accessories are connected. The HDMI port supports 4K, 2K, and 1080p at 30Hz — also more than enough for me and most folks interested in a compact 4-port USB hub, but potentially underwhelming for resolution-hungry power users.

The same thing goes for the USB-A 2.0 jack that supports “SuperSpeed up to 5 Gbps with BC 1.2 7.5W Fast Charge.” For me, it’s really the main connection jack for external gear, and it was more than capable in that regard, with the actual speeds not really factoring in as much until you’re transferring files to or from an external storage device. It’s not going to provide the fastest possible transfer speeds out there — a 1GB file took around 40 seconds or so —  but that’s mostly comparable with similarly casual, 4-port USB hubs I’ve used. If you need something focused on moving large files around on the regular, this might not be the best option. 

9to5Toys’ Take

The Twelve South StayGo mini is a great addition to the brand’s lineup of Apple gear accessories and makes for a great little USB-C hub for users who just need a little bit more flexibility for externals — charging, video, audio, and universal USB connectivity.

The experience has been a good one overall after going hands-on here for a couple of weeks. I’m not really a big fan of having a hub connected to my expensive device’s port by nothing but the small piece of metal that makes up the USB-C connector. But the StayGo mini seems to be small enough that it’s not much of a worry–providing the cables don’t get tugged too hard or the whole hub doesn’t get knocked into. Just something to keep in mind here. 

It might not be the ideal solution for content creators looking to build out the ultimate iPad-based studio or editing suite (that’s arguably what the brand’s larger StayGo USB-C Hub standard is geared towards), nor is it the most robust, all terrain-ready solution when connected directly to your device without the desk cable. But when it comes to getting just enough connectivity out of a single USB-C interface, whether it’s being equipped for USB-A devices on the go, connecting to larger displays with a pocket-sized gadget, or introducing a wired set of headphones into the mix, the Twelve South StayGo mini is certainly an elegant solution from a trusted brand in the space. 

Twelve South StayGo mini $60

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