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Brilliant laptop/tablet stand and 13-in-1 USB-C hub

Brilliant laptop/tablet stand and 13-in-1 USB-C hub

Brilliant laptop/tablet stand and 13-in-1 USB-C hub

Maotoam Pro is two popular desktop accessories in one. It’s both a laptop/tablet stand and a USB-C hub with 13 ports. It can prop up a MacBook or iPad at your preferred angle, and connect it to up to a monitor, three USB devices, Ethernet and more.

I used the stand/hub in my everyday life for days. Here’s why I like it so very much.

Maotoam Pro review

A laptop or tablet stand holds your computer up at whatever angle you wish to see the screen better. It’s more ergonomic, and many people use them with an external keyboard and mouse.

A USB-C hub adds additional ports to your computer. MacBook or iPad Pro have a limited selection, and a hub lets you connect to far more, like USB-A devices, Ethernet, memory cards, etc.

Maotoam Pro is both these useful accessories in a single, well-designed device.

Stand

The stand starts out with a solid base sitting on silicone pads. The many ports are built into this — most are on the back, though two are on the sides. The design emphases concealing cable clutter over easy access.

Coming up from the base are two arms connected to a laptop cradle. On the front of the cradle is a pair of curved tabs to keep your computer from sliding off. Silicone pads help here too, and also prevent your notebook or tablet from getting scratched.

The two sets of hinges give you a wide range of viewing angles. I tested Maotoam Hub Pro with both a tablet and a laptop and was always able to find an arrangement I liked. I had no problem lifting my notebook’s screen to eye level when typing with an external keyboard. And it worked equally well holding an iPad.

I tested it with 13-inch devices, but see no reason why it wouldn’t work with larger laptops.

Two sets of hinges let you position the Maotoam Pro however you like.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The hinges hold your computer very solidly. I can type on the Maotoam Pro and it doesn’t quiver in the slightest. And this stand won‘t tip over while holding your expensive computer — the base is too heavy.

Speaking of which, the stand/hub is mostly aluminum and quite solidly built. (I think I could hammer a nail with it.) Plus, the metal construction helps dissipate heat, and there are slots in the laptop cradle to shed heat, too.

Maotoam Pro isn’t designed to be portable, and it is not. It folds relatively flat, but the accessory weighs in at just under 3 pounds. If you want a portable laptop stand with a built-in USB hub, try the Ugreen X-Kit.

Hub

This is such a great stand it might be easy to forget Maotoam Pro is also a powerful USB-C hub. But it has a whopping 13 ports you can add to your Mac or iPad by plugging in a single cable.

Maotoam Pro really has 13
Looking at the Maotoam Pro from the back, you see the DisplayPort, HDMI ports, Ethernet, card readers, USB-A ports and USB-C ports. So many there are two more on the sides.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Looking at it from the front, the USB-C port you connect to your computer is the left edge. It supports Thunderbolt/USB4, and is backward compatible with USB 3.2. Plus, it can send up to 65 watts to your device. The accessory comes with a 17-inch cable to connect your computer and hub — a very useful length.

Next to this, but on the back of the stand/hub, is the USB-C port you connect to a wall socket for power. It can take in up to 100W.

Then there’s a USB-C port for attaching accessories. It can transfer data at up to 10Gbps, but can’t be used with an external display. I tried — no luck. But I did test the port with several USB-C drives and they worked as designed.

Next is a trio of USB-A ports for the vast majority of accessories. The first of these can transmit data at 10Gbps, while the rest offer 5Gbps. I used the first with external drives and the others with mouse and keyboard. All functioned as expected.

The designers of Maotoam Pro didn’t forget about removable memory cards. Slip in an SD or microSD card to transfer the contents to your computer. You can even use both slots at the same time to transfer data between cards.

The Ethernet port supports 10/100/1000 Mbps if Wi-Fi isn’t fast enough, reliable enough, or not secure enough.

The Hub Pro has a pair of HDMI ports that can show video at 4K at 60Hz for connecting to a high-resolution external monitor. And there’s also a DisplayPort that supports the same resolution/speed. But there’s bad news. Because of limitations in macOS and iOS, all the external monitors show the same content. (That’s why I haven’t emphasized the multitude of video ports in the review.)

Last but far from least, on the right side of the stand/hub is a 3.5mm audio port, ready for a speaker.

To put the Maotoam Pro through its paces, I connected all the accessories I normally use at once. And then added some extras. That’s USB-A and USB-C drives, USB mouse and keyboard, a speaker and an HDMI monitor. All of them performed flawlessly.

Make the Maotoam Pro the center of your desktop setup.
The Maotoam Pro can hold up your laptop at a better viewing angle while you type on an external keyboard.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Maotoam Pro final thoughts

This stand-with-hub combo is ideal as the center of a powerful desktop setup. Leave all your USB accessories, monitors and speakers plugged into the hub so when you place your notebook or tablet on the stand you can connect to all of with a single cable. It’s very convenient.

There aren’t many drawbacks here. It’s heavy and not very portable is as close as I get.

Pricing

Maotoam Pro is now on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Putting down a $89 pledge gets the device at 50% off the eventual price. The units will be delivered in June 2021. But do not dawdle. At the time of this writing, the price was about to go up to $99.

Don’t be unsettled that this is a crowdfunded project. I wrote this review based on real hardware. It’s an actual device that’s well made and works as advertised. And the product is fully funded, so it will be produced and shipped.

Maotoam Pro
This stand/hub works quite well with iPad without a keyboard.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Comparable products

I already mentioned an alternative for people who’d like a foldable laptop stand/hub for use on the go: Ugreen X-Kit ($64.99). It doesn’t have as many features, but is far more portable. Or a much simpler option without the hub is the Twelve South ParcSlope ($59.99).

Serious iPad users should look at the Kensington StudioDock ($379.99 to $399.99). Or consider the Satechi Aluminum Desktop Stand ($44.99) or the Twelve South HoverBar Duo ($79.99).

Maotoam Team provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.

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