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Mac Mini Docks with Drive Enclosure (SATA & NVMe)

The 2020 edition of the Mac Mini features the M1 chip, a valuable addition to your computing setup. It offers an 8-core processor, 8-core GPU, and 16-core neural engine that packs in tremendous processing power with a surprisingly small footprint. Thus, making it ideal for cramped workstations and allowing you to save a considerable amount of space.

The base Mac Mini comes with only 256 GB of storage, and being an apple product, you can’t replace the SSD with a higher-capacity one, so your only option is to configure a more expensive Mac Mini with more storage. But the cost to upgrade is very high per GB compared to the price of an SSD Drive.

Another problem with the Mac Mini 2020 is the fewer expansion ports in comparison to its older sibling, the Mac Mini 2018. While this isn’t a problem for most Mac Mini users, people who use several peripheral devices will differ, thus warranting a docking station.

Plenty of docking stations offer you a broad range of ports that allow you to expand your workstation setup easily. While useful, most of these devices don’t look aesthetically compatible with the Mac Mini. Moreover, several docking stations employ irregular designs that add to the workstation’s clutter and negate the advantage of the Mac Mini’s small footprint.

Apple customers are known to be aesthetically conscious of their workstation setup and give plenty of thought to the overall look of their computers. Thus, finding a docking station that not only matches but also complements their Mac Mini can be challenging. Ideally, you must look for a device that integrates additional I/O ports without adding to the clutter and looks to be part of the existing setup.

Keeping this in mind, we have found the best Mac Mini docking stations with SSD support that offer a variety of ports and look like an extension of the Mac Mini. In this article, we’ll compare the devices and review them along with their pros and cons. Later, we’ll share our buying guide to help you select a suitable device for your need. Lastly, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about these docking stations.

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
OWC MiniStack STX on Amazon
OWC MiniStack STX Power Supply: External Power
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x 3.5-Inch SATA
1 x M.2 Slot
No. of Ports/Slots: 6+1


Buy on Amazon
Hagibis Docking Station MC25 on Amazon
Hagibis Docking Station MC25 Power Supply: Bus Powered
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x 2.5-Inch SATA
No. of Ports/Slots: 6+1
Buy on Amazon
Rocketek 12 in 1 Mac Mini Dock on Amazon
Rocketek 12 in 1 Mac Mini Dock Power Supply: External Power
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x 2.5-Inch SATA
No. of Ports/Slots: 11+1
Buy on Amazon
Qwiizlab Docking Station on Amazon
Qwiizlab Docking Station Power Supply: External Power
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x 2.5-Inch SATA
1 x M.2 SSD
No. of Ports/Slots: 6+2
Buy on Amazon
Satechi Type-C Stand & Hub with SSD Enclosure on Amazon
Satechi Type-C Stand & Hub with SSD Enclosure Power Supply: Bus Powered
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x M.2 SSD
No. of Ports/Slots: 7+1
Buy on Amazon
AGPTEK USB-C Docking Station & Stand on Amazon
AGPTEK USB-C Docking Station & Stand Power Supply: Bus Powered
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x 2.5-Inch SATA
No. of Ports/Slots: 6+1
Buy on Amazon
Hagibis Docking Station MC25 Pro HD on Amazon
Hagibis Docking Station MC25 Pro HD Power Supply: Bus Powered
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x 2.5-Inch SATA
1 x M.2 SSD
No. of Ports/Slots: 8+2
Buy on Amazon
Elecife Type C Docking Station on Amazon
Elecife Type C Docking Station Power Supply: Bus Powered
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x 2.5-Inch SATA
No. of Ports/Slots: 6+1
Buy on Amazon
Rytaki Pro Mac Mini Dock on Amazon
Rytaki Pro Mac Mini Dock Power Supply: External Adapter
Hard Drive Slot:
1 x 2.5-Inch SATA
No. of Ports/Slots: 11+1
Buy on Amazon

1. OWC MiniStack STX – Best Thunderbolt 4 Dock for Mac Mini

The OWC MiniStack STX holds an edge over other Mac Mini Docks. While most other docks offer an assortment of USB and video ports, the OWC MiniStack STX keeps it simple and goes with all Thunderbolt 4 ports.

You get four ports in all, which includes one that offers 60W Power Delivery. So, you can charge your laptop while using your Mac Mini with the other three ports. The three ports support daisy chaining and let you create three independent daisy chains for a total of eight devices.

What’s more, the Thunderbolt 4 ports support the full range of video outputs that include a dual [email protected] or [email protected] So, you can enhance productivity using the dock to set up a multi-monitor workstation.

For added benefit, OWC also offers a 3.5-inch SATA drive bay and a faster M.2 NVMe SSD slot for faster read and write speeds. The only problem is that the drive bays are difficult to access, and you will need to tinker around to access them. But if you aren’t comfortable doing that, OWC offers to include the drives so that you get a ready-to-use device out of the box. Interestingly, OWC also includes its’s SoftRAID software which you can use to maintain a RAID 1 volume using this dock.

The miniStack STX has a simple design; the front panel features an illuminated logo and two LEDs that indicate the status of the active drives. The ports are located on the rear panel, making them a little cumbersome to access, and it would have been nice if OWC offered USB ports to connect legacy devices. Lastly, the dimensions match the Mac Mini perfectly, and you won’t have a problem stacking it atop the OWC dock.

Our Take

The OWC miniStack STX offers the unmatched benefit of multiple Thunderbolt 4 ports. With that comes several advantages of Thunderbolt, like Power Delivery, high-speed data transfers, and support for 8K video displays. Thus, it is perfect for professionals who need a device that allows them to expand their setup easily and provides them with professional-grade computing features.

PROS
  • High-speed data transfer.
  • Support for 8K display units.
  • The SATA and M.2 drive bays provide additional storage options.
  • OWC’s SoftRAID software allows you to implement RAID 1 volumes.
  • Daisy-chaining up to eight devices makes it convenient to expand the setup.
CONS
  • The drive bays are very inconvenient to access.
  • No ports on the front panel for easy accessibility.
  • The external power source adds to the clutter at the workstation.

2. Hagibis Docking Station MC25 – Great Value Mac Mini Dock

The Hagibis MC25 docking station uses a USB-C data bus to connect to the Mac Mini and power the device. This means that you don’t deal with an added power adapter that occupies precious workspace, and you maintain a clutter-free desk that ensures that you stay productive.

You can attach an additional 2.5-inch HDD/SSD drive using the SATA slot located on the bottom panel of the dock. An access panel secures the drive into a housing located on the bottom panel of the device. Make sure to keep a small Phillips screwdriver handy because, unlike other manufacturers, Hagibis does not ship one with the device.

The device offers seven ports in all that include the SATA slot. You also get two ports each for USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, which is perfect for connecting all those old USB flash drives, external hard drives, and legacy peripheral devices. And the SD and micro-SD card readers allow you to quickly transfer all the pictures on your camera or smartphone to the hard drive.

The MC25 has forward-facing ports that make them easily accessible without you having to reach the back each time you need to connect new devices. The aluminum body makes it durable and lightweight, and you won’t damage your computer by placing the dock on top of your Mac Mini. Further, the four anti-skid patches on the bottom panel provide excellent grip, ensuring that neither the dock nor your Mac Mini slide and cause damage to each other.

Our Take

The Hagibis MC25 is an inexpensive and durable dock that provides you with essential ports to expand your computing setup. Its pocket-friendly price and simplicity of operation will appeal to all Mac Mini users wanting to utilize their legacy devices. Thus, the Hagibis MC25 is the best Mac Mini dock overall.

PROS
  • The SATA slot allows you to connect additional 2.5-inch HDD/SSD storage.
  • The aluminum body makes it lightweight and durable.
  • Pocket-friendly price.
  • The bus-powered device keeps the workstation clutter-free.
CONS
  • The installation of the 2.5-inch drive is cumbersome.
  • It lacks an M.2 slot for connecting high-speed SSD storage.

2. Rocketek 12 in 1 Mac Mini Dock – 12 in 1 Dock for Mac Mini

The Rocketek 12-in-1 dock utilizes an external power source to provide power to the large number of ports it offers. While the additional ports provide unmatched connectivity, the use of an external power source implies added clutter to the work area.

Like the MC25, this dock from Rocketek also provides a SATA slot to attach a 2.5-inch HDD/SSD storage. Thankfully, it does not involve tiny screws, and you can remove the access panel simply by sliding an “On/Off” switch on the bottom panel of the device.

However, simplicity is not the only reason that makes this dock a suitable device. Arguably, the dock offers eleven I/O ports so that you can quickly expand your workstation setup. The list includes HDMI and VGA ports that allow you up to [email protected] video output. Thus, you don’t need to sacrifice a Thunderbolt port to connect an additional monitor. Additional ports include two 3.5mm jacks, one each for a headphone and microphone. But don’t be taken in by the USB-C port that is only there for connecting the data bus.

Unlike the MC25, the Rocketek dock has a plastic body which makes it lightweight but doesn’t give it the durability of aluminum. The top panel features a round niche that allows the Mac Mini’s base to settle into the slot and stay there, thanks to the anti-skip patches positioned within the niche.

Our Take

The Rocketek 12-in-1 dock provides an unmatched number of ports that offer plenty of I/O connectivity options. Thus, it is perfect for power users who need to connect many devices.

PROS
  • The 12 expansion ports provide unmatched connectivity.
  • The HDMI and VGA ports allow you to connect displays with up to [email protected] specifications.
  • It offers excellent value for money, considering the price and features.
  • The SATA slot allows you to connect additional 2.5-inch HDD/SSD storage.
CONS
  • The USB-C port only connects to the data bus.
  • It lacks an M.2 slot for connecting high-speed SSD storage.

3. Qwiizlab Docking Station – Mac Mini Dock with SATA and M.2 Slots

The Qwiizlab docking station uses dual USB-C ports, one to power the device using a 5V power connection and the other to connect the data bus. So, you will have to manage one additional cable to create the clutter-free work area you desire. One possible solution is to use a USB-A port on the Mac Mini to provide power to the docking station, but be sure to read the power requirements to utilize the dock’s most significant advantage.

Unlike most docks that only offer a SATA slot to connect a 2.5-inch HDD/SSD storage, the Qwiizlab docking station also provides an M.2 slot. Therefore, you get read/write speeds of up to 3500MB/s in comparison to a SATA drive’s 600MB/s. Furthermore, it supports M.2 SSD of up to 8TB storage capacity, so it’ll be a while before you run out of storage space.

While the M.2 is a huge advantage, this docking station from Qwiizlab has more to offer. The device provides six I/O expansion ports and includes a USB-C 3.1 port that helps deliver data at 10Gbps between devices. The device omits additional video output ports, so you will have to rely on the Mac Mini to facilitate a multi-monitor setup.

Like the Hagibis dock, the Qwiizlab dock also features an all-aluminum shell that makes it durable when placing the Mac Mini on top. The ports are all front-facing, with only the USB-C port for the data bus and power supply located on the rear panel. Lastly, the front panel has two LED indicators to notify the user of read/write operations to the SATA and M.2 drives.

Our Take

The Qwiizlab docking station is perfect for users looking to enhance the storage capacity of the computer. The device offers SATA and M.2 slot that allows both high-capacity and high-speed drive to work side-by-side.

PROS
  • The SATA and M.2 slots allow you to connect high-speed and high-capacity drives.
  • The USB 3.1 Type-C and USB 3.1 Type-A ports offer 10Gbps data transfer speeds.
  • The aluminum body makes it lightweight and durable.
  • LED that indicates read/write operations to add-on drives.
CONS
  • No video output ports to connect additional displays.
  • No audio ports to connect headphones/external speakers.

4. Satechi Type-C Stand & Hub with SSD Enclosure – Docking Station with USB-C ports

The Satechi docking station uses the data bus to power itself and keeps your workstation clutter-free so that you stay focused on work. This does limit its overall offering, and you may miss some key features.

For instance, the device does away with the commonly offered SATA slot; instead, you only get an M.2 slot. While you get a high-speed storage drive, the drive will come at a considerable price premium that most users would not like. The M.2 enclosure is located on the bottom panel and is accessible easily via the pull-out access panel, making it convenient to install and uninstall M.2 drives.

The docking station offers one USB-C data port capable of 5Gbps data transfer speeds. You also get three USB-A ports that provide the same speed of 5Gbps, and an SD and micro-SD card reader to quickly transfer your picture and videos. Further, the Satechi docking station thoughtfully offers a 3.5mm audio jack on the front panel, making it more accessible than the one on the rear panel of the Mac Mini.

The Satechi docking station uses lightweight plastic that gives it a premium feel but also compromises the durability of the device. The top panel features a circular niche with anti-skid patches that secure the Mac Mini and prevent it from sliding off the dock. Lastly, this docking station comes with a permanently attached data cable, long enough to connect to a Mac Mini placed on top. But you’ll have to settle for another device if you want the added flexibility to position the device elsewhere.

Our Take

The Satechi docking station is an expensive device that doesn’t offer features commonly found on similar docks. Does this make it the wrong choice? Not at all! Instead, it creates a niche for itself by providing high-speed storage and connectivity options, making it suitable for users who need to transfer vast amounts of data back and forth.

PROS
  • The M.2 slots allow you to connect high-speed drives.
  • The USB 3.1 Type-C port allows you to connect newer devices with ease.
  • It is a bus-powered device that minimizes clutter.
  • Easily accessible M.2 slot with a pull-out panel.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Problem with overheating due to poor heat dissipation.

5. AGPTEK USB-C Docking Station & Stand – Cheapest Mac Mini Dock

While most Mac Mini docking stations are not very expensive, the AGPTEK USB-C docking station is still cheaper. This bus-powered dock uses a USB-C port for data and power transmission between the device and the host. Thus, the clutter-free workspace keeps you focused and productive for long hours.

The docking station provides a SATA slot to attach your 2.5-inch HDD/SSD drive. The drive enclosure has an access panel that you can remove by unscrewing four tiny screws using the Phillips head screwdriver that comes along with the dock. So, while the installation is cumbersome, you won’t have to run down to the garage in search of a screwdriver that fits.

While this docking station offers a USB-C interface to connect to the host computer, it doesn’t provide a USB-C port for expansion purposes. Instead, you get two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports along with SD and micro-SD card reader that allow you to connect a few peripheral devices. Remember, this is a low-cost device, so one mustn’t expect a whole lot more.

The AGPTEK docking station has an aluminum shell that won’t get damaged when you place your Mac Mini on top. It is available in two colors that perfectly match the shades the Mac Mini comes in.

Our Take

The AGPTEK docking station is perfect when you need a few more ports than the Mac Mini offers. The low-price tag makes it all the more attractive as you don’t pay for ports that you will never use.

PROS
  • Pocket-friendly price.
  • The SATA slot allows you to connect high-capacity drives.
  • The aluminum body makes it lightweight and durable.
  • The colors match the Mac Mini’s color perfectly, making it look like an extension.
CONS
  • The USB-C port only connects to the data bus.
  • The installation of the 2.5-inch drive is cumbersome.

6. Hagibis Docking Station MC25 Pro HD – Docking Station with DisplayPort and HDMI

The MC25 Pro HD docking station from Hagibis is a professional-level device that pairs well with the Mac Mini and the Mac Studio. It’s most significant advantage, the DisplayPort and HDMI ports, allow Mac Mini users to connect an additional monitor and easily mirror their screens.

The device offers a SATA and an M.2 slot to give you the flexibility to choose a drive that best suits your need. You can use these drives simultaneously and avail yourself of the benefit of high-capacity and high-speed drives.

Hagibis offers the MC25 Pro HD with six more ports other than the DisplayPort and HDMI. You get USB-C and USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports that provide 10Gbps speed and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports with 5Gbps speed. Thus, there are plenty of ports on offer for you to tweak your setup and customize it with ease.

The MC25 Pro HD also uses an aluminum shell design, making the device durable. The use of video ports means that the device will need all the power it can get. Thus, it uses one USB-C connector for the data bus and one just to draw power.

Our Take

Professionals who need a dual monitor setup with [email protected] will find the device a handy addition to their workstation setup. The device is pricey and overkill for most daily computing needs that wouldn’t need multi-monitor setups or dual drive expansion slots.

PROS
  • DisplayPort and HDMI ports deliver [email protected] in d dual monitor setup to enhance productivity.
  • The SATA and M.2 slots allow you to connect high-speed and high-capacity drives.
  • The USB 3.1 Type-C and USB 3.1 Type-A ports offer 10Gbps data transfer speeds.
  • The aluminum body makes it lightweight and durable.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Dual USB-C connections clutter the workstation.

7. Elecife Type C Docking Station – Best Mac Mini Docking Station for Heat Dissipation

Using a docking station with the Mac Mini can be tricky as, in several cases, the computer tends to heat, especially at peak performance. The Elecife docking station addresses this issue by providing cooling vents on the top panel of the device. Thus, placing your Mac Mini on top of this docking station leaves a gap for ventilation that enables efficient heat dissipation.

The device also provides a SATA slot and an enclosure to house the 2.5-inch HDD/SSD drive. Unlike other devices, the encloser is accessible from the top panel via a circular access panel removable with a simple rotation motion.

The Elecife docking station offers six ports other than the SATA slot for the removable drive. These include one USB-C and two USB 3.0 ports offering 5Gbps data transfer speeds and one USB 2.0 port providing 480Mbps speed. You also get SD and mico-SD card readers commonly found on similar docking stations.

Our Take

The Elecife docking station is perfect if you are a power user and often find your Mac Mini overheating. The ventilating fins keep your computer cool, and you won’t have signal interference when using the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features of your Mac Mini.

PROS
  • The ridged top panel promotes better airflow keeping the Mac Mini cool.
  • The SATA slot allows you to connect high-capacity drives.
  • An easily accessible drive enclosure makes it convenient to install/uninstall drives.
  • There is no interference with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals.
CONS
  • No video output ports to connect additional displays.
  • The Type-C data bus is too short.

8. Rytaki Pro Mac Mini Dock – Mac Mini Dock for Dual Monitor Setup

The Rytaki Pro offers an HDMI and VGA port that comes in handy when you need a dual monitor setup. You can use the setup in extended and mirroring mode with great ease, albeit with some limitations.

The simultaneous use of HDMI and VGA ports will act as one source, and the Mac Mini HDMI ports will serve as the second source. Thus, whether you run the setup in extend mode or mirror mode, the HDMI and VGA will display the same image. And the Mac Mini’s HDMI display will work in extended or mirroring mode depending on your selection.

The Rytaki Pro offers a significant number of ports other than the HDMI and VGA ports, including USB-A, media card readers, and 3.5mm audio jacks. You get ten ports that provide a wide selection allowing you to scale up your workstation setup quickly. Further, the SATA slot and drive enclosure will enable you to attach a 2.5-inch HDD/SSD drive.

Our Take

The Rytaki Pro docking station is perfect for users who need considerable expansion capabilities at a moment’s notice. It offers more ports than other devices and includes video outputs for dual monitor setups.

PROS
  • The HDMI and VGA ports allow you to set up a dual-monitor display.
  • The SATA slot allows you to connect high-capacity drives.
  • Audio jacks on the front panel are more accessible than the Mac Mini’s.
  • There is an easily accessible drive enclosure with a slide-open access panel.
CONS
  • No USB-C ports to attach newer peripherals.
  • Dual USB-C (for data and power) connections clutter the workstation.

Best Mac Mini Docking Stations – Our Buying Guide

When buying a docking station for your Mac Mini, you must consider the following parameters.

Number of Ports

The market has several docking stations that offer multiple ports. There is no rule to govern the number of ports you require. The best way is to analyze your current requirement by counting the number of devices you intend to connect. However, we advise you to provide a little more than your requirement so tackle any omission or future needs.

Type of Ports

The sheer number of ports can be futile when you don’t have the correct port to suit your needs. Take the case of USB ports which offer varied data speeds ranging from 480Mbps to 10Gbps. It is advisable to pay careful attention to the USB version, as over the last few years, version numbers have been renamed repeatedly.

And while USB-A ports are easy to find on docking stations finding USB-C ports is a challenge. Further, ascertain whether USB-C ports are for connecting peripheral devices and not just for supplying power or a data bus between the Mac Mini and dock. Several manufacturers play on words or leave things ambiguous where USB-C ports are concerned.

SD card readers and micro-SD card readers are handy and commonly found on most docking stations. They are instrumental when you want to transfer photos and video from your camera to create a library on the hard drive.

Lastly, if you use headphones or external speakers, look for docks that offer a 3.5mm audio jack, as accessing the one on the Mac Mini’s rear panel is impractical.

Video Outputs

Users who need a dual monitor setup must look for video output ports that offer resolution from 1080p up to [email protected] Mac Mini docks that offer HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA ports are easy to find, and using a dock will surely enhance productivity.

Drive Slots

Mac Mini docking stations offer two types of slots to connect additional storage drives, the SATA and the M.2 slot. Where the SATA slots allow you to connect 2.5-inch HDD/SDD drives that offer high capacity, the M.2 NGFF/NVMe slots allow high-speed drives.

The better docking stations offer both these slots and allow you to use them simultaneously.

Power Supply

A USB-C port is the most common means docking stations use to supply power to the device. Docks with no video output ports and docks that offer fewer ports use a single USB-C connection as the data bus and the power supply. Such docks are easy to manage as there aren’t additional wires to clutter your work area.

However, a dock offering video output ports require more power, and manufacturers use an additional USB-C cable to supply this power. While it adds to the utility, such docks also add to the workstation wires, cluttering the workspace.

Best Mac Mini Docking Stations – Frequently Asked Questions

Are there Mac Mini Docking Stations that offer Thunderbolt ports?

Some Mac Mini docking stations offer Thunderbolt interfaces with the Mac Mini but aren’t any that offer a Thunderbolt port to connect your peripheral devices to, yet.

Can I connect a monitor to the USB-C port on my Mac Mini Docking station?

Presently, very few docking stations offer a USB-C port to connect peripheral devices. Among the few that are there, you’ll need to look for one that supports Alt Mode DisplayPort. Unfortunately, the present lot of docks available on the market do not support this feature.

Do Mac Mini docking stations interfere with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals?

Reportedly, there have been instances where a Mac Mini has caused a disturbance in the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals of the Mac Mini. Often, a simple solution is to switch to the 5GHz frequency while using Wi-Fi. But Bluetooth does not offer the 5GHz frequency, so the best solution is to move the dock away from the Mac Mini. This is not a professional solution, but it is known to work. But the best solution would be to use certified cables and devices, which may be expensive, but you’ll undoubtedly avoid facing this problem.

How is a Mac Mini Docking station different from other docking stations?

While the features may be similar, if not the same, the overall design and look of the Mac Mini docking station seamlessly integrate well with the Mac Mini itself. Thus, you get a device that looks and feels like an Apple product. So, to answer the question, nothing except sheer uniform aesthetics.

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