CalDigit Thunderbolt Station Adds to Growing Ranks of Thunderbolt Docks

Tuesday April 9, 2013 4:55 PM PDT by Jordan Golson
Storage maker CalDigit this week announced a new portable dock called the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station, adding to the growing collection of Thunderbolt docks introduced recently from Sonnet, Belkin and Matrox.

CalDigit's entry costs $199 and provides users with USB 3.0, Audio In and Out jacks, Ethernet, and HDMI in a portable aluminum case.

Caldigit
“As Macs are getting thinner, and more portable we need more ways to connect to multiple devices. The CalDigit ThunderboltTM Station gives professional users the ability to connect their ultra portable computers to a lot more devices via a single ThunderboltTM port", said Kosta Panagos Director of Marketing at CalDigit.
CalDigit makes a number of high-end storage enclosures and expansion cards for audio and video professionals. The company says the Thunderbolt Station will be "available soon".

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21 months ago

I love the comparison to the belkin dock


Yeah, I know. It's a little more stylish in my opinion, has HDMI out and is $100 cheaper! How much more could you ask for?

Btw, the is the first article published by MacRumors that I tipped off. Even though it's lame, I feel so cool lol.
Rating: 9 Votes
21 months ago
Ding ding ding...we have a winner!

Finally, after seeing all those high-priced docks coming out with either features I didn't need, or a lame/paltry assortment of features for a high price, this looks like something reasonable.

Unless something better comes out soon, I'm gonna get this.
Rating: 7 Votes
21 months ago
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.
Rating: 4 Votes
21 months ago
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter.

So far every Thunderbolt dock I've seen mentioned is missing at least one feature I'd want.

Matrox's doesn't have Thunderbolt daisy chain or Firewire.

CalDigit's doesn't have Firewire.

Belkin's and Sonnet's don't have HDMI output. That's probably the feature of a dock I can most easily live without, as I only occasionally plug in an external display, and my future Retina MBP would have an HDMI port anyway.

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Dumb question if you have a Mac with thunderbolt but only USB 2 can you get USB 3 speeds if you connect a USB3 device to one of these hubs?


Yes, as long as the Thunderbolt bus speed isn't saturated by the combined usage of all connected peripherals.

The dock contains its own USB 3 controller, which is addressed by the host computer independently from the built-in USB 2 controller.

You would need to be running a new enough OS version which has the necessary USB 3 driver support. That definitely means Lion or later, since the first models with USB 3 ports were in June 2012 and came with OS X 10.7.4, and it wouldn't surprise me if Mountain Lion was required for stability reasons.
Rating: 4 Votes
21 months ago
Why are all these hubs so expensive? (I don't mean this as a criticism as there may be a good reason - I'm simply curious)
Rating: 3 Votes
21 months ago
is this the only thing that thunderbolt is useful for - docks? i was looking forward to affordable drives, screens, and other devices popping up on the market, but instead we're getting flooded with ... docks
Rating: 3 Votes
21 months ago
Shut up and take my money.
Rating: 3 Votes
21 months ago

what are these used for i don't understand you can get a thunderbolt to hdmi adapter and and u can get a usb 3.0 hub


Not all Macs have native USB3 :(
Rating: 3 Votes
21 months ago

So disappointing. Every time I see a link to a story about a "new dock" then click on it only to find a hub I am sad. A dock is something that you can plug your laptop into, and have the peripherals automatically connect, and power automatically fed to it. It should hold the laptop as well.


No, this is a dock. A Hub is a passive device. There are hubs that have some power applied so that they can act as repeaters too, but these would still be considered "passive." This is NOT passive. This has a media converter (Thunderbolt to ethernet). It has an onboard bus for the individual ports to connect. It HAS to have a bus for the USB ports. So honestly, it's your understanding of the equipment that is flawed, not the designator used to identify it.
Rating: 2 Votes
21 months ago
I just want a Thunderbolt to USB3 Adapter.:( I would be happy with that!
Rating: 2 Votes

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