CalDigit today announced that its $199 Thunderbolt Station will begin shipping on November 4, with pre-orders available now through the company's online store. Announced back in April, CalDigit's addition to the range of Thunderbolt docking station from manufacturers such as Belkin and Matrox offers three USB 3.0 ports, audio in and out jacks, Ethernet, and HDMI, as well as pass-through capabilities to allow users to include the device in a daisy-chained configuration off of a single Thunderbolt port.
The HDMI port on the CalDigit Thunderbolt™ Station supports resolutions of 2560x1600. Other devices on the market only support lower resolutions such as 1080i and 1080p. The HDMI port is ideal for situations when you need to expand your monitor set-up. It also supports HDCP playback that enables you to play content such as iTunes movies on a HDMI display. If you also daisy-chain a Thunderbolt monitor alongside a HDMI monitor you can have up to a maximum of three displays including a laptop’s built in display.
Unlike other devices in its class the CalDigit Thunderbolt™ Station features USB 3.0 ports that support full transfer speeds. Other similar devices on the market are limited to 2.5Gbs. The CalDigit Thunderbolt™ Station’s USB 3.0 ports are 5Gbs. Having the ability to add USB 3.0 connectivity to your computer is incredibly useful for users who have a Thunderbolt equipped Mac without USB 3.0 ports, as it opens the door to connecting a whole host of USB 3.0 peripheral devices. The USB 3.0 ports also bus-power external storage devices, and can charge mobile devices.
CalDigit's Thunderbolt dock offering comes just as Apple begins introducing Mac hardware supporting the new Thunderbolt 2 standard, which offers twice the throughput of the original Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt 2 is available on the just-released Retina MacBook Pro models, and will be included on the redesigned Mac Pro launching in December.