Since late 2012, a number of accessory manufacturers have released docking stations taking advantage of Thunderbolt technology to allow users to connect a number of different types of devices to their machines with a single cable. Matrox was the first to reach market with its DS1, and similar offerings from Belkin and CalDigit have since been released.

Popular TV and video accessory maker Elgato has now released its own dock, offering three USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Thunderbolt ports to support pass-through, HDMI and Ethernet ports, as well as headphone and microphone jacks.


In addition to the hardware, Elgato has also released a free menu bar utility that allows for easy ejection of mounted storage devices while also enabling high-power USB support.

elgato_thunderbolt_dock
In terms of connectivity, Elgato's dock is most similar to CalDigit's Thunderbolt Station, with each supporting the same set of ports. Matrox's docking station offers only a single USB 3.0 port (plus two USB 2.0 ports) and only a single Thunderbolt port, which limits users to placing the dock at the end of a Thunderbolt chain. Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock does away with a dedicated HDMI port and instead expects users to use one of the dock's two Thunderbolt ports for display connectivity. Belkin's dock does, however, include a FireWire 800 port.

Sonnet announced an even more expansive dock including internal storage and DVD/Blu-ray drives a year ago, although its release has been pushed back as Sonnet redesigns it to include support for the new Thunderbolt 2 standard supported on the latest Mac Pro and Retina MacBook Pro models.

Elgato's Thunderbolt Dock launches today on Amazon (although currently listed as out of stock) with a suggested retail price of $229.95 with a Thunderbolt cable. A $199.95 version without cable is also available.

Top Rated Comments

George Zip Avatar
99 months ago
I'll pay $1,000 for a Thunderbolt Docking Station from Apple, with 4 USB3 ports and a minimum of two Thunderbolt ports, provided they include a new Display with it. ;-)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Richdmoore Avatar
99 months ago
Elgato needs to fix its buggy EyeTV software first before they go releasing a bunch of product far from their core competence.

I think that the lack of competition in the Mac PRV market has let them basically coast on bug fixing or making eyetv compatible with newer hardware capture products, such as the new Silicon Dust OTA & Cablecard tuners.

Now Elgato makes SSD drives, video game capture devices, thunderbolt docks, and bluetooth keychains. Other than continuing to sell the eyetv software, they are mostly a hardware company now.

Maybe we will see a competitor enter the market and eyetv will have to update and innovate their hardware/software again.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bpcookson Avatar
99 months ago
I'll pay $1,000 for a Thunderbolt Docking Station from Apple, with 4 USB3 ports and a minimum of two Thunderbolt ports, provided they include a new Display with it. ;-)

And with a discrete GPU!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
N19h7m4r3 Avatar
99 months ago
The Belkin one is not only cheaper, it offers more connectivity.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
99 months ago
Seems like the cat's meow. I'll show myself to the puerta.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cube Avatar
99 months ago
Probably never.

1. PC desktops and notebooks which have Thunderbolt are few and far between
2. You need to purchase a relatively expensive controller from Intel for your device to communicate over thunderbolt

This is why USB continues to be dominant, every PC has 2 to 14(!) USB ports and the USB controllers literally cost 1 to 5 bucks for USB3 connectivity.

And now 10Gbps USB 3.1 with reversible connectors is coming.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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