Kanex has announced it will be introducing a new lineup of Thunderbolt 3 products for the latest MacBook Pro at CES 2017 this week, including a Thunderbolt 3 Travel Dock, Thunderbolt 3 to eSATA 3 and USB 3.0 Adapter, and 1.6-foot and 6.6-foot Thunderbolt 3 cables that share the USB-C connector design.
The compact Travel Dock includes two HDMI ports, a USB-A port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a USB-C port for pass-through charging. The dock supports dual 4K video output simultaneously and each at 60 FPS from both HDMI ports. It has a suggested retail price of $149.95 and will be available in April 2017.
The Thunderbolt 3 to eSATA adapter enables users to connect the new MacBook Pro to an eSATA storage device. The plug-and-play adapter also includes a USB 3.0 port. Both ports are backwards compatible with older USB and eSATA peripherals. The adapter will be available on Kanex's website soon for $129.95.
Kanex's new Thunderbolt 3 cables provide up to 40Gbps throughput, which is enough bandwidth to connect a new MacBook Pro to a single 5K display at 60Hz or dual 4K displays at 60Hz. The cable can be used with up to 6 daisy-chained Thunderbolt 3 devices, and provides up to 100W of charging to notebooks.
The cables are compatible with the new MacBook Pro and most other Thunderbolt 3 devices. It is backward compatible with USB-C devices such as the 12-inch MacBook and Google Pixel. Kanex will be selling the 1.6-foot cable for $29.95 on its website, while the 6.6-foot cable will be available for $69.95.
Top Rated Comments
Passive: The cheapest option - but can only support 40 Gbps up to 0.5m and 20 Gbps up to 2m, also support USB-C features. Suspect that these are just "certified" USB-C cables. The 0.5m Belkin cable sold by Apple is presumably of this type.
Active: Like the old Thunderbolt 1/2 cables, these are still copper cables, but have a cable driver chip embedded in each connector, and can support 40Gbps up to 2m. The 2m Belkin cable offered by Apple is presumably of this type.
Optical: Up to 60m but, as @dyn says above, no power delivery. Oh, and if you need to ask the price, you can't afford it.
Did you notice? on the Apple store site: The 0.5m Belkin also supports USB C devices, because it is a USB-C cable (maybe built to higher specs*) but the 2m Belkin only supports USB 2**. That fits with the 2m being an active cable: USB-C has 4 high-speed data lanes and, in an active Thunderbolt cable, these all go to the cable driver chip which only talks Thunderbolt. However, USB-C also has a dedicated pair of wires for "legacy" USB 2, that Thunderbolt doesn't need so they can be passed straight through...
Not sure why the Belkin cables only support 60W - all the Thunderbolt blurb says "100W".
Some of this from here: https://blog.startech.com/post/thunderbolt-3-the-basics/ - other bits from the Thunderbolt site before it got dumbed down.
(* higher specs... sure, and there's this bridge in Brooklyn that you might want to buy...)
(** EDIT: that means that if you use the cable to directly connect a USB device via a dongle or USB hub, you'll only get USB2 speed. That shouldn't affect a proper TB3 dock that has its own USB3 controller connected to the host via PCIe/Thunderbolt)
Good news for the few owners of those displays who have been having cable-induced issues.