CES 2017: Kanex Launches Thunderbolt 3 to eSATA 3 Adapter, Travel Dock, and Cables

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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.

kanex-thunderbolt-3
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.

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45 months ago

Blah, I had read this as if Kanax's shorter cable was 1.6m, not 1.6 feet. That makes it the exact same short size as the current 40Gbps cables.

Yep and it is not going to change with any of the other brands because this is a technical limitation of the protocol itself. The cables can only be used up to 2m, for anything longer you need to use the fibre optic version.

As I understand it, there are 3 types of Thunderbolt 3 cable planned:

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 [USER=348428]@dyn[/USER] 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)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago
That Thunderbolt 3 cable deserves more fanfare! It appears to be the only cable on the market that will match the one shipping with the LG UltraFine 5K.

Good news for the few owners of those displays who have been having cable-induced issues.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago
The mini dock with two 60Hz 4K HDMI ports sounds great.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago

Not sure why the Belkin cables only support 60W - all the Thunderbolt blurb says "100W".

Good information in this post. I'll just add that apparently the reason for this limitation is politics rather than functionality - Intel were not licensing 100W Thunderbolt 3 cables at the time the Belkin ones came out a couple of months ago.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago

Terrible pricing! For limited time on Apple Store, Belkin sells 1.6-foot for reduced price of $22 ('http://www.apple.com/us/shop/product/HKK12ZM/A/belkin-thunderbolt-3-cable-05-m') (vs. Kanex's $29.95) and 6.6-foot for reduced price of $52 ('http://www.apple.com/us/shop/product/HKK22ZM/A/belkin-thunderbolt-3-cable-2-m') (vs. Kanex's $69.95). Belkin's 1.6-footer is very well received by Google's USB-C tester ('https://plus.google.com/102612254593917101378/posts/7Xs98e6Q3Qj'), rated one the very best performing cables on the market.

I had Belkin in the past and I didn't think much of it. But their USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 cables are extremely high quality, with Apple-like design but superior durability.

I'm sure 15" MacBook Pro owners needing 100W cables will gladly pay the extra.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago
According to Apple Store description, the Belkin cables are only 60W charging power. According to this article the Kanex cables are 100W charging power. If I have understood well, this would explain the higher price?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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