We've already taken a look at several of the Thunderbolt 3 docks all coming to the market right around the same time, and popular enterprise accessory company Kensington is getting into the mix today with the launch of the SD5000T Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station, the company's first foray into Thunderbolt peripherals. Priced at $349.99, Kensington's dock is similar to many of the other options on the market with a horizontal design and an array of ports, as well as a full 85 watts of charging power to support even the 15-inch MacBook Pro over a single-cable connection.

kensington tb3 dock front
The SD5000T offers a number of port options, including dual Thunderbolt 3 ports to enable pass-through connections, a DisplayPort port for additional display connectivity, separate audio in and out ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. With the DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 ports and any necessary adapters such as for HDMI or DVI, the SD5000T supports up to dual 4K external displays.

kensington tb3 dock rear
As for USB, the dock includes one Type-A and one Type-C port on the front and one Type-A port on the rear, all running at 5 Gbps. We'd like to see a couple more USB ports on there for greater expansion possibilities, but three is pretty standard for these types of docks. The USB ports also do not support standalone charging, so a connected computer will need to be on in order for peripherals to charge via the dock. The front USB Type-A port does, however, support up to 2.1 amps for fast charging, while the USB Type-C port offers up to 15 watts of power to drive bus-powered peripherals.

kensington tb3 dock desk
Kensington is famous for its ubiquitous security cables to help keep expensive electronics from walking away, and so it's probably unsurprising that even the company's Thunderbolt 3 dock includes a lock slot to accommodate a security cable. It's a unique feature that should appeal to corporate customers looking to secure their employees' accessories around the workplace.

kensington tb3 dock vesa

VESA mounting position options

In another nice touch, the SD5000T supports optional "Zero Footprint Mounting," which uses a mounting accessory (sold separately) to attach the dock to the rear of 75 mm or 100 mm VESA-compatible external displays. The mounting system gets the dock up and out of the way from the user's desk, and while it makes it a bit more difficult to connect and disconnect accessories in some orientations, once you have your setup in place it should help keep things looking neater.


While Kensington is targeting its existing primary enterprise user base with the SD5000T, the company tells MacRumors that given the popularity of docking stations across all users it is also looking to appeal to consumers, with retailers like Amazon and B&H Photo stocking the dock.

The SD5000T Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station is launching today, and Kensington says it will begin shipping out orders later this week.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and B&H and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

Top Rated Comments

haruhiko Avatar
54 months ago
The cost of these accessories is beyond imagination.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4RUNRCLB Avatar
54 months ago
Nice way to add another $350 to the price of your brand new Mac
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RMo Avatar
54 months ago
Seems like either there is copy-cat pricing amongst these tethered TB dock manufacturers or it is Apple-association price gouging. I think I had read that the TB royalty cost had been eliminated making it cheaper for TB docks, yet these prices for a dock are ridiculous. Take away the TB capability and you have a normal USB 3.0 dock which you can get from Dell for $199 ('http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-universal-dock-d6000/apd/452-bcyt/pc-accessories') ($140 on Amazon ('https://www.amazon.com/Dell-452-BCYT-D6000-Universal-Black/dp/B071YTQBXM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1497963991&sr=1-1&keywords=dell+d6000+dock')).

Price gouging, pure and simple.
No, Intel will drop licensing costs next year, according to their press release ('https://newsroom.intel.com/editorials/envision-world-thunderbolt-3-everywhere/'): "...next year Intel plans to make the Thunderbolt protocol specification available to the industry under a nonexclusive, royalty-free license." I'm not sure if anyone has reported that it suddenly happened just now, but if sloppy reporting gave you that impression, it was not correct. I can't find any details on how much the licensing is, and I imagine it adds at least a little to the price, but I think it's important to note that Thunderbolt is more complicated than USB and will likely never be quite as cheap (though they're also working on that by integrating more into the processor rather than requiring a separate component as it does now, in addition to changing the licensing).

If a USB 3.x dock meets your needs (whether it uses a USB-C cable or otherwise), that's fine, but Thunderbolt docks can do more than is possible over even USB 3.x protocols.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macs4nw Avatar
54 months ago
The cost of these accessories is beyond imagination.
If these excessive prices are due to licensing fees, that's a true bag of hurt, and yet the manufacturers know we'll buy these docks anyway because they are, if not necessary, at least convenient.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jimmy James Avatar
54 months ago
Hundreds of dollars for a plug receptacle.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HenrikWivel Avatar
54 months ago
Caldigits Thunderbolt Station 3 have 2 eSATA ports:
http://www.caldigit.com/thunderbolt-3-dock/thunderbolt-station-3/index-eu.asp

The Henge Docks Thunderbolt 3 tethered dock also looks promising, but no eSATA though:
https://eu.hengedocks.com/pages/tethered-docks
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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