Video: Testing OWC's Thunderbolt 4 Dock With Built-In Power Supply

Back in January, well-known Mac accessory company OWC introduced the Thunderbolt Go Dock, which it says is the first full-featured Thunderbolt dock equipped with a convenient built-in power supply. We were able to get our hands on one of the new docks, and thought we'd test it out for those who are interested.


If you've used a Thunderbolt 4 dock, you know that most of them require a separate power supply to operate peripheral devices and provide passthrough charging. They're often much more inconvenient than a bus-powered dock because of the bulk and the extra cable component.

The OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock's power supply is included in the dock enclosure, so it's an all-in-one device that does not require you to have an extra power brick. That functionality is useful at home, but also on the go if you need to work while traveling or away from your house. Note that you still need a power cable as the dock has to be plugged in, but it uses a single cord that plugs directly into the dock rather than into a separate power brick.

There are a total of 11 ports, including three Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB-C ports, three USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port (2.5 Gbps), an SD card reader, and an audio jack. The dock offers 90W of pass-through charging, so it's suitable for all of Apple's MacBooks. The only downside is the price, which is $349.

That's not too outrageous for a Thunderbolt 4 dock given the built-in power supply and the number of ports, but there are cheaper Thunderbolt 4 options out there for those who don't need this functionality, and it is not as full-featured as some competing docks at a similar price. This particular dock is best for those who need something that's convenient for use in multiple locations given its portability.

What do you think of the Thunderbolt Go Dock? Let us know in the comments below.

Tag: OWC

Top Rated Comments

erikkfi Avatar
15 months ago
Remember when your MacBook came with pretty much all the ports you needed?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
15 months ago

I think because there are still a number of USB specific legacy peripherals around. Old SuperDrive laying around? Monitor calibrator? Dare I say ZipDrive? Why use a 3.0 slot for that?
My question is from the manufacturing and engineering side.

If you're putting three USB-shaped holes in the dock... why not make them do all the same things?

Why make one port the "slow" port?

I see what you're saying... why waste a "good" port on a floppy drive.

Here's the thing though... USB is backwards compatible. USB 3.0 ports can become USB 2.0 ports.

But USB 2.0 ports can never be USB 3.0 ports.

That's why I'm questioning why they would put different ports with different capabilities. Why not make them all "good" ports?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BGPL Avatar
15 months ago
$349 isn't a downside, it's a show stopper.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwig Avatar
15 months ago

...

Alright... so why is the slower USB-A 2.0 port on the front of the dock?

That also seems weird.

:p
USB3 ports frequently (nearly always) emit radio interference in and around the 2.4GHz range used by virtually all wireless dongles that are used for keyboards and mice. The dongles are more reliable when connected to a USB2 port or to an extension cable connected to a USB3 port. Putting this port on the front also helps the radio connection since the signal isn't blocked by the metal case and electronics in the hub.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MGrayson3 Avatar
15 months ago

Remember when your MacBook came with pretty much all the ports you needed?
It still does.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TinyMito Avatar
15 months ago

Looks good... but why is there still a USB 2.0 port included on many of these modern docks?

I never understood that. The USB spec is backwards-compatible by nature.

Do certain devices work best on a dedicated USB 2.0 port? USB mouse receivers?

?
Some devices get interferences with USB 3.0. Would rather plug into USB 2.0. ie. ZeeBee ConBee II won't work properly if plugged into USB 3.0
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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