Thunderbolt 3

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Thunderbolt 3 Reviews

Review: CalDigit's USB-C Pro Dock Adds Ports to Your Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C Mac, or Even an iPad Pro

Thursday December 12, 2019 9:12 am PST by
Over the past few years, Thunderbolt 3 docks have become nearly ubiquitous, with a variety of different docks offering varying sets of ports in a few different body styles. Similar docks, albeit with more limited capabilities, exist for connecting over USB-C to machines that lack the more powerful Thunderbolt 3 standard, even in some cases including the iPad Pro. Since the introduction of...

Review: OWC's Updated Thunderbolt 3 Dock Adds 85W Charging, 10 Gbps USB-C Port, and microSD Slot

Wednesday October 10, 2018 2:01 pm PDT by
Nearly a year and half ago, OWC was one of the first companies to launch a Thunderbolt 3 dock, offering over a dozen ports of various types to support a variety of accessories. While I loved the sheer number of the ports offered on the original version of the dock, there were some shortcomings, including a lack of any 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and only 60 watts of charging power, which may not...

Review: CalDigit's Thunderbolt 3 Mini Docks Let You Connect to Dual 4K Displays Wherever You Go

Friday August 31, 2018 9:45 am PDT by
Last month, CalDigit debuted a pair of Thunderbolt 3 mini Docks, offering the ability to connect dual 4K 60Hz displays, Ethernet, and USB all from one travel-sized accessory that doesn't require its own external power source. Available in dual DisplayPort and dual HDMI versions, CalDigit's Thunderbolt 3 mini Docks are a convenient way to make sure you can easily connect to multiple...

Review: CalDigit's T4 RAID Offers Lots of Fast Storage, Thunderbolt 3, and 85W Charging

Friday June 1, 2018 11:50 am PDT by
Popular storage and dock company CalDigit recently launched a Thunderbolt 3 version of its T4 RAID storage hub, offering demanding Mac users a four-bay setup with capacities up to 32 TB of traditional hard drive or 8 TB of SSD storage. Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 Macs including the MacBook Pro, iMac, and iMac Pro, the T4 connects over a single cable and not only offers a storage array but...

Review: CalDigit's 'TS3 Plus' Dock Gives You 15 Ports, 85W Charging, and an SD Card Reader for $250

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:25 am PST by
If you've followed all of my Thunderbolt 3 dock reviews over the past year, you know that in general these docks carry a lot of the same features in slightly different combinations. But usually, there's at least one fairly important feature that's missing in each model, whether it be enough USB ports, an SD card reader, or enough power output to fully support a 15-inch MacBook Pro. Price tags...

Review: Promise's $249 TD-300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock Offers Lots of USB Ports and an SD Card Reader

Friday January 26, 2018 10:33 am PST by
Thunderbolt 3 docks continue to hit the market, and today we're taking a look a recent entrant from popular data storage company Promise Technology, the TD-300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock. I've tested quite a few Thunderbolt 3 docks over the past year, and the TD-300 ranks right up with the best I've seen due to standout features like five USB 3.0 ports and an SD 3.0 card reader. At $249, it's also...

Review: Plugable's Flagship TBT3-UDV Thunderbolt 3 Dock Offers Lots of USB Ports at a Reasonable Price

Tuesday September 5, 2017 11:10 am PDT by
I've covered a lot of Thunderbolt 3 docks in recent months, but there's one more upcoming model that's worth taking a look at. The TBT3-UDV is Plugable's upcoming flagship Thunderbolt 3 dock, featuring five USB 3.0 Type-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort, stereo in/out, and a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports. The dock isn't available for purchase yet, as Plugable is still awaiting Thunderbolt...

Review: IOGEAR's Thunderbolt 3 Dock Does the Job, but Comes Up Short on Charging Power

Tuesday August 29, 2017 1:11 pm PDT by
Thunderbolt 3 docks continue to flood the market, and today I'm taking a look at IOGEAR's Thunderbolt 3 Quantum Docking Station. IOGEAR's dock offers many of the same features typically seen on other Thunderbolt 3 docks, including multiple USB ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, headphone and microphone jacks, a DisplayPort port, and a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports to allow for daisy chaining, all in a ...

Review: Elgato's $300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock Offers a Solid Set of Ports in a Slim Design

Friday July 21, 2017 12:53 pm PDT by
Over the past few months, I've taken a look at a number of Thunderbolt 3 docks that all hit the market around the same time, including models from OWC, CalDigit, Belkin, and Kensington. There's at least one more major player in the market, so today I'm sharing my thoughts on Elgato's $300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock. Elgato's dock has a lot in common with many of its competitors, including a slim...

Review: Kensington's SD5000T Thunderbolt 3 Dock Packs Some Neat Security and Convenience Features

Friday June 23, 2017 4:57 pm PDT by
Earlier this week, Kensington launched its entry into the Thunderbolt 3 dock market with its SD5000T Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station, an enterprise-focused accessory that incorporates a couple of unique features in the form of a Kensington lock slot and the ability to mount the dock to the rear of VESA-compatible displays for "Zero Footprint Mounting" with a separate bracket accessory. I've...

Review: Belkin's $350 Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD Looks Great, but Could Use More Ports

Friday June 2, 2017 12:44 pm PDT by
With the flood of full-featured Thunderbolt 3 docks about to hit the market, it's time to take a look at Belkin's Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD, one of the major contenders users have been waiting for in addition to the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock and CalDigit TS3 that we've also recently reviewed. As with the other docks we've looked at, Belkin's offering includes a variety of ports and even charging ...

Review: CalDigit's TS3 and TS3 Lite Thunderbolt 3 Docks Offer Solid MacBook Pro Expansion Options

Wednesday May 31, 2017 1:31 pm PDT by
While Apple's latest MacBook Pro with support for Thunderbolt 3 has been out for over six months, the first full-featured Thunderbolt 3 docks are only just now starting to hit the market. Last month we took a look at OWC's Thunderbolt 3 Dock that should begin shipping out very shortly, and today we're taking a look at a pair of similar docks from CalDigit that help expand the capabilities of the...

Review: OWC's Thunderbolt 3 Dock Gives Your MacBook Pro 13 More Ports to Work With

Friday April 28, 2017 5:23 pm PDT by
Last November, longtime Mac vendor OWC was among the first wave of companies to announce Thunderbolt 3 docks designed to expand the capabilities of the new MacBook Pro. It's taken a while to finalize the product design, testing, and manufacturing, but OWC's Thunderbolt 3 Dock is now just about ready to ship and we've had a chance to spend some time with a production-ready unit. Priced at...

Thunderbolt 3 Articles

Optical Thunderbolt 3 Cables Begin Rolling Out in Lengths Up to 50 Meters

Thursday March 26, 2020 12:42 pm PDT by
The Thunderbolt 3 standard has been available for roughly four years now, but cable lengths have so far generally been limited to a couple of meters due to signal degradation over long distances of copper wiring. While the use of copper Thunderbolt 3 cables limits their length, it does allow for additional features like the ability to carry power and fallback use of USB modes at slower speeds. ...

OWC Debuts Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock With eSATA, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and More

Tuesday November 5, 2019 11:52 am PST by
Popular Mac accessory company OWC today introduced its latest Thunderbolt 3 docking solution, the Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock. OWC's Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock is targeted at professional users and includes several features not commonly found on other docks such as an eSATA port and CFast and SD card readers. The dock also includes a 10 gigabit Ethernet port, three USB 3.1 ports, a pair of...

Thunderbolt 3 and USB Converge With New 40 Gbps USB4 Specification

Monday March 4, 2019 6:10 am PST by
The USB Promoter Group standards body today announced the pending release of a new USB4 specification. USB4 converges the Thunderbolt and USB protocols as part of Intel's goal to make Thunderbolt available on a royalty-free basis, which should result in wider and cheaper availability of Thunderbolt accessories like docks and eGPUs. As USB4 is based on Thunderbolt 3, it offers data...

CES 2019: Elgato Unveils Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock With Dual USB-C, Dual USB-A, Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort, and More

Wednesday January 9, 2019 6:31 am PST by
Elgato parent company Corsair at CES 2019 this week unveiled its new Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock. The dock connects to the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with a single Thunderbolt 3 cable and provides a wide variety of additional I/O connectivity options, eliminating the need for multiple adapters. The dock is equipped with two USB-C ports with transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s, two USB-A ports...

Samsung's Thunderbolt 3-Enabled Curved Monitor Launching in September for $900

Tuesday August 28, 2018 7:16 am PDT by
Following an unveiling at CES in January, Samsung has announced the launch of the Thunderbolt 3-enabled CJ79 curved monitor, coming in September for $899.99. The 34-inch monitor is compatible with both Mac and PC computers, marking the first time that Thunderbolt 3 connectivity is available on a curved monitor. On the unit there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports that transmit display, data, and...

2018 MacBook Pros Have New 'Titan Ridge' Thunderbolt 3 Controller, But DisplayPort 1.4 Isn't Truly Supported

Friday July 20, 2018 6:27 am PDT by
Earlier this week, the repair experts at iFixit opened up the 2018 MacBook Pro, uncovering Intel's new JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller, introduced earlier this year as part of its "Titan Ridge" family. While the specifications for the JHL7540 lists compatibility with DisplayPort 1.4 on Intel's product database, it's not as clear-cut as it sounds, as support also relies on graphics, which...

2018 13-Inch MacBook Pro With Touch Bar Has Four Full-Speed Thunderbolt 3 Ports

Thursday July 19, 2018 5:32 am PDT by
Apple has confirmed that the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is equipped with four full-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports. 2018 models ship with Intel's eighth-generation Core i5 or Core i7 processors, which both support up to 16 PCI Express lanes, providing enough bandwidth for maximum data transfer speeds up to 40Gb/s on all four Thunderbolt 3 ports. 2016 and 2017 models of the 13-inch...

Samsung Announces First QLED Curved Monitor With Thunderbolt 3

Wednesday January 3, 2018 1:53 am PST by
Last month, LG announced a new set of Thunderbolt 3 monitors to be officially unveiled at CES 2018. Not to be outdone at the January event, Samsung today unveiled the first curved display with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. The 34-inch CJ791 monitor features a 3,440 × 1,440 UltraWide QHD resolution with a 21:9 aspect ratio, while the single Thunderbolt 3 cable delivers a connectivity speed of...

Apple Now Selling 0.8m Thunderbolt 3 Cable for $39

Thursday December 14, 2017 4:03 pm PST by
Alongside the iMac Pro, Apple today updated its online store to add an Apple-branded ">0.8m Thunderbolt 3 cable, which is the first Thunderbolt 3 cable Apple has offered that isn't manufactured by a third-party company. The cable is priced at $39, which is more expensive than a similar Belkin Thunderbolt 3 cable also available from the Apple website for $29.95. Apple's Thunderbolt 3 cable ...

Sonnet Launches Thunderbolt 3 to Dual HDMI 2.0 Adapter Compatible With Mac

Friday October 20, 2017 5:48 am PDT by
Sonnet Technologies this week launched a Thunderbolt 3 to dual HDMI 2.0 adapter compatible with Mac and Windows PCs. The plug-and-play adapter enables the connection of up to two 4K Ultra HD displays with HDMI 2.0 to a single Thunderbolt 3 port at 60Hz on computers such as the 2016 and later MacBook Pro. The adapter is powered by the computer it is plugged into and also supports monitors...

Sonnet Launches Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter Compatible With Mac

Wednesday August 9, 2017 7:43 am PDT by
Sonnet today released a Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter compatible with both Mac and Windows PCs. The bus-powered device enables users to connect up to two 4K Ultra HD displays or one 5K display with DisplayPort to a single Thunderbolt 3 port, each at 60Hz, including the 2016 or later MacBook Pro. The adapter also works with displays with lower resolutions like 1,920×1,080 or...

Kensington's $350 Thunderbolt 3 Dock Features 'Zero Footprint' Mounting, Security Lock Slot

Monday June 19, 2017 9:01 pm PDT by
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...

Elgato's $300 Thunderbolt 3 Dock With Dual 4K Display Support Launches June 6

Wednesday May 24, 2017 9:03 am PDT by
Elgato today announced that its upcoming Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which was first introduced in January at CES, will be available starting on Tuesday, June 6 for $299.95. Elgato's Thunderbolt 3 Dock, designed to work with the new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models Apple introduced back in October, features three USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, one DisplayPort...

Intel Looks to Broaden Thunderbolt 3 Adoption by Integrating Into Future CPUs, Eliminating Royalties

Wednesday May 24, 2017 8:00 am PDT by
Intel today announced that it plans to drive large-scale mainstream adoption of Thunderbolt by releasing the protocol's specification to the industry next year under a nonexclusive, royalty-free license. The move should help expand the Thunderbolt ecosystem by making the protocol more affordable for technology companies and accessory makers alike. Intel expects third-party...

OWC Debuts New Thunderbolt 3 Products: SSDs, PCIe Expansion Chassis, Six-Bay RAID, and External GPU

Thursday April 20, 2017 10:30 am PDT by
OWC has announced that it will be debuting a range of new Thunderbolt 3 products at the 2017 NAB Show this weekend in Las Vegas. Envoy Pro EX with Thunderbolt 3 First up is the Envoy Pro EX, a pocket-sized, bus-powered SSD with Thunderbolt 3. Storage capacities will start at 240GB. As it remains a prototype, no release date was specified. OWC's existing Envoy Pro EX with USB 3.0 starts at...

LaCie Announces 2big Dock With Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity

Wednesday April 19, 2017 5:00 am PDT by
LaCie today announced its next-generation 2big professional 2-bay RAID storage solution, debuting the LaCie 2big Dock with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for use alongside the new 2016 MacBook Pro, which supports Thunderbolt 3. The LaCie 2big Dock is a docking station designed for media professionals, offering a wide range of ports for a streamlined creative workflow. There are front-facing SD and ...

New iMacs With Up to Xeon E3 Processors, 64GB RAM, AMD Graphics, and Thunderbolt 3 Rumored for Late October

Thursday April 6, 2017 9:45 am PDT by
Earlier this week, Apple made the rare move of pre-announcing that it is working on new pro-focused iMac models that will launch later this year. Apple did not share any specific details about what the upgrades will entail, but if the blog Pike's Universum is to be believed, the next-generation iMac lineup could feature several improvements that make Apple's desktop computer a more powerful...

Sonnet Unveils Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe Card Expansion Systems for 2016 MacBook Pros

Friday January 13, 2017 2:01 am PST by
Sonnet Technologies yesterday launched its first Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe card expansion systems for 2016 MacBook Pros, the Echo Express SEL — Thunderbolt 3 Edition and the Echo Express SE I — Thunderbolt 3 Edition. The SEL and SE I are compact and lightweight single-slot expansion systems that differ only in size and enable users to take advantage of the Thunderbolt 3's 2,750 MB/s of PCI...

Akitio Launches 2.5" Quad Thunderbolt 3 Storage Device for New MacBook Pro

Thursday January 12, 2017 7:51 am PST by
Akitio has announced the release of the its Thunder3 Quad Mini, a 2.5" four-bay Thunderbolt 3 external storage solution for the latest MacBook Pro. The aluminum storage device has removable trays designed to house up to four 2.5" SATA SSDs or hard drives purchased separately. The device is equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports—the first one connects to the MacBook Pro, and the second one...

CalDigit Announces Two New Thunderbolt 3 Docks for the 2016 MacBook Pro

Thursday January 5, 2017 2:23 am PST by
Away from the hullabaloo of CES 2017, Caldigit has quietly announced two new Thunderbolt 3 docks for the 2016 MacBook Pro, one that provides connectivity along with a charging function, and a 'lite' model with simple port expansion, for users who already have a way of charging their laptop. The new TS3 dock provides up to 85W of charging for the 2016 MacBook Pro in addition to a selection of ...