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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:16 AM   #1
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Belkin Upgrades Thunderbolt Express Dock with USB 3.0 and eSATA, Bumps Price to $399.99




Back in January, Belkin officially unveiled its Thunderbolt Express Dock, a single-cable hub priced at $299.99 and offering a variety of USB, Ethernet, and FireWire ports to provide easy desktop expandability for portable machines. But with the product not scheduled to ship until September, Belkin left itself with plenty of time to continue tweaking its design and today announced that it has revised the specs to boost the previous USB 2.0 ports to USB 3.0, as well as add new eSATA and audio in ports. The company has also announced a one-meter Thunderbolt cable to aid in connectivity.



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"As more hardware companies announce plans to incorporate Intel's Thunderbolt technology into their products, we aim to create quality accessories that take advantage of Thunderbolt's blazing fast speeds and other benefits," said Martin Avilla, general manager of Belkin's core business unit. "Over the past few months, we have really listened to our end users and created a one-meter cable and refined the dock to make it an even better desktop solution, which we believe will make Belkin a go-to provider for Thunderbolt accessories when they launch in the summer and fall."
Belkin's improvements to the Thunderbolt Express Dock come with a cost, however, as the retail price has risen from the previous $299.99 to $399.99. The Thunderbolt cable will run an additional $44.99.




Belkin is holding firm on its plans to launch the Thunderbolt Express Dock in September, with the Thunderbolt cable making its debut next month.

Just a few days ago, Matrox announced its own Thunderbolt docking station priced at $249. The Matrox DS-1 has only one USB 3.0 port alongside a pair of USB 2.0 ports, and also lacks FireWire and eSATA ports while providing video output via DVI rather than HDMI. Perhaps most importantly, Matrox's solution does not include a second Thunderbolt port for passthrough, meaning that the docking station must be placed at the end of any daisy-chained peripheral setup.

Still, with the price difference between the Matrox and Belkin solutions increasing from $50 to $150 with the price increase on the Belkin dock, the Matrox product may prove more appealing for many customers.

Apple also essentially offers a Thunderbolt docking station built into its $999 27-inch Thunderbolt display. Apple's display offers three USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a FireWire 800 port, a FaceTime HD camera, and a 2.1 speaker system, all connected to the user's computer over a single Thunderbolt cable.

Article Link: Belkin Upgrades Thunderbolt Express Dock with USB 3.0 and eSATA, Bumps Price to $399.99
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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It was already too expensive at $299. At $399 I doubt it will sell well. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to see USB 3.0 on the next Apple Thunderbolt Display. Why not just get that for $600 more, or even a Mac Mini for $200 more?
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:20 AM   #3
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Really, who pays $400 for a hub without a cable included, which brings the total price to at least $450.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:21 AM   #4
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I'd buy it for £39.99
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicated View Post
Really, who pays $400 for a hub and even without a cable.
Exactly! It was fine at the $300 price point, but now they really should just include the cable as well to help sweeten the deal.

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It was already too expensive at $299. At $399 I doubt it will sell well. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to see USB 3.0 on the next Apple Thunderbolt Display. Why not just get that for $600 more, or even a Mac Mini for $200 more?
Spending $600 more for a TBolt display is moronic. Why complain about the price then spend 2.5x as much just to spite a company?

Getting a MacMini makes no sense either . . . because it's another computer that won't act as a hub.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 10:07 AM   #6
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Really, who pays $400 for a hub without a cable included, which brings the total price to at least $450.
Someone who already owns the $50 cable?
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 10:08 AM   #7
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Someone who already owns the $50 cable?
Even if that's the case, a $400 hub is still unreasonable.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 10:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicated View Post
Even if that's the case, a $400 hub is still unreasonable.
I agree, the price is way too high.

$299 was too high.

This product should cost ~$199 max, WITH the 'upgrades'.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 11:09 AM   #9
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So this doesn't have a HDMI port anymore? I was really hoping I could use the HDMI port, and connect a display via the TB/mDP out...
Probably because of the One Small Problem that I mentioned in the Matrox dock thread: as is made clear on pretty much every FAQ on Thunderbolt, the legacy display device has to be the last device in the chain.

So you can either have a Thunderbolt through port (Belkin), OR a monitor port (Matrox) - but not both. To daisy-chain monitors you need native Thunderbolt monitors.

Even the Apple Thunderbolt displays, which you can daisy-chain, don't let you hook a Mini-DisplayPort device to their output.

Given that, its more useful to stick with a Mini-DisplayPort-to-whatever dongle - they're available in DVI, HDMI and even VGA flavours and you can easily add them to the end of the chain.


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Originally Posted by Newfiebill View Post
Why would I want a TB cable sticking out the front of this thing on my desk.
To make it easy to unplug the eye-wateringly expensive TB cable and take it with you - at $50 a pop were you really going to buy a second one for home?
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:40 PM   #10
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Probably because of the One Small Problem that I mentioned in the Matrox dock thread: as is made clear on pretty much every FAQ on Thunderbolt, the legacy display device has to be the last device in the chain.

...

Even the Apple Thunderbolt displays, which you can daisy-chain, don't let you hook a Mini-DisplayPort device to their output.
Are you sure about this? I'm not saying you are wrong as you sound like you know more about it than me, but if TB doesn't allow the connection of multiple displays, including a 'legacy' (really? - I'm not sure HDMI is legacy yet) display, even of it has to be at the end of the chain, TB becomes pretty useless to me.

I was under the impression that the MBP15 and 17 could power two external displays and the onboard one..
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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Really, who pays $400 for a hub without a cable included, which brings the total price to at least $450.
Me. I'll take one, thanks. I already have the cable. This will be brilliant.
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 11:25 PM   #12
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Really, who pays $400 for a hub without a cable included, which brings the total price to at least $450.
Really, who buys a 700 dollar phone with a broken Map system?
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 06:27 PM   #13
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Seems like they're pushing this back until at least Q1 2013.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 07:19 PM   #14
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Seems like they're pushing this back until at least Q1 2013.
I wonder if the problem is hardware, or getting all of the third-party drivers to work....

My money would be on driver problems.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:21 AM   #15
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at least this one has two TB ports and one FW800 and many USB3 (Matrox doesn't), but it is soooo pricey
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:21 AM   #16
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$299 +with+ the USB 3.0 ports would’ve been a decent price/port/performance ratio (not factoring in the eSATA addition).

~$450 with the cable factored in? Heck, I’ll just take a 27” TB display for another $550.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:23 AM   #17
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Looks great. Looks at price. Walks away


That is 40% the retail price of macbook air. Ouch! Hard Sell.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:25 AM   #18
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400 bucks? What are they smokin'?
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:55 AM   #19
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Thunderbolt

I understand new technology is going to be pricey, but this is ridiculous. How about making something smaller like a thunderbolt to 3 port usb 3.0 hub? I mean I would drop around $100 bucks on a thunderbolt accessory - but whats the point of thunderbolt if its going to take 5 years for accessories to be affordable?
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 01:38 PM   #20
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400 bucks? What are they smokin'?
Actually 450 bucks...the cable is NOT included. Oh well...at least it LOOKS better than the one from Matrox.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:25 AM   #21
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Double no thanks.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:27 AM   #22
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+1 to all the posts saying the price is too high.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:28 AM   #23
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These prices are going to kill Thunderbolt.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:29 AM   #24
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If this had a KVM built in with the right features (e.g. you could connect multiple computers and switch between them, and route which ones use which ports, so that, for example, the hard drive stays connected to specific machine), then I might be interested. Reason why is that Displayport KVMs are pretty expensive, and I'm manually switching cables these days, so if it offered that there would be enough value in it for me.

But otherwise, this is way too expensive, and I would either play the waiting game, look at alternatives, or get an Apple Thunderbolt Display. Though the Apple display would have to have enough value compared to the cost of other 27" 2560x1440 displays combined with the hub to make it worth while. The main advantage is being able to daisy chain multiple monitors. Personally, I prefer 30" 2560x1600 monitors. These hubs need to add multiple DisplayPort ports, so you can do e.g. more than one 30" 2560x1600 monitors, and be able to use pre-Thunderbolt displays.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 09:33 AM   #25
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I'm still waiting for a company to have a thunderbolt portable hard drive. None of those expensive raid arrays, just a simple 1 terabyte drive I can use for time machine.
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