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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:17 PM   #1
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CES 2013: Belkin Drops eSATA Support for Upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock, Cuts Price Back to $299




Way back in September 2011, Belkin quietly showed off a prototype of its Thunderbolt Express Dock, a desktop docking station offering users a broad array of connectivity options through a single Thunderbolt cable. By CES 2012, the product had evolved in design and received a September 2012 launch date with a $299 price tag.

By June of last year, Belkin had decided to add USB 3.0 and eSATA capabilities, at the cost of $100 price increase to $399.99. But as the September launch window came and went, Belkin pushed back the launch date to the first quarter of 2013.

With CES 2013 now underway, Belkin has officially announced further changes to the Thunderbolt Express Dock, removing eSATA compatibility and dropping the price back to $299.99. Belkin is still quoting a "Q1 2013" launch, and Belkin representatives have told us that it should be closer to the early part of the quarter.
Quote:
- Instant access to up to 8 desktop devices with one cable
- Cable-clutter-free design for a cleaner workstation
- 3 USB 3.0 ports
- 1 FireWire 800 port
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- 1 3.5mm-out port
- 1 3.5mm-in port
- 2 Thunderbolt ports (1 upstream, 1 downstream for daisy-chaining up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices)
Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock can be compared to the DS1 from Matrox, which launched last month for $249. For an additional $50 compared to the DS1, the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock offers three USB 3.0 ports as opposed to a single USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports on the DS1.

Perhaps more importantly for some users, the Belkin dock also includes two Thunderbolt ports, allowing the device to support Thunderbolt passthrough for peripherals further down the chain. Matrox's DS1 offers only a single Thunderbolt port, meaning that it must be placed at the end of a chain.

Article Link: CES 2013: Belkin Drops eSATA Support for Upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock, Cuts Price Back to $299
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:19 PM   #2
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Wasn't this announced like... a year ago?
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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Seriously... I'll be playing a new Duke Nukem before I see this thing...
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trik View Post
Seriously... I'll be playing a new Duke Nukem before I see this thing...
Oh dear god, no.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyp1996 View Post
It's simple: Apple had a big incentive to invest in Thunderbolt early on. After all they did ship the first machines with the interface. It's just a big shame that other manufacturers aren't as motivated!
They just don't see money in it, this is why USB 3.0 took off and is super cheap now.

Of course, TB is a different interface, it's a hybrid and can become pretty much any port (it's an extension of PCIe)...but for what it does, it becomes more of a "premium" port rather than a standard one like USB. I wish that wasn't the case as the more users use it, the cheaper it becomes.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trik View Post
Seriously... I'll be playing a new Duke Nukem before I see this thing...
Why would you want to play a new Duke Nukem after the abysmal "Forever"?
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Trik View Post
Seriously... I'll be playing a new Duke Nukem before I see this thing...
That's cute, but it has probably just taken a long time for all the research, development and manufacturing. If they're saying Q1 this year, I'm sure it's pretty much done.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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They almost got it right but without eSATA its a no go for most professional users who use eSATA as we all have that pretty much.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:25 PM   #8
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I can't believe this has been so hard for manufacturers. Tbolt is going to be dead if they can't even get these basic devices out. (If it isn't dead already)

How did Apple have the Tbolt display out so quickly by comparison??
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akm3 View Post
How did Apple have the Tbolt display out so quickly by comparison??
They helped develop it.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by akm3 View Post
How did Apple have the Tbolt display out so quickly by comparison??
It's simple: Apple had a big incentive to invest in Thunderbolt early on. After all they did ship the first machines with the interface. It's just a big shame that other manufacturers aren't as motivated!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dannyp1996 View Post
It's simple: Apple had a big incentive to invest in Thunderbolt early on. After all they did ship the first machines with the interface. It's just a big shame that other manufacturers aren't as motivated!
And according to a huge amount of reviews on Apple.com, that display has a ton of problems. I looked at getting an external display (ultimately did not end up purchasing) and I had made up my mind that the Thunderbolt display was an absolute "DO NOT BUY" compared to just the older cinema display

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen61 View Post
I certainly can appreciate that, but is it really worth $300 to do that? Maybe to some, but I'm having a hard time seeing it, especially if one already has a 2012 Mac that has USB3.

I have an rMBP, and two USB3 ports are already there, so at a minimum I could buy the TB-FW and TB-Gigabit adapters plus an iMic, for under $100... Toss in a 4 port USB3 hub, and I'm still at half the price of this thing, though I have all my TB ports full.

Even if you have a Mac that has TB but not USB3, you're likely still going to need a USB3 hub...

At this late date, I'd rather save the $300 and put it toward a revised TB Display that will have USB3.

The use case is not where you have a 2012 iMac on your desk.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:31 PM   #12
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So I'm not a power user/professional by any stretch...and I simply don't "get it". Is this device to be used as a docking station for a Macbook? If so, how do you configure your workspace? I went to the Belkin site and was surprised to see that the only photos they display are of various angles of the dock itself, but none showing anyone using it in a workstation config. The idea seems sound, but I am picturing the need for some sort of stand or shelf for the dock/Macbook to sit out of the way of keyboard and display.

How do others envision using this?
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:33 PM   #13
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I just want a $50 thunderbolt enclosure. You can't make a product/accessory popular with ridiculous pricing this far after it's launch.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blomkvist View Post
So I'm not a power user/professional by any stretch...and I simply don't "get it". Is this device to be used as a docking station for a Macbook? If so, how do you configure your workspace? I went to the Belkin site and was surprised to see that the only photos they display are of various angles of the dock itself, but none showing anyone using it in a workstation config. The idea seems sound, but I am picturing the need for some sort of stand or shelf for the dock/Macbook to sit out of the way of keyboard and display.

How do others envision using this?
It certainly needs a banana for scale, but I believe this device is rather small. I envision it sitting on the corner of my desk and permanently connected to my monitor, external HD, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc, and I only need to plug in one Thunderbolt cable when I sit down at my desk as opposed to potentially 5 or 6 cables every time I get up / sit down.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blomkvist View Post
So I'm not a power user/professional by any stretch...and I simply don't "get it". Is this device to be used as a docking station for a Macbook? If so, how do you configure your workspace? I went to the Belkin site and was surprised to see that the only photos they display are of various angles of the dock itself, but none showing anyone using it in a workstation config. The idea seems sound, but I am picturing the need for some sort of stand or shelf for the dock/Macbook to sit out of the way of keyboard and display.

How do others envision using this?
The idea is that you can have a variety of devices (for example external USB 3.0 hard drives, wired LAN, speakers, etc.) connected to the Belkin dock and all you need to do is to connect one Thunderbolt cable to your Mac and all the devices will be usable. No need to connect all separately, which can be useful if you use a laptop as a desktop.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 04:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blomkvist View Post
So I'm not a power user/professional by any stretch...and I simply don't "get it". Is this device to be used as a docking station for a Macbook? If so, how do you configure your workspace? I went to the Belkin site and was surprised to see that the only photos they display are of various angles of the dock itself, but none showing anyone using it in a workstation config. The idea seems sound, but I am picturing the need for some sort of stand or shelf for the dock/Macbook to sit out of the way of keyboard and display.

How do others envision using this?
Thunderbolt supports multiple protocols, so a single Thunderbolt cable connects to your Mac and you get all of these other ports available to you magically. Pretty sweet.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 08:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by akm3 View Post
I can't believe this has been so hard for manufacturers. Tbolt is going to be dead if they can't even get these basic devices out. (If it isn't dead already)
Probably something wrong with writing the drivers or hardware itself? It is very odd that manufacturers have had so much trouble releasing basic devices for T-bolt.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:28 PM   #18
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They almost got it right but without eSATA its a no go for most professional users who use eSATA as we all have that pretty much.
Nice price, but without the eSATA it really makes it moot for some.

It's really a shame they couldn't keep the price at $299 and include eSATA. At this point they should've just put 8 USB 3.0 ports, GigE, and two TBolt ports on it and called it a day.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cambox View Post
They almost got it right but without eSATA its a no go for most professional users who use eSATA as we all have that pretty much.
Professionals that already use Macs are quite unlikely to have eSATA equipped devices because Macs have never had native eSATA ports. FireWire 800 is far more likely because it's been integrated into Macs for so long.

If you want a cheap eSATA solution, buying the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter along with an eSATA to SATA cable (electrically the same, just a slightly different connector) should work. Will cost you around $150, which already includes the TB cable (note: I haven't tried this but in theory there is nothing that prevents it from working).
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:33 PM   #20
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Love the changes. do not need eSata, do need 100$ extra in my pocket.
Have been waiting what seams forever for this.
Now i just want the release date. have to many usb things and only 2 usb hubs.
Have 2 Thunderbolt ports but no thunderbolt things.
Now i get to use 1 and and get my firewire port back.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 05:36 AM   #21
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Dont expect too much from the firewire port

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Originally Posted by Schranke View Post
Love the changes. do not need eSata, do need 100$ extra in my pocket.
Have been waiting what seams forever for this.
Now i just want the release date. have to many usb things and only 2 usb hubs.
Have 2 Thunderbolt ports but no thunderbolt things.
Now i get to use 1 and and get my firewire port back.
If the firewire port works anything like the Apple tb/FW adapter, dont expect the full FW capabilties. Peripherals powered by the FW cable are unlikely to work and speeds are down.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:07 PM   #22
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Professionals that already use Macs are quite unlikely to have eSATA equipped devices because Macs have never had native eSATA ports. FireWire 800 is far more likely because it's been integrated into Macs for so long.
A lot of video editors use esata via some kind of esata adaptor (I've got the Sonnet E34 Pro card) as it gives you a much faster data throughput over FW. For what they cost and give, esata cards are't expensive and are easy to install on both laptops and desktops.

I was holding out for this but now it's not going to have Esata I'll be buying a Lacie t bolt to Esata adaptor next week.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:18 PM   #23
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Could be a decent solution...

I have a 15'' w/ Tbolt that is my desktop during the day and goes home w/ me every night. The convenience for me is a single cable to my MBP so long as I can use both Tbolt ports for displays as I have two. Compared to the DS1, I get 3 x USB3 and a F/W port. I don't need ESATA. I have two 27'' DVI monitors… so if I can use a mini display port to DVI adaptor on each of the Tbolt ports on the rear, than it has value to me. I plug in my MBP's power and Tbolt to this and that's it… everything else is on the dock so no unplugging USB drives, hubs, etc on a daily basis.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Hellhammer View Post
Professionals that already use Macs are quite unlikely to have eSATA equipped devices because Macs have never had native eSATA ports. FireWire 800 is far more likely because it's been integrated into Macs for so long.


If you want a cheap eSATA solution, buying the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter along with an eSATA to SATA cable (electrically the same, just a slightly different connector) should work. Will cost you around $150, which already includes the TB cable (note: I haven't tried this but in theory there is nothing that prevents it from working).
I have eSATA as do all of my colleagues as in the editing industry we need the speed and throughput, Firewire 800 is redundant to us as its just way to slow.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:17 PM   #25
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300$ means I get to plug in 2 wires instead of four when putting my laptop on my desk ? Insane. They can shove it.
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