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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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This is probably the best design and array of ports out of all the iterations this thing has seen. $300 is tempting, but still expensive.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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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, 02:21 PM   #5
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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   #6
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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   #7
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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   #8
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Quote:
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, 02:28 PM   #9
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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.
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   #10
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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, 02:31 PM   #11
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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   #12
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I just want a $50 thunderbolt enclosure. You can't make a product/accessory popular with ridiculous pricing this far after it's launch.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:33 PM   #13
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Love the changes. do not need eSata, do need 100$ 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 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, 02:40 PM   #16
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does this mean I can dual display out hooking up an adapter to both thunderbolt ports?
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:43 PM   #17
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Coming to a store near you ..... next year...ish.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:46 PM   #18
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mazel tov....

now another year till this is released just before thunderbolt gen 2 in announced.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:49 PM   #19
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Even now it's been reduced I still can't get over the price, It's a dock?!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:51 PM   #20
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Thunderbolt is not dead. When apple introduced USB on the iMac before anyone else was using USB, people said it was stupid, there should be more of the 'older' ports, and it'll never take off. Give it some time.

It already IS popular in the professional market for external high speed data storage (as in, having external storage, including SSD's, as fast as internal storage).

I'm looking forward to the docks, though I hope they drop in price. It's probably a pipe dream, but I'd love to see a dock with dual mini displayport connectors (isn't it true that thunderbolt is capable of carrying two mini DP connections anyway and that's why the MBP works with two thunderbolt displays?). I have an Apple cinema display which, of course, doesn't support daisy chaining I also have some non Apple displays. I'd love to be able to use my ACD and my 23" LG monitor I have on my desk without needing to rely on less optimum USB video or network based solutions. I don't think it'll happen, but it WOULD be cool. If that Belkin dock had the two thunderbolt ports and an extra miniDP port (so one TB upstream, one TB downstream, and one miniDP running off of thunderbolt) I think I'd buy it at that price point. Then I could just plug my Macbook in with one plug, and light up both displays and interact with all of my devices. Of course, a Thunderbolt display will do that too (since DP can be at the end of a TB chain and work), but that's more expensive than a Belkin dock of course! It also means my Windows machines won't be able to use my second desktop display, if my second display was a TB display, as aside from ONE motherboard, a PC doesn't work with a TB display!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellhammer View Post
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.
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.

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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:52 PM   #22
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Now it's a must have.

I've have toooo many wires in my face.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:55 PM   #23
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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, 02:55 PM   #24
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what are those cutouts for? on the side and rear-middle.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:56 PM   #25
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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.

True, but as Hellhammer says, you can just plug in and unplug one port instead of two or three. You do also get the added benefit of not killing off your TBolt ports.

The device becomes even more convenient if one were working in a tight space, and a TBolt display wasn't an option.
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