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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:01 AM   #1
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Sonnet Echo 15 Docking Stations Delayed for Thunderbolt 2 Upgrade




In an email to customers, hardware upgrade company Sonnet has announced yet another shipment delay for its Echo 15 and Echo 15 Pro+ Thunderbolt docking stations. Unveiled in April 2013, the hardware is still in the pre-order stage. The latest delay is the result of a company decision to upgrade the device to support Thunderbolt 2.0.
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Following our last Echo 15 and Echo 15 Pro+ Thunderbolt Dock status update, we received very positive feedback and valuable input that confirms these products were designed with the right feature sets. However, there has been an increasingly louder chorus of requests for them to be based on Thunderbolt 2 technology. We carefully considered this input, and, combined with recent clarification of requirements for Windows Thunderbolt compatibility, we have decided to upgrade these products to use Thunderbolt 2 chipsets.
The Thunderbolt dock features a DVD or Blu-ray reader/burner, a 2.5" or 3.5" SATA drive bay (6 Gb/s) as well as a variety of ports for USB 3.0, SATA, eSATA, FireWire 800, audio input and output, and Gigabit Ethernet connections.

The Sonnet Echo 15 dock can be pre-ordered for $400 with a DVD drive and $450 with a Blu-ray drive. Different capacity hard drives are available as an optional add-on. The Echo 15 Pro+ starts at $550 while upgrading to a Blu-ray burner and adding space for a second solid-state drive.

(Thanks, Dan!)

Article Link: Sonnet Echo 15 Docking Stations Delayed for Thunderbolt 2 Upgrade
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:04 AM   #2
hestroy
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Interesting

I like it. It's an ideal solution for Mac Pro.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:07 AM   #3
Skika
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Waaay too much for what basically is a hub.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:08 AM   #4
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If they announce Thunderbolt 3 soon, we can delay it again and keep the cycle going. Sometimes you just have to ship a product, there will always be something better coming along...
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:14 AM   #5
polaris20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skika View Post
Waaay too much for what basically is a hub.
This isn't just a hub. With the hard drive bay and the optical bay, it's definitely a unique device, compared to the Belkin, for example.

However, another delay has cemented my decision to just buy a Belkin and use external drives. I perfectly understand the desire for Thunderbolt 2, however I would have thought it would've been a good idea to initially release a regular Thunderbolt version, for those of us without Thunderbolt 2 that have been waiting for months for this already.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Trik View Post
If they announce Thunderbolt 3 soon, we can delay it again and keep the cycle going. Sometimes you just have to ship a product, there will always be something better coming along...
didnt even know theres a tb 2. dead technology for the mass imo
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by polaris20 View Post
...
However, another delay has cemented my decision to just buy a Belkin and use external drives. I perfectly understand the desire for Thunderbolt 2, however I would have thought it would've been a good idea to initially release a regular Thunderbolt version, for those of us without Thunderbolt 2 that have been waiting for months for this already.
I'm not sure which dock I'll get when I get my new iMac, but it looks like Sonnet is unfortunately out of the question. I like the fact that it is 3 devices in 1 - less cabling, desk space and power outlets needed.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:21 AM   #8
MikhailT
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This is a great decision. It sucks for the customers but honestly, if you're going to pay $400+ on this, you'd want it to last a few years at least and that means you'd be happy to have that TB2 upgrade at no extra cost, even if it means a month or two delay.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:29 AM   #9
polaris20
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Originally Posted by Bear View Post
I'm not sure which dock I'll get when I get my new iMac, but it looks like Sonnet is unfortunately out of the question. I like the fact that it is 3 devices in 1 - less cabling, desk space and power outlets needed.
That's what I liked about it. With a MBA, it's a great combination.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:43 AM   #10
t.gillespie
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CalDigit Thunderbolt Station FTW!

It's not TB2, but does everything I need and half the cost..

I've been very happy with it's performance.. No odd bugs or quirks like the Belkin POS. I hated that device.. puff..

Oh, and you can buy the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station now..Picked up 2, one for me and one for my mom with her MBA...
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:57 AM   #11
polaris20
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Originally Posted by t.gillespie View Post
It's not TB2, but does everything I need and half the cost..

I've been very happy with it's performance.. No odd bugs or quirks like the Belkin POS. I hated that device.. puff..

Oh, and you can buy the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station now..Picked up 2, one for me and one for my mom with her MBA...
We've not had any issues at all with the Belkin, and have probably two dozen deployed; little surprised to hear you don't like it. That being said, the CalDigit is definitely on my radar as well. The Matrox was flat out terrible, IME. Wouldn't maintain network connection, dropped video frequently, etc.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 10:59 AM   #12
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Considering how many things plug into this at one time, Thunderbolt 2.0 is probably a good option. I mean, 4 USB 3.0 ports could already saturate it.

I might pick up one of these unless Apple updates their Thunderbolt Display soon. I'm in the market for a Thunderbolt hub and new display. Not sure if I can wait on 4K prices to come down, and I feel like many of the existing Thunderbolt hubs either don't have enough ports or don't have good reviews online. It seems like the Belkin one can be kinda glitchy when it comes to randomly ejecting drives. I don't want any part of that!

Does anyone know if this product supports RAID 1? Their website says it supports RAID 0 for faster data transfer but doesn't say anything about RAID 1. I've been in the market for a RAID 1 enclosure for storing my media files such as Lightroom library, etc. If I could get that in this device too that would be a good selling point.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 11:10 AM   #13
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I ordered one the beginning of April 2013.. and have suffered through number of delays, getting by with a USB3 hub. The last one almost guaranteed a Nov-December delivery. Now delivery over a year after the announcement... kinda typical for Sonnet? Next they will cancel. I suspect they could not get it to work right and they are hoping that TB 2 will either solve their issue or perhaps is just a good excuse. So instead of delivering a poorly performing product, they will just stop development. Too bad, as it has (or had) the right feature set for me.

By the way, I did not get an email with this announcement.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 11:13 AM   #14
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I really wanted this, but I simply couldn't wait anymore. I'm glad it's not vaporware, and I'm sure it will sell well. The price (for what you get) is reasonable.

Just two days before they announced this update, I got a LaCie 4 TB Thunderbolt drive and a Seatech BluRay burner from eBay. Together, they were about half the cost of the Echo 15 and should tide me over. But it would have been nice to have the additional expansion options and compact footprint.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 11:17 AM   #15
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ordered one when the local retailer said "shipment soon". Instead, shipment was delayed again and again but they already took the money. In parallel, i asked the helpful Sonnet support and they gave this answer already. While i support their decision (i already did the math if all ports would be sufficient for one channel), at one point of time you just have to nail it down. Otherwise you call it "Echo Nukem Forever". I couldn't wait and had to switch to the Belkin. It's not bad, but it's also far from good.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 11:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polaris20 View Post
I perfectly understand the desire for Thunderbolt 2, however I would have thought it would've been a good idea to initially release a regular Thunderbolt version, for those of us without Thunderbolt 2 that have been waiting for months for this already.
Agreed.

Ship the ruddy thing already.

I'll give them that it was a bit of a surprise that Apple added TB2 to the MacBook Pro so soon - but there are a whole load of people out there with TB1 on their machines and only one decent dock on the market. TB2 is only a must-have for big RAID arrays, PCIe SSDs costing 5 digits and 4k displays. I wouldn't have thought that was the primary market for this dock - and all of the TB2 capable macs have at least one more TB port free for such things.

Trouble is - this makes people think 'what next'? Is it going to be another 4-month wait before they say 'hey, lots of people say they want a 4k-capable HDMI port, hang on another 4 months while we add one'.

The last delay was a bit lame too - "hey, we suddenly realised that people wanted USB ports that could charge their iDevices, digital audio out and a BD-writer option". What possible combination of misconceptions ever led them to leave those features out? Who'd have thunk that people who buy a $500 box who's USPs include being able to play BluRay movies might want to hook up a surround sound rig?
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 11:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t.gillespie View Post
It's not TB2, but does everything I need and half the cost..

I've been very happy with it's performance.. No odd bugs or quirks like the Belkin POS. I hated that device.. puff..

Oh, and you can buy the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station now..Picked up 2, one for me and one for my mom with her MBA...
can you charge an iPad off the USB 3.0 ports (the belkin one does not do this for some reason :-| )
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 12:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t.gillespie View Post
It's not TB2, but does everything I need and half the cost..

I've been very happy with it's performance.. No odd bugs or quirks like the Belkin POS. I hated that device.. puff..

Oh, and you can buy the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station now..Picked up 2, one for me and one for my mom with her MBA...
Caldigit TB station is a great device. No issues whatsoever. Best gadget I bought for my computer setup.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 12:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Skika View Post
Waaay too much for what basically is a hub.
If you have a Mac that cost a couple of thousand $ and some gear that cost a couple of thousand, this is a cost-effective solution.

If you think it's too expensive, then you don't really need it. I have no need for this but I also don't really need it.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 12:44 PM   #20
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I wish the darn thing looked nicer. It looks too "PC" like for my taste.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 12:52 PM   #21
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I wish the darn thing looked nicer. It looks too "PC" like for my taste.
I thought the same. That brushed aluminium, colored ports and blue LEDs make it look pretty crappy. Maybe it's just the picture but the texture on top looks pretty weird too.

I'm currently trying to build a gaming PC and can't find a single case I like. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, to choose from. Even the so-called "premium" brands make cases that look pretty bad to me. I'll have to accept the fact that PCs apparently must look bad .
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 12:58 PM   #22
rtrueman
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Originally Posted by iBug2 View Post
Caldigit TB station is a great device. No issues whatsoever. Best gadget I bought for my computer setup.
Agreed! Just picked up the CalDigit TB dock and it's working great.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 01:37 PM   #23
ZipZap
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WOW...no suprise here....delays delays.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 01:39 PM   #24
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Nice product. Worth the wait for the upgrade. Will look great next to my nMP.
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 01:42 PM   #25
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A Perfect Marriage for MacPro 6,1

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Originally Posted by hestroy View Post
I like it. It's an ideal solution for Mac Pro.
Okay, I received my custom 8 core Mac pro several weeks ago now, and I already miss my optical drives, and my optional OS X systems (which may not work with the Intel Xeon E5 system) that I have stored on SSDs. And while my new MacPro is very fast (login comes up before my HDMI LCD monitor can show it), I really have issues with OS X Mavericks incompatibilities with my previous Adobe Software, etc. . . and so I really need this Echo 15 Pro+ right now, because it has two 2.5 drive bays, and an awesome CD, DVD, Blue Ray optical drive-burner in addition to everything else that normally came with the older MacPros, but that the new MacPro is missing. This product is a perfect solution for the 6,1 MacPro.
Sonnet makes a quality product that I appreciate, and that I am willing to wait for, even if I don't like the wait (and I don't). However, I waited nine months on the new MacPro; I guess a few more months won't matter that much.
BTW, Sonnet has not charged my charge card and will not before they ship.

Last edited by DoctorLove; Jan 30, 2014 at 02:05 PM.
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