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Old Sep 29, 2012, 12:09 PM   #1
tanker5
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Belkin Thunderbolt Dock

Has anyone out there heard any info on the availability of the Belkin Thunderbolt express dock? Belkin's website says it will be available "Sept. 2012". It's already Sept. 29th and it still is not available anywhere, not even for pre-order. Is it possible that the release is delayed and Belkin's own website has not been updated yet to reflect that??
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 12:49 PM   #2
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Is it possible that the release is delayed and Belkin's own website has not been updated yet to reflect that?
Good question!
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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I wanted this so bad but it's a year late and so overpriced
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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I wanted this so bad but it's a year late and so overpriced
I'm buying one if Apple doesn't update the Thunderbolt Display next month.
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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I'm buying one if Apple doesn't update the Thunderbolt Display next month.
Same here.

I am simply wanting to add some USB3 and eSata inputs.

Why this thing is taking so damn long to bring to the market is beyond me.
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Old Sep 30, 2012, 12:19 AM   #6
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Here's the latest on these docks. They're fast becoming vaporware:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7...-new-features/
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Old Sep 30, 2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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The matrox and the Belkin tb docks were meant to be out in September... Still waiting
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Old Sep 30, 2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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Belkin is an awful company...their website still lists "September 2012:Thunderbolt Express Dock will be here fast. Let me know when pre-ordering starts."

Guess they must be swamped with orders for the 20 things they sell, and don't have the time or personell to update their own web pages. At least the other company producing a dock has the sense to (gasp!) update potential customers on the delay.
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 01:09 AM   #9
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Matrox DS-1 Drobo 5D and Drobo Mini also delayed

I heard the Matrox DS-1 was also delayed until December. I am more interested in the Belkin dock because it has the ability to be in the middle of a daisy chain (it has a Thunderbolt in and out port; Matrox DS-1 only has 1 input thunderbolt port).

In other news, the Drobo 5d and Drobo mini are both also delayed until "mid October". I spoke to a Drobo representative about it and she said they were being delayed due to "logistical issues", but was not specific as to what the issues were.

Is it possible that all of these companies are having problems getting their products "thunderbolt certified" by Intel?
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 09:03 AM   #10
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The Belkin dock is available for pre-order from Amazon.co.uk, ETA according to Amazon is 9th of October. Not sure about this, I have a relatively new MBA with USB2 ports. I REALLY want faster disk transfers but I'm not about to buy a new computer, plus I have a whole mess of USB2/3 FW800 and eSATA capable disks. I suppose shelling out for this dock beats buying several 1T Thunderbolt drive for USD 350 per unit even if Thunderbolt puts USB3 in a pipe and smokes it. Mind you for GBP 299 this thing had better be gold plated and studded with diamonds.

Product Features
  • Instant access to up to 9 desktop devices with one cable
  • Slim, sleek, eloquent brushed-aluminum design for a cleaner workstation
  • Includes MiniDP to HDMI Adapter
  • The fastest data connection to your PC Plug into fast; instant access to all your desktop devices with one cable
  • Technical Details

Connectors: 3 USB 3.0 ports 1 Firewire 800 port 1 3.5mm-out port 1 3.5mm-in port 1 Gigabit Ethernet port 1 eSata Port 2 Thunderbolt ports *Daisy chaining ability of up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Belkin-F4U05.../ref=de_a_smtd
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 11:43 AM   #11
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£300 for a hub? What are these guys on?!
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 12:57 PM   #12
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£300 for a hub? What are these guys on?!
clearly, something very good.
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 01:14 PM   #13
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clearly, something very good.
Lol

It seems some sites have the unit as being released within the next week or two. One site I've seen said January!

I'll try to grab a unit to review whenever I can.
I should also have a Drobo mini sent to me next month for review.
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 03:37 PM   #14
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£300 for a hub? What are these guys on?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outrigger View Post
clearly, something very good.
Hehe... the guys at Belkin must be smoking some quality crack Mind you this is a bit more than a mere 'hub' but it is still way overpriced.

Is there really no Thunderbolt->USB3 adapter available anywhere? Obviously it is feasible to build one.
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 05:22 PM   #15
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299 GBP? That's overkill. Maybe the Matrox one will have a better price point.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 11:46 AM   #16
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I recently contacted Belkin support and received an email from them regarding the Dock. In a previous email (that I can not locate now they are saying it is already available yet I can not find it for sale anywhere other than the above listed preorder on Amazon UK.

Here is the reply from Belkin.
Quote:
Dear Valued Customer,


Thank you for contacting Belkin Technical Support.

Based on our understanding of your concern, you would like to know if the Thunderbolt Express Dock (model number: F4U055ww) is already available in the market.

With regard to this, we highly recommend that you get in touch with our Customer Support Department to verify further on the information as they are in a better position to assist you with your query. They do have the appropriate tools and access to the availability details and other information that you require.

You can reach them at 1800 223 5546 (option 3) from Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM PST.

Should you require further assistance, kindly contact us again by following the link found at the top of this e-mail, then click 'Update' at the bottom of the form. Do not reply to "noreply@belkin.com" as we will not receive your e-mail. Also, feel free to view our Knowledge Base at http://www.belkin.com/support.


Regards,

Paula Lianca Silva
Technical Support Representative
Belkin Technical Support
I will give them a call later today to see if I can acquire any further info.

Post back if anyone else has further info. I have been holding out for a newer Thunderbolt display in hopes of it having USB3 ports and an extra Ethernet port. I could do without extra headphone plugs that are on the port but the eSata would be a welcomed addition.

Also considering Lacie has a Thunderbolt dock with eSata for $200, with this dock having 3 USB3 and ethernet this could definitely hold me over much much longer with my current iMac as it is plenty capable enough of doing what I need, I just want some USB3 connectivity.

And even though $400 may seem steep for a dock station it makes more financial sense to me to pay that rather than dropping another $2000 on a new iMac when I don't necessarily need to other than just doing it. Even when i do upgrade my iMac, then the dock could still be used as an expansion dock or go to my wife's work computer to give expansion there as well.
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Last edited by mmomega; Oct 2, 2012 at 11:57 AM.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 12:07 PM   #17
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Ok, just to add to my last post...

I contacted Belkin support by phone as was told that they are now looking at a November release date even though the Belkin Website has not been updated.

The associate also said to keep an eye out on their own website as well as Best Buy, Amazon and possibly Frys as they will be some of the authorized retailers.

Price point of around $399 still seems to be the MSRP at this point. Whish it could be more lie $299 as I could see them selling even more but Hey, it is what it is right?

There was one place that noted that a Thunderbolt cable would be packaged along with the dock, just have to wait and see.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 12:17 PM   #18
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Price point of around $399 still seems to be the MSRP at this point. Whish it could be more lie $299 as I could see them selling even more but Hey, it is what it is right?
I'm sure that some resellers sell the device for much less. I like to know, when we will see the second generation Thunderbolt cables. The current generation cables require a lot of cooling and some say they are unreliable.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 12:30 PM   #19
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I'm sure that some resellers sell the device for much less. I like to know, when we will see the second generation Thunderbolt cables. The current generation cables require a lot of cooling and some say they are unreliable.
I hate to say it but I agree, I recently had a 4 month old Thunderbolt cable bite the dust. It was just connected to my Mac Mini server and a 4TB WD Thunderbolt external then just out of the blue the Drive was not showing in Finder, which gave me a sinking feeling in my gut.

After trying the external on 2 other TB equipped Macs and trying to do Target Disk Mode via TB I knew that the connector was the culprit. A quick run to BestBuy for a new connector got everything back up and running properly.

My home office stays just at 68-69degrees and I've never had any heat issues with anything before, it's not like the cable failed during some super high file transfer either. One evening it was working the next morning, dead.

Now I just need to get some time to run back by the Apple Store to see if they will replace the failed cable with a new one as they have been known to replace almost any failed small piece of equipment I had without question.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 12:52 PM   #20
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@mmomega: Thanks for the report & the info! :-)
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 12:54 PM   #21
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Right now my TB port is driving an external display via a DP to VGA adapter. If I get my hands on one of these, I'd use it for FW and USB so I'd have fewer things to unplug and think about.

I would tend to avoid anything from Belkin. I've not been impressed with their products over the years.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:17 PM   #22
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Right now my TB port is driving an external display via a DP to VGA adapter. If I get my hands on one of these, I'd use it for FW and USB so I'd have fewer things to unplug and think about.
Good idea.

Quote:
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I would tend to avoid anything from Belkin. I've not been impressed with their products over the years.
Yeah, and i'm not sure how “Thunderbolt Macs” see the USB 3.0 and FW800 devices “behind” the Belkin Thunderbolt Dock.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:22 PM   #23
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I would tend to avoid anything from Belkin. I've not been impressed with their products over the years.
I can agree with you there because I too have had some problems with their devices but there just isn't anything else out on the market from anyone else. Well other than Matrox but their dock is nowhere to be seen and they need to expand to more than a single USB3 connector forcing one to buy a USB3 hub to go along with it.

I don't see why Lacie or another competitor could not do the same seeing as how they have already introduced a TB eSata hub, just create another device with USB3 and eSata or if they want more cash make 2 separate devices.

If USB2 works over TB like with the current Thunderbolt displays I can not see adding a USB3 controller in replace of the USB2 being that overly complicated.

It seems like they would want to push these devices out to all of the Mac guys sooner rather than later to capitalize on the early adopters rather than wait until both technologies were being built in to all computers for no extra charge and just selling low priced hubs.

Maybe that's just me.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 06:26 PM   #24
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Seems like they've updated their page to announce that they are now shooting for a Q1 2013 release.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 07:50 PM   #25
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Seems like they've updated their page to announce that they are now shooting for a Q1 2013 release.
It's because I called them today to ask where the F is this thing already
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