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Old Jan 8, 2013, 01:47 AM   #126
szalaima
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I hope someone thinks of an idea real quick.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 02:20 AM   #127
jameskatt
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eSATA has been here for years

Quote:
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.
Sorry. But where have you been? Have you had an actual Mac Pro?

As a result of the work of sites such ad OWComputing.com and Barefeats.com, eSATA has been here for MacBook Pro 17" and MacPros via expansion cards for many years as a high end storage connection.

eSATA, unlike USB 3.0, is a stable standard that just works. It is a lot faster than FireWire 800. It is not finicky like USB 3.0.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by SicMX View Post
My Macbook Pro retina is connected via two Thunderbolt ports to two 27" Eizo screens. As we speak I have no way of connecting any Firewire hard drives so I had buy the Lacie 2big Thunderbolt and Lacie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt. This was expensive as hell, but the speed is unbelievable! Especially the Lacie LBD which is working at 500-600mb/s!!

The only problem is that i also have a Nikon 8000ED Coolscan for scanning my 6x6 and 6x7 film which uses exclusively Firewire which I now can't use without disconnecting one of the monitors and using the Firewire/Thunderbolt adapter. Same thing with the Ethernet that I would normally use.

In conclusion, I'm really really looking forward to this Belkin dock!

PS. The dock will obviously also make it quicker to connect my MBP to the 2 monitors, 2 printers, keyboard, mouse, 4 thunderbolt hard drives, 2 USB 3.0 backup hard drives, 2 film scanners and speakers
Get the Apple 27"Thunderbolt Monitor. You can daisy chain it to our current Monitors. It gives you an extra FireWire 800 port,as well as an extra Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 02:21 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg-nc View Post
If I'm going to walk away from the table with this thing on it I would think there should be a security slot. Did I miss it?
At that price, it's a must; the Belkin webpage does not show it, or talk about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by el-John-o View Post
.....What this is for, and the reason it's called a 'docking station' (going back to the 90's and early 2000's when laptops had a dock you'd connect them to that did just this), is because it's for thunderbolt equipped laptops. You work with your laptop on the go, spend all day with it, etc. Then you come home, set it at your desk, plug in ONE cable (plus the charger), and you have your monitor (You can still use an adapter at the end of your thunderbolt chain to connect it to a non thunderbolt monitor, or use it as a mini Displayport port), your external hard drives, a wired keyboard and mouse if you have one, etc.

As it is right now, I plug my laptop into a mini DisplayPort monitor (Apple display), a USB 3.0 Hub, MagSafe, and Optical Audio. The hubs (display is a USB 2.0 hub) connect my iPhone, an external drive, an external DVD drive (I have the optical bay replaced with a second SSD), a beloved wired mouse that I have had for more than 10 years that I simply won't do without, an iPad, etc. Optical audio goes to my sound system, etc. I also connect it to GbE occasionally, especially when I have a large time machine backup or need to move large files across my network (it's over twice as fast as Wireless N in dual 5GHz mode) A dock, in theory, could replace 5 connections to my laptop, with just one. Nifty huh? It's a convenience thing, many don't want to pay for that convenience, but some do. It also ADDS ports without adapters. Many Mac laptops no longer have ethernet, some of us still use it at our desks because it's faster.....-John
The promise of Thunderbolt realized: Convenience, simplicity and off-the-charts speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unplugme71 View Post
.....How can they even take away eSATA and drop it $100? Just goes to show how overpriced it already is and they knew it. They tried to justify removing a port for dropping the price so they could hide the fact at how overpriced it really is.
Likely. It's still good to know that they 'listen' to their prospective buyers; although many users wanted eSata, more users were probably interested in TB, and with it's dual TB ports (a must for daisy-chaining) and triple USB3 ports as well as legacy FW support, between this and the Matrox DS1, for $50 more, the Belkin is a no-brainer. Having said that, both of them are, for the non-professional user, overpriced.

If it has analog/SPDIF audio in-outs (can't tell from the picture), was a hundred or so less, and had a Kensington security slot, it would be a very attractive option.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 02:36 AM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willcapellaro View Post
Can you elaborate? Unreliable data speeds or anything more serious like mouse/keyboard problems? I can understand data speed fluctuation, as it's the CPU prioritizing things. It sucks nonetheless.

Apple just doesn't give us enough ports.
USB 3.0 Hubs can cause the Mac to have a kernel crash - freezing the entire computer. This is xtremely bad behavior.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 06:10 AM   #130
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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.

That's the difference between normal consumers like us and some professional that have to daisy chain many devices at into one MBP. USB 3 hubs are useful but its inability to be a display port is what makes TB still survives.

For me this TB hub doesn't do anything significant either.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 06:19 AM   #131
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Maybe this is a new experimental kind of customer research from the Belkin product development team. Keep announcing and revising features and price and monitor the reaction. When enough people seem to like what you're proposing, then build it.

Personally I never seem to have enough USB ports. The rMBP has 2 USB ports. But the idea of a dock is that I wouldn't use these, because I'm trying to avoid plugging in more than 1 cable when I dock the laptop. So in effect I have gained just 1 extra USB port with this Belkin dock. Clearly not enough, once you try to add keyboard, printer, mouse, graphics tablet, iPhone connector, audio interface, etc... If adding USB3 is expensive, perhaps they could add in a couple of extra USB2.0 ports in addition.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 06:22 AM   #132
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So… what they're saying is that they had planned to rip us off, as I'm pretty sure eSATA hardware doesn't cost $100 considering I have a £15 eSATA drive dock sitting right in front of me.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 06:49 AM   #133
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I can't wait! I really need this thing. The Matrox one is cool but i need Thunderbolt daisy chain.

Probably i will buy this one, or a new Thunderbolt Display if Apple updates its line in few months.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 06:52 AM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt View Post
Get the Apple 27"Thunderbolt Monitor. You can daisy chain it to our current Monitors. It gives you an extra FireWire 800 port,as well as an extra Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports.
True but using a Thunderbolt Display as a glorified dock/adapter (as the color quality is nowhere close to the Eizo's) doesn't seem like the way to go. Cheaper for me to get the Belkin
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 08:05 AM   #135
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I would love to have this guy for cleaning up clutter on my iMac desk and actually being able to get USB 3.0 speeds out of my drive; plus plugging in one thing instead of 4-7 would be great. Unfortunately I can't really drop $300 on what is essentially a fancy dock. Why must all thunderbolt items be so tempting and so out of my reach
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 08:12 AM   #136
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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 8, 2013, 08:15 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Drag'nGT View Post
I just want a $50 thunderbolt enclosure. You can't make a product/accessory popular with ridiculous pricing this far after it's launch.
That's the funny part... It's been 2 years since the 2011 MBP introduced TBolt, yet even very simple devices like a single drive enclosure costing 2-3x more just because it has TBolt in it...

And there aren't even all that many devices out for it, and these "docks" are hilarious I believe Matrox has several delays after announcing their dock... Though theirs might be out already, who knows.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 08:18 AM   #138
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More features, better price please

I'm one of those unlucky souls that bought a new 15'' MBP 45 days before the rMBP's came out and too late to return it. As such, I have thunderbolt, but only one port and I only have USB 2. I only upgrade every 2-2.5 years, so this guy still have another 1-1.5 years of life in it. A docking solution that adds USB 3 would be really nice as I can then use USB3 hard drives at their full potential. Even if its 2.5Gbps and not the full 5Gbps, that's still faster than the 480Mbps I have now. Granted, I still have a FW800 port too, but for those that don't, this offers it. And then there's convenience. Right now my daily routine is to plug in my power, 1Gbps, thunderbolt to DVI and a USB hub. With a docking solution I can just do power and one thunderbolt cable and be done. The downside for me is the lack of dual display outputs. I don't care if its thunderbolt out as I can use adaptors for mini display port to VGA, DVI, or HDMI. But for $300 I want two be able to drive two of them. If I'm only going to get to use one monitor as I do now, then I'll pay the $50-$100 this is worth. Add in another external monitor option and I'll pay $300 for the convenience and the functionality it would bring me.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supp0rtLinux View Post
I'm one of those unlucky souls that bought a new 15'' MBP 45 days before the rMBP's came out and too late to return it. As such, I have thunderbolt, but only one port and I only have USB 2. I only upgrade every 2-2.5 years, so this guy still have another 1-1.5 years of life in it. A docking solution that adds USB 3 would be really nice as I can then use USB3 hard drives at their full potential. Even if its 2.5Gbps and not the full 5Gbps, that's still faster than the 480Mbps I have now. Granted, I still have a FW800 port too, but for those that don't, this offers it. And then there's convenience. Right now my daily routine is to plug in my power, 1Gbps, thunderbolt to DVI and a USB hub. With a docking solution I can just do power and one thunderbolt cable and be done. The downside for me is the lack of dual display outputs. I don't care if its thunderbolt out as I can use adaptors for mini display port to VGA, DVI, or HDMI. But for $300 I want two be able to drive two of them. If I'm only going to get to use one monitor as I do now, then I'll pay the $50-$100 this is worth. Add in another external monitor option and I'll pay $300 for the convenience and the functionality it would bring me.
Of course I also just realized that the USB3 brings another benefit… I could use a USB3 to HDMI or DVI adaptor and get a display that way. So one goes from the t-bolt out to a display and the other goes out via USB to DVI, for example.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 09:58 AM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post
If so it was a rare one. Few USB devices made it to market until USB 1.1, released in August 1998, which fixed problems identified in 1.0, mostly relating to hubs. 1.1 was the earliest revision to be widely adopted. Which means that you were most likely one of the few people in the country that knew about and had USB before August 1998.
I always, and always will be a techie. If I recall I had to buy a separate card for the Micron desktop.

But you are right, when 1.1 came out, the world adopted it faster than anything I've ever seen.

TB is great on paper and tech specs and solves some business problems. But then the pricetag comes in, the zero-to-little hardware support, and a competing product (USB 3.0 and probably even gigabit or 10gigabit ethernet) to competes on most of the point of even having TB (the speed) and you have the reason why 2 years after its release nobody uses it and there are an extremely small amount of products for it. If TB were designed (and I'm not saying they should have) to be simply a really fast, next-gen cable system to supercede USB 2.0 or Firewire, it would have been cheaper and much more adopted by now...but they chose to make it do everything including the kitchen sink and that stuff takes time and costs money (licensing) and money for the consumer and money/risk for the hardware vendors and at the end of the day, a compelling event for the consumer. I'm not going to buy an expensive stereo receiver if it's got 50 features and 40 of them I will never use and that nobody has hardware for.

TB basically has 2013 to really get adopted...if not, it just proves it's not worth the cost for said business value.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 10:35 AM   #140
Rafterman
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Belkin, let me help you...

1. Put back the eSata

2. Lower the price to $99

3. Sell a thousand times more at that price then you would at $300

4. Profit.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 11:49 AM   #141
theluggage
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Originally Posted by Rafterman View Post
Belkin, let me help you...

1. Put back the eSata

2. Lower the price to $99

3. Sell a thousand times more at that price then you would at $300

4. Profit.
Heck, if they put back the eSATA, squeezed in another USB port or two and threw in a TB cable I'd pay $199. IMHO if you're going to do a dock to 'turn a laptop into a desktop', the whole point is to throw in everything but the kitchen sink (given the apparently large fixed overhead of providing a box with a TB controller).

Its worth remembering that this isn't 'just' a hub/dock that shares your existing ports: you're getting additional USB, Firewire and Ethernet controllers effectively connected to the computer's PCIe bus.

Given the vapourware nature of TB docks to date, I think Apple should put some effort into producing and selling a decent example of the breed. Stick it in a lump of Jonny Ive's finest machined aluminium, throw in a magsafe PSU for good measure and it would be the ideal accompanyment to the Air and Retina macbooks.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 11:58 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by ericinboston View Post
TB is great on paper and tech specs and solves some business problems. But then the pricetag comes in, the zero-to-little hardware support, and a competing product (USB 3.0 and probably even gigabit or 10gigabit ethernet) to competes on most of the point of even having TB (the speed) and you have the reason why 2 years after its release nobody uses it and there are an extremely small amount of products for it. If TB were designed (and I'm not saying they should have) to be simply a really fast, next-gen cable system to supercede USB 2.0 or Firewire, it would have been cheaper and much more adopted by now...but they chose to make it do everything including the kitchen sink and that stuff takes time and costs money (licensing) and money for the consumer and money/risk for the hardware vendors and at the end of the day, a compelling event for the consumer. I'm not going to buy an expensive stereo receiver if it's got 50 features and 40 of them I will never use and that nobody has hardware for.
Really? So, if TB would be exactly like USB 3 (just twice as fast but at the same price) it would have beaten USB 3? Definitely not, USB 3 doesn't need new ports, is backwards compatible and fast enough for any single storage device.

USB is way to entrenched, you can beat USB by being like USB and just a little bit faster. The only chance that a new standard could compete in any form with USB 3 was to offer things USB 3 cannot offer (daisy-chaining, parallel channels, 'emulation' of any protocol without drivers, very long cables, etc.).

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supp0rtLinux View Post
Of course I also just realized that the USB3 brings another benefit… I could use a USB3 to HDMI or DVI adaptor and get a display that way. So one goes from the t-bolt out to a display and the other goes out via USB to DVI, for example.
It is my understanding that USB to DVI (or HDMI or DP) essentially requires the emulation of a graphic card in the host computer's CPU (as the GPU will not send out data to a USB port). While possible, it is very suboptimal from a performance point.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:09 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by jameskatt View Post
Get the Apple 27"Thunderbolt Monitor. You can daisy chain it to our current Monitors. It gives you an extra FireWire 800 port,as well as an extra Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports.
Didn't think you could daisy-chain a non-Thunderbolt monitor to an Apple Thunderbolt Display: when you plug a displayPort device into a TB socket, it disables TB and outputs a DisplayPort signal instead - which it has to get from somewhere.

A computer gets it from the video card.

A HD/dock gets it from the single DisplayPort signal extracted from Thunderbolt by the Thunderbolt controller.

...but the TB display is already using that signal for its internal screen. So you have to put another non-display TB device, with a second TB controller to extract the second DisplayPort signal, between the TB display and the non-TB display.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rturner2 View Post
Kill the Firewire port and add 1 or 2 extra USB3.

Make it support two non thunderbolt monitors from the hub (not sure if it does this already).
Similar problem - only one display per TB controller. If you put (say) a HDMI port on the hub, you couldn't also drive a displayport monitor from the TB out, without adding another, intermediate TB device.

I guess it ought to be possible to rig it so that you could either use the HDMI/DVI port in the hub OR connect a DisplayPort monitor to the TB out - but since Belkin dropped the HDMI they'd originally proposed, while Matrox offer HDMI but no TB out I'd guess that isn't as simple as it sounds.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 01:38 PM   #144
manu chao
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Originally Posted by theluggage View Post
Didn't think you could daisy-chain a non-Thunderbolt monitor to an Apple Thunderbolt Display: when you plug a displayPort device into a TB socket, it disables TB and outputs a DisplayPort signal instead - which it has to get from somewhere.

A computer gets it from the video card.

A HD/dock gets it from the single DisplayPort signal extracted from Thunderbolt by the Thunderbolt controller.

...but the TB display is already using that signal for its internal screen. So you have to put another non-display TB device, with a second TB controller to extract the second DisplayPort signal, between the TB display and the non-TB display.




Similar problem - only one display per TB controller. If you put (say) a HDMI port on the hub, you couldn't also drive a displayport monitor from the TB out, without adding another, intermediate TB device.

I guess it ought to be possible to rig it so that you could either use the HDMI/DVI port in the hub OR connect a DisplayPort monitor to the TB out - but since Belkin dropped the HDMI they'd originally proposed, while Matrox offer HDMI but no TB out I'd guess that isn't as simple as it sounds.
While I think you are correct in the above, what stops Belkin from putting two TB controllers into one box (apart from cost)? If you were to cut the display part off an Apple TB display, at the point where DP signal is connected to the actual display part and then glued two of these amputated TB 'displays' (ie, the non-display part) together, you'd had a 'box' that:
- connects with one TB cable to the computer,
- has TB 'out' port at the end,
- has 2 FW, 4 (6?) USB ports, 2 Ethernet
- has 2 DP signals being fed to the actual displays.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 02:07 PM   #145
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USB succeeded because it solved a massive existing problem: we had too many peripherals, not enough ports, and adding devices was a hell-on-earth of drivers and IRQ conflicts. Remember trying to get a ZipDrive working through a parallel port? Ouch.

Thunderbolt is failing, and will fail (at least at the mass-consumer level), because it solves a niche issue: Existing device types at ultra-high bandwidth.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 02:55 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Dudical View Post
USB succeeded because it solved a massive existing problem: we had too many peripherals, not enough ports, and adding devices was a hell-on-earth of drivers and IRQ conflicts. Remember trying to get a ZipDrive working through a parallel port? Ouch.

Thunderbolt is failing, and will fail (at least at the mass-consumer level), because it solves a niche issue: Existing device types at ultra-high bandwidth.
This may be semantics but I think Thunderbolt is technically flailing, not failing. It's not starting office fires or accidentally sterilizing users. It's just unsupported by a decent complement of product options and it's generally misunderstood by users. Even a lot of power users, which is a shame. We want TB stuff, we want multiple monitors and TB disks and the ease of use of docking stations, and we not do want performance to suffer.

Intel picked a strange bedfellow to lead the charge on this new standard. I blame Apple. They, not anybody else, need to have a great TB docking station as well as an industry leading hub/display (the TBD is not USB 3.0 yet, ridiculous, and it's not an amazing hub).

Microsoft produced the Surface to be a flagship. And while that may have middling success it was the right thing to do. Rallied the base.

Meanwhile Apple does the bait and switch on ports and gives us a max of measly 2 TB ports on their new machines, while taking away others. And even the TBD doesn't give the requisite USB ports for the typical user. Apple needs to do the right thing, not for the lightweight Apple core users who use only Apple bluetooth input devices, perhaps one external monitor, and Time Capsule. Give something to the scrappy power users with ugly-ass setups, who use Macs because they're responsive as hell.

Hell, add the Apple tax and make it $500. Just let us work the way we want to work, and show 3rd party makers how it's done. Or just admit that our dreams are built on broken promises and tell us to shop elsewhere.

That felt good.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 05:01 PM   #147
theluggage
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Originally Posted by manu chao View Post
While I think you are correct in the above, what stops Belkin from putting two TB controllers into one box (apart from cost)?
Cost & complexity. Not everybody would want their dock to slurp both video signals from the Thunderbolt bus so it would all have to be switchable/configurable somehow.

The ultimate solution ought to be something like this : http://www.sonnettech.com/product/ec...sschassis.html - slap in a PCIe video card and you've got a brace of extra display outputs. They'll be throttled a bit with only one PCIe lane instead of 8 but probably OK for providing extra screen estate. Unfortunately, last time I looked, those enclosures had price tags that were utterly ludicrous (unless you had a professional need to plug a PCIe pro video/audio capture card into a laptop).

I think the problem is that there's a supply/demand chicken-and-egg problem here: electronics is only cheap when produced in large quantities.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 05:24 PM   #148
manu chao
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Originally Posted by theluggage View Post
Cost & complexity. Not everybody would want their dock to slurp both video signals from the Thunderbolt bus so it would all have to be switchable/configurable somehow.
I don't think it would add much complexity. If somebody wants two external monitors, then they plug two monitors into the box. What is complex about that?

And a quite common request is exactly that, being able to connect two external monitors to a computer (essentially MBs and Mac minis) without having to pay $2000 to Apple and be limited to their choices of size, of glossy, and of non-wide-gamut. Apart from absolute speed (and so far truly niche applications available via external PCI connections), that is the most mainstream thing only TB can offer (or rather could because I have not seen one report that claims that there are graphic cards that work in those external TB2PCI boxes that you mention below).

Myself, I'd probably buy such a box (that allows me to connect two external monitors) even if cost up to $500.

Quote:
The ultimate solution ought to be something like this : http://www.sonnettech.com/product/ec...sschassis.html - slap in a PCIe video card and you've got a brace of extra display outputs. They'll be throttled a bit with only one PCIe lane instead of 8 but probably OK for providing extra screen estate. Unfortunately, last time I looked, those enclosures had price tags that were utterly ludicrous (unless you had a professional need to plug a PCIe pro video/audio capture card into a laptop).

Last edited by manu chao; Jan 8, 2013 at 06:19 PM.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 05:45 PM   #149
BiggAW
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Originally Posted by manu chao View Post
Myself, I'd probably buy such a box (that allows me to connect to external monitors) even if cost up to $500.
Exactly. Monitors are really the only compelling use case where this would be unique. Normal graphics support for double or triple external monitors on a MBP would be killer.
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 05:56 AM   #150
woodbine
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Location: Bath, UK
Just announced at CES a dock from Henge, that looks like it out ports and more importantly out prices the Belkin offering. May it rise on the ashes of other offerings.
Having read this thread I am too seriously disappointed in the TB offerings out there. LaCie offers a box, only esata and not even with port multiplication. Belkin offers a hub that is just plain mean. Sonnet offers two products, one is fairly cheap but steals your only TB port and the other is seriously expensive.
Manufacturers are just not being creative enough.
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