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Old Apr 3, 2014, 11:40 AM   #1
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Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station




Since late 2012, a number of accessory manufacturers have released docking stations taking advantage of Thunderbolt technology to allow users to connect a number of different types of devices to their machines with a single cable. Matrox was the first to reach market with its DS1, and similar offerings from Belkin and CalDigit have since been released.

Popular TV and video accessory maker Elgato has now released its own dock, offering three USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Thunderbolt ports to support pass-through, HDMI and Ethernet ports, as well as headphone and microphone jacks.

In addition to the hardware, Elgato has also released a free menu bar utility that allows for easy ejection of mounted storage devices while also enabling high-power USB support.

In terms of connectivity, Elgato's dock is most similar to CalDigit's Thunderbolt Station, with each supporting the same set of ports. Matrox's docking station offers only a single USB 3.0 port (plus two USB 2.0 ports) and only a single Thunderbolt port, which limits users to placing the dock at the end of a Thunderbolt chain. Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock does away with a dedicated HDMI port and instead expects users to use one of the dock's two Thunderbolt ports for display connectivity. Belkin's dock does, however, include a FireWire 800 port.

Sonnet announced an even more expansive dock including internal storage and DVD/Blu-ray drives a year ago, although its release has been pushed back as Sonnet redesigns it to include support for the new Thunderbolt 2 standard supported on the latest Mac Pro and Retina MacBook Pro models.

Elgato's Thunderbolt Dock launches today on Amazon (although currently listed as out of stock) with a suggested retail price of $229.95 with a Thunderbolt cable. A $199.95 version without cable is also available.

Article Link: Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 11:41 AM   #2
chrmjenkins
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Seems like the cat's meow. I'll show myself to the puerta.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 11:44 AM   #3
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200$+ just for keeping my desk neat? Oh Yeah I forgot, it' s thunderbolt. Looks nice but no thanks.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 11:45 AM   #4
N19h7m4r3
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The Belkin one is not only cheaper, it offers more connectivity.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 11:52 AM   #5
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All I've been waiting for ( and given up waiting for ) is a Thunderbolt to USB3 connector.

Not spending $199 for a docking station for USB3.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 11:56 AM   #6
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Here comes the thunderbolt tax again.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 12:00 PM   #7
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Sonnet's Echo 15 will put all these other docks to shame -- if it ever gets released. I'm not sure what's up with these other manufacturers. Their docks offer just about the same number of connectors as the computer itself (and far less if you have a Mac Pro). I'm not sure I need ethernet and HDMI on my desk. I guess it would mean I could plug one cable into a MacBook instead of two. That's not a huge advantage. As for USB, a dedicated USB dock is a lot cheaper.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 12:02 PM   #8
George Zip
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I'll pay $1,000 for a Thunderbolt Docking Station from Apple, with 4 USB3 ports and a minimum of two Thunderbolt ports, provided they include a new Display with it. ;-)
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 12:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N19h7m4r3 View Post
The Belkin one is not only cheaper, it offers more connectivity.
I don't think the belkin one provides power over USB though, which for many is a total deal breaker.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 12:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herocero View Post
I don't think the belkin one provides power over USB though, which for many is a total deal breaker.
Also, the Belkin doesn't have HDMI which is a deal breaker for me. I'm considering this one from Elgato.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 12:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella View Post
All I've been waiting for ( and given up waiting for ) is a Thunderbolt to USB3 connector.

Not spending $199 for a docking station for USB3.
Agreed. I could use one for my iMac 27.

Thankfully, I can add a USB 3 card to my beloved MBP 17".
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 12:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by herocero View Post
I don't think the belkin one provides power over USB though, which for many is a total deal breaker.
It does not? Hmm that is an issue.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 12:48 PM   #13
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I admit I have sort of a lukewarm feeling about elgato due to their lack of cablecard tuner support in eyetv, and my troubleshooting with their eyetv hd product.

That being said, on the surface this looks as good as the caldiget dock I own (to add usb 3 to a 2011 imac.)

I wonder if this has usb uasp support? Also, Caldiget added a driver to support ipad/iphone high power charging, and apple SuperDrive support, does this dock support them as well?

Anyway, good to see more docks become available.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 12:53 PM   #14
foobarbaz
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I was *this* close to buying the CalDigit one when Apple introduced Thunderbolt 2. Given that I'm definitely getting a 4K display with my next MBP, a docking station that can't pass through TB2 would be shortsighted.

(I know the Retina MBPs have two TB ports, but the whole point of this is plugging in fewer cables. And who knows how many ports there will be in the future.)
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 01:07 PM   #15
LorenK
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Am I the only person waiting for an affordable docking station with eSATA?
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 01:17 PM   #16
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When is thunderbolt going to be used in normal products already?
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 01:32 PM   #17
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HDMI for video?

Are people using HDMI on their Macs for they're video on their daily workstation?

I have a HDMI adaptor for my MacBook, but I usually use my VGA adaptor. The HDMI didn't seem as clear (and I could shrink/enlarge the image). Am I doing something wrong? I assumed I'd use one of the thunderbolt ports for a display adaptor, but that's not what they did in the demo video.

(I usually just use the HDMI for plugging into a TV when at a friends.)

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Old Apr 3, 2014, 01:34 PM   #18
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What's the difference between this and the CalDigit one...besides the extra $29.95?

It looks like someone's OEM'ing this, since the Elgato and CalDigit ones have the same port layout. Caldigit case is metal, the ElGato one looks more desktop sleek. CalDigit's comes with a TB cable, too.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 01:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N19h7m4r3 View Post
The Belkin one is not only cheaper, it offers more connectivity.
Problem is the Belkin gets only marginal at best reviews... The CalDigit seems to get the best reviews...
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 01:56 PM   #20
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What makes this a better buy than the caldigit one?
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 01:56 PM   #21
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Get the Akitio ThunderDock

Quote:
Originally Posted by LorenK View Post
Am I the only person waiting for an affordable docking station with eSATA?
Has two 6Gb/s eSATA ports as well as all the other needed ports. I got one. It's excellent.

http://www.akitio.com/accessories/thunder-dock
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 02:17 PM   #22
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At last

Useful ports in the front of the unit.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 02:22 PM   #23
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No eSATA, really?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by agecross72 View Post
Has two 6Gb/s eSATA ports as well as all the other needed ports. I got one. It's excellent.

http://www.akitio.com/accessories/thunder-dock
It is also very expensive. Thunderbolt is a dud, shown by the small number of disk enclosures available.
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 02:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by George Zip View Post
I'll pay $1,000 for a Thunderbolt Docking Station from Apple, with 4 USB3 ports and a minimum of two Thunderbolt ports, provided they include a new Display with it. ;-)
And with a discrete GPU!
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Old Apr 3, 2014, 02:42 PM   #25
usarioclave
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Originally Posted by jms969 View Post
Problem is the Belkin gets only marginal at best reviews... The CalDigit seems to get the best reviews...
My CalDigit's been great. I've got it plugged into a Retina MBP and have a monitor via hdmi, a few USB devices and GigE. Occasionally the usb is slow to link up, but that's been the only issue (sometimes it's < 1 sec, sometimes it's 10-15 seconds).
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