CES 2013: Belkin Drops eSATA Support for Upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock, Cuts Price Back to $299

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot



    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.
    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
  2. macrumors 68030


    Wasn't this announced like... a year ago?
  3. macrumors 68030


    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.
  4. macrumors regular

    Seriously... I'll be playing a new Duke Nukem before I see this thing...
  5. macrumors regular

    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.
  6. macrumors 68020

    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??
  7. macrumors 68030


    They helped develop it.
  8. macrumors member

    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!
  9. macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    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.
  10. Moderator


    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).
  11. macrumors member


    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?
  12. macrumors 68000


    I just want a $50 thunderbolt enclosure. You can't make a product/accessory popular with ridiculous pricing this far after it's launch.
  13. macrumors regular


    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.
  14. macrumors regular

    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.
  15. Moderator


    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.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    does this mean I can dual display out hooking up an adapter to both thunderbolt ports?
  17. macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Coming to a store near you ..... next year...ish.
  18. macrumors 6502

    mazel tov....

    now another year till this is released just before thunderbolt gen 2 in announced.
  19. macrumors 68020


    Even now it's been reduced I still can't get over the price, It's a dock?!
  20. macrumors 65816

    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!
  21. macrumors 6502

    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.

  22. macrumors 68040

    Now it's a must have. :)

    I've have toooo many wires in my face.
  23. macrumors 6502

    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


    The use case is not where you have a 2012 iMac on your desk.
  24. macrumors regular

    what are those cutouts for? on the side and rear-middle.
  25. macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    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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