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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Belkin is taking pre-orders for its $299 Thunderbolt Express Dock and is telling buyers that it should begin shipping next week.
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The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock is an easy, powerful way to take advantage of Thunderbolt technology. The Thunderbolt Express Dock lets you use a single connection to create high-speed, reliable transfers between your laptop and up to eight other devices, including FireWire, Ethernet, USB, and daisy chaining multiple Thunderbolt devices.

- 1 Thunderbolt port
- 1 FireWire 800 port
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- 3 USB 3.0 ports (max 2.5Gbps transfer rate)
- 1 3.5mm-out port
- 1 3.5mm-in port
Belkin first showed off its Thunderbolt Express Dock back in September of 2011, promising 3 USB ports, an outbound Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining, a FireWire 800 port, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

In January 2012, an HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio out plug were added to the dock which was priced at $300. In June 2012, Belkin added USB 3.0, an audio in port, and eSATA while bumping the price to $400.

At CES last month, Belkin removed the eSATA port and dropped the price back down to $299.

Now, close to a year-and-a-half after it was first announced, the Thunderbolt Express Dock is here. Matrox has a similar dock with slightly different ports that launched in December for $249.

Article Link: Belkin Finally Taking Pre-Orders for Thunderbolt Express Dock
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,288
The ports on this could probably be useful for if you've only got a MacBook Air or something. But then if you really need the ports, you'd have spent an extra $300 on a MacBook Pro in the first place.

Yeah, just repeating what everybody else said, really. Too much cash. :(
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,615
13,065
Europe
I would consider buying it at $50, and I would consider asking for it if my employer were to pay for it at $100, but it boggles my mind that they would sell a single one of these at $300.
 

curmudgeon32

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2012
240
1
The only scenario this makes sense for is someone who travels with a laptop and then brings it home and plugs it into an external monitor and hard drives and a bunch of other stuff — and who is willing to spend a bunch of money to only have to plug in a single cable.

But hell, in that scenario, you're spending $350 (once you factor in buying a Thunderbolt cable) and you could just plop down another $150 and have a mac mini sitting there connected to all that stuff.
 

Jovian9

macrumors 68000
Feb 19, 2003
1,957
101
Planet Zebes
For this price I'd want it to have a built in hard drive as well to help me make use of the Thunderbolt technology other than plugging other stuff in. Way too expensive IMO
 

iPusch

macrumors 6502
May 30, 2012
379
0
Manhattan, New York
I feel like I have two dumb Thunderbolt ports in my Mac which will be never in use, they are just there, getting dusty^^ Hope they won't stop supporting them, otherwise it'd be even more stupid to have ports which do no even exist :D oh boy, stupid ports :cool:
 

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,564
Kassel, Germany
Everytime a company releases an overpriced (read: any) Thunderbolt accessory a kitten dies...

I heard cats are an endangered species now...

Glassed Silver:mac
 

nilk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2007
674
219
Belkin's dock is the first of the Thunderbolt accessories that appears to be a complete docking solution. The Matrox DS1 doesn't support resolutions beyond 1920x1200, lacks Firewire, and doesn't have a Thunderbolt passthrough. Apple's own Thunderbolt Display doesn't have an audio out port and only has USB 2.0.

Belkin's dock has Thunderbolt passthrough, Firewire, USB 3.0, audio ports. I assume you can plug in a DisplayPort display (including higher res ones like 2560x1600 displays) into the Thunderbolt port on this dock, but I'd like to know for sure (Belkin's specs don't say). Assuming it can do that, the only thing more that I'd like to see more in a Thunderbolt dock is the ability to plugin in two non-ThunderBolt displays (maybe one DisplayPort and one HDMI), while still having an a Thunderbolt passthrough.

A lot of people here are going to complain about the price. Sure, I'm not planning to rush out and get this at this price point (my home machines don't have Thunderbolt anyway), but I'm happy to see some more complete solutions appearing. Right now there is no comparable docks as this, so naturally the price will be high. To put the $300 price into perspective, this is in the same ball park of DisplayPort KVMs, the cheapest of which are $300 (and that's ones that support only two devices, more than 2 is really expensive). Not exactly the same thing, but it's the closest thing I can compare it to.
 

el-John-o

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2010
1,539
694
Missouri
It's a neat convenience product, but it's awfully expensive without adding any real functionality to the machine.

I'm still waiting for a thunderbolt dock that will support multiple monitor out. The DisplayPort technology built in to thunderbolt already supports daisy chaining or hubs for DisplayPort, so it's 100% possible to do, just nobody is doing it yet...
 

SloanNYC

macrumors newbie
Feb 14, 2013
15
2
A temporary option

I'm interested because I am slimming down to using just my Macbook Air which only has 1 Thunderbolt and 2 USB 2.0 ports. For me, $350 extends the capabilities of this laptop to be suitable for another year or so and still allows me to use my Dell monitor for a second, larger screen. eSata would have been great, but FW800 is way better than the USB 2.0 I'm using for a RAID backup system. It might make sense to sell the Air and buy a new laptop instead, but this is cheaper right now, and I think the prices for the Retina Macbook Pros will continue to come down and storage space for SSDs will go up, so I'll wait on that. I think this would be a solid piece of gear for another 3-4 years too with the Thunderbolt pass through and USB 3.0.
 

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
1,357
463
I would just like to see a simple Thunderbolt --->> USB 3.0 adapter.

Since new Macs have USB 3.0, this sounds like a tough sell for a manufacturer.

You can go with the Sonnet TB to Expresscard/34 box and get a USB 3.0 Expresscard for that. That's clearly a sub-optimal solution, and you'd have to be careful that drivers worked correctly.

I think your only real solution is to upgrade to a current Mac.
 

nilk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2007
674
219
The only scenario this makes sense for is someone who travels with a laptop and then brings it home and plugs it into an external monitor and hard drives and a bunch of other stuff — and who is willing to spend a bunch of money to only have to plug in a single cable.

But hell, in that scenario, you're spending $350 (once you factor in buying a Thunderbolt cable) and you could just plop down another $150 and have a mac mini sitting there connected to all that stuff.

When you're spending $3500 on a maxed out 15" rMBP config, and $1200+ on a 30" monitor ($4700 total), $350 is still a lot, but not that huge of a stretch, and a base model Mac Mini just isn't going to cut it, especially if you do most of your work on the rMBP and don't want to worry about managing multiple machines and want a seamless experience.

Let's say you already having the 30" monitor, buying this to add TB capabilities instead of buying a $999 Apple Thunderbolt Display (which lacks audio out and lacks USB 3.0) may actually make sense.

Personally I wouldn't buy at this price point, but I can imagine someone who would, or I can imagine companies buying their developers or other professional employees this.
 

MagnusVonMagnum

macrumors 603
Jun 18, 2007
5,182
1,430
It needs to be priced around half that, IMO to really have any hopes of selling in large quantities and it really should have around 5-6 USB 3.0 ports, IMO, not just three (still can't find a good 7-port hub here that works right and I already have 4-ports built into my Mini and a 7-port USB 2.0 hub on top of that and I'm still running out of ports half the time while my Thunderbolt port is only used for a 2nd monitor and FW goes unused, although both my FW ports get used on my 2008 MBP between a backup drive for it and a FW audio interface).

I could see someone with a 2011 Mac that only has Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 buying this, though since it would give them USB 3.0 and there's really no other way for them to get it (ironically I CAN buy a USB 3.0 card for my 2008 Macbook Pro since it has the Express Card expansion slot in it, although I think it wouldn't quite be full speed, but still better than 2.0).
 

el-John-o

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2010
1,539
694
Missouri
I would much prefer this baby ---> http://hengedocks.com/order_horizontal_dock.php

...If they ever release it. I have always wanted a dock like that for my macbook

Those are definitely very cool. I sent them an e-mail a while back and those will only be Retina MBP compatible, but still pretty awesome.

My only concern is, it appears to be three miniDP ports with no thunderbolt capability. That means no thunderbolt passthrough, and also, perhaps no compatibility with the Thunderbolt displays? It'd work with the Cinema display, but perhaps not thunderbolt...
 

SvK

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2005
285
0
San Diego
Those are definitely very cool. I sent them an e-mail a while back and those will only be Retina MBP compatible, but still pretty awesome.

My only concern is, it appears to be three miniDP ports with no thunderbolt capability. That means no thunderbolt passthrough, and also, perhaps no compatibility with the Thunderbolt displays? It'd work with the Cinema display, but perhaps not thunderbolt...

Good news...they ARE making a thunderbolt equpped one for an extra 60$....sent a n email and got instant reply!

Thunderbolt on the back......I can't wait!

I have 2 27's and a Plasma for the movie im scoring too. Also a Thunderbolt UAD audio interface and the PEGA tower for all my external SSDs...

bye, bye MAcPro


kinda cool!


best,
SvK
 
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