Docking Solutions for MBP 2016

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Derek87, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    #1
    hi all,
    with my new MacBook Pro 13 on order and trying to find as simple a possible route to using my old legacy devices, i wanted to see what people were using to connect everything.

    to me, assuming OWC's Thunderbolt 3 dock works as advertised and doesn't keep getting delayed, i might wait for it. yeti wondered if i'm missing some good, and less expensive alternatives.

    my needs:
    - USB-A connectivity
    - connect to 2010 Apple 27" LED cinema display (non-thunderbolt model with minidisplayport cable)
    - ethernet
    - charging

    the OWC (available for pre-order which now promises March shipping but that was February previously, and maybe even January before that) fits the bill here and would make for a quick disconnect and reconnect when i'm in the office and then need to get on the go. moreover, it would free up the charger that comes with the computer. all for a small (cough) sum of $279 (preorder price).

    alternatively, i can forsee buying

    Satechi multiport (with ethernet) $80
    extra Apple charger and cable $88
    mini- displayport / USB-C cable $30 (a few on amazon seem to get reasonable reviews)

    total : $198 (requires two cable disconnects upon leaving my desk. (one from Satechi and another for monitor)


    are there any other solutions i should be considering/looking into that people are happy with?

    thanks!
     
  2. volzalum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #2
    It looks like Hengedocks tethered dock when released will also meet your needs, as well as the Belkin one, the Lenovo one, and 2 from CalDigit. The Hengedocks one is supposed to have 2 display ports built in, the others all have a single port display port.
     
  3. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #3
    caldigit already got the usb-c dock that is compatible with your 13. It does have charging feature.
    They are also shipping the first Mac thunderbolt 3 docks now, but that one does not do charge the laptop. Depends on what you need. If you can not wait that long, go with usb-c dock or wait for all the newer thunderbolt 3 docks that can do charging.
     
  4. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #4
    To be a bit more clear on Caldigit: they have 3 docks: a USB-only one using USB-C and 2 Thunderbolt 3 docks of which one isn't capable of charging the Macs at 60W or 85W (limited to only 15W). All 3 have USB-A, ethernet and a normal sized DisplayPort connector (you're going to need something that converts mini-DisplayPort to the normal DisplayPort connector).
     
  5. Derek87 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 29, 2009
    #5
    thanks for the replies.

    i have corresponded with Caldigit. they sadly informed me that their USB-C did not appear to work with the non-Thunderbolt Apple Cinema Display based on user reports and suspected, that without proof, they suspected it wouldn't work with the T3-light either. it was great to get an honest response though.

    it seems like the Hengedock, Belkin, and OWC will be my best bets. i just hope they release them soon and someone can confirm that they work properly with my monitor. in the meantime, i think i'll need to probably find the right adapter combination that allows my monitor work while i wait. (it seems there are a couple of Amazon but a few people report problems -- not sure those were just defective dongles or some underlying problem)
     
  6. carestudio macrumors 6502

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    Aug 6, 2008
    #6
    2017 is the year of docks and dongles. thank you, Apple!
     
  7. werpu macrumors member

    werpu

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2017
    #7
    Yes, you might add 200-300 bucks for additional dongles and docks to your budget, and some serious research so that you do not buy anything shoddy :)

    Frankly spoken, I am half glad about USB-C because finally there will be one connector for everything solution instead of having about 10 different connectors for the same thing, what we experiencing ATM are just transitional/early adopter pains. I am pretty sure 3 years down the road you simply will be able to buy cheap cables down the line without having to look for anything and they will just work.

    The problem I have for now is just that the market is flooded with shoddy adapters cables and dongles, with a certain percentage of manufacturers behind it not even knowing what they are doing.

    So did apple the right thing. Yes, was the move to early. Yes about one year, but on the other hand someone had to do it.
     
  8. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #8
    They are only overdue for about 20 years...

    Anyway, we've had these docks since Thunderbolt 1 which would be about 5~6 years. These new TB3 docks are no different than their predecessors, except they do TB3 instead of 1 or 2.

    I'm looking to replacing my 5 year old Caldigit Thunderbolt Station so I only have to connect 1 cable to my new MBP but with the old one still working perfectly fine I'm not so sure if I will.
     
  9. bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

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    Dec 29, 2016
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    The Netherlands
    #9
    That is entirely up to the user.

    You can do it much cheaper; all you really need is a new cable for your external monitor ($25) and your hub (another $15).

    The rest is really added convenience.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 16, 2017 ---
    Yeah, I can attest to this. I've tried a number of cheap Chinese cables and with a lot of those, the USB-C connector simply didn't connect well. I guess USB-C requires strict tolerances which some manufacturers haven't yet mastered.
     
  10. DrTwoFish macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    #10
    Tagging on to this thread, I'll be getting a new work MBP next month to replace my current Dell (I have a 2012 MBPr at home). I currently have the Dell docked and connected to two 23" Dell monitors (extended desktop) that use VGA/DVI. Anybody have advice about hooking up to these monitors? Do I/can I get two USB-C-to-DVI adaptors? I assume I'll need a dock since I also need ethernet, audio, USB-A, mouse, etc that would overwhelm even 4 USB-C ports.
     
  11. lambertjohn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #11
    Yeah, uh, no it's not. Come back in ten years and we'll talk again.
     
  12. bartvk, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017

    bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

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    #12
    A) The cheapest solution would be to use the regular power adapter, and fill the remaining three USB-C ports as follows:
    - 2 x USB-C to DVI adapters, such as this one: https://www.startech.com/AV/usb-c-video-adapters/usb-c-dvi-adapter~CDP2DVI
    - one hub with enough USB-A ports, that connects to the MBP with a USB-C cable

    So when you come into the office in the morning, you hook up four connectors. Doesn't seem like a bother to me.

    B) If you want to go the way of the docking station, preorder something like one of these:
    https://eshop.macsales.com/preorder/owc-thunderbolt-3-dock/
    or this one:
    https://hengedocks.com/products/tethered-dock

    Then hook up one screen with a mini-Displayport-to-DVI cable, and another one with a USB-C-to-DVI adapter. Not sure if that will work, of course. You might need to experiment with that.

    C) Third solution is to replace your two monitors (which must be getting old now) with one or two USB-C or Thunderbolt based monitors. It's a very clean solution because all peripherals will connect to the monitor(s).
     
  13. DrTwoFish macrumors member

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    Nov 25, 2008
    #13
    Thanks so much for the help - much appreciated! I'd love to replace the monitors, but the laptop alone is pushing our standard computer replacement budget, so I don't think that's in the cards (plus, frankly, they work fine for what I do). I don't mind at all plugging in 4 cords each morning, so looks like option A is the winner. Thanks again.

     
  14. Nayaa macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2017
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    Bangalore
    #14
    Looks like you will definitely need a dock. Or you could check with Dell regarding the USB connectors that they have nowadays. They are helpful with such queries as my order experience with them has been pleasant.
     
  15. bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

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    #15
    Yup, at the moment that's how I hook my MBP up as well, except I only have one monitor.

    By the way, StarTech seems to have a USB-C to DVI cable instead of a dongle. It might make things looking less ungainly/error prone. Maximum resolution is 1920x1200.
    https://www.startech.com/AV/usb-c-video-adapters/usb-c-dvi-cable~CDP2DVIMM1MB
     
  16. burgman macrumors 65816

    burgman

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #16
    And Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft just give it a rest and move on or don't buy new tech.
     
  17. dyn macrumors 68030

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    .nl
    #17
    It won't bother you if you hook it up when you come in and disconnect when you go back home. It is bothersome when you do the connecting and disconnecting a lot because you take your notebook into meetings, demos, etc. From what I've seen this is something most people seem to be doing; they are actually using the notebook as a notebook, not as a stationary desktop.

    That's why all the other competing docking stations have been coming with this 1-press-to-disconnect button on them for years now. Having 1 cable to connect is a nice alternative though.
     
  18. c0ppo macrumors 6502a

    c0ppo

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    Feb 11, 2013
    #18
    Actually, this is where you are wrong.
    You see, when you buy any usb-c cable, that cable is usb 2.0, or usb 3.0, or 3.1, or tb3. And of course, they all look the same. For now only tb3 cables usually have thunderbolt mark on them, so at least you can make tb3 cable apart from others.

    Next thing is ohm resistance. Some of those cables simply can't charge even macbook 12, so any other macbook is simply out of the question. Even apple is cheap on this, since they pack their laptops with silly usb2.0 cables.

    There is a lot of confusion atm. And I really don't believe that in 2-3 years this all will be sorted out. And who's to say that the future is bright? It's not like we are going to leave everything on usb-c and tb3. TB4 will come out eventually, and who is there to say that they won't change the connector type to get better bandwidth and speed?

    Sticking only to usb-c is a stupid decision. Just check out apple store and usb-c cables and dongles review.
     
  19. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #19
    If there is one thing that sticking to USB-C isn't: stupid. Sticking with USB-C is one of the smartest things the industry has done. Apple using Thunderbolt 3 only on their new MBPs is even smarter because now you have 4 ports you can turn into whatever YOU want them to be instead of having to make do with what the OEM decided them to be. The power has shifted from OEM to user and because of that they can now actually cater to almost anyone.

    You can now decide if you want to go with the more expensive Thunderbolt 3 devices or stick with the cheaper USB devices. You can now connect 4 Thunderbolt devices to different ports (with daisy-chaining that means you can connect 6 per port so a total of 24 devices) instead of 2; OR you can connect 4 USB devices instead of 2.

    The confusion you speak off is still the same as previously (check out the Apple store, Amazon, etc. and the reviews of the non-USB-C cables, dongles, devices). Previously people tried to insert a USB-A connector into an RJ-45 slot and people will still ask what they need to connect their computer to something. The limitation here is peoples IT knowledge (which overall is still quite abysmal), no connector in the world is going to change that. What will change this is the overall use of this connector in the future. When we use it for everything it means that the user has a lot less to worry about. The physical connection no longer matters, the computer will be able to interpret the protocols going over it so the users doesn't need to think of it. The fact that we now are seeing USB-C being used on displays is a good thing.

    Mind you, there will always be devices that aren't compatible with each other. You can only find out if the manufacturer tells you or someone finds out and tells people (say in a review). No connector is going to change this both now and in the future.
     
  20. c0ppo macrumors 6502a

    c0ppo

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    Feb 11, 2013
    #20
    Let me remind you, you had that power in every mac for a couple of years now. Thunderbolt 2, you had two of those on MBP, along with USB-a and other ports.

    If Apple is so smart you claim it to be, we wouldn't have the situation where you can't connect iPhone or iPad out of the box with new MBP. And you can't even charge magic mouse/keyboard/trackpad with new MBP out of the box. Real smart :D

    So having 4 same ports is idiotic. Pretty idiotic. IMO of course.
     
  21. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #21
    The only Thunderbolt version that is compatible with USB and capable of being used as a charging port is Thunderbolt 3. Previous Macs do not come with Thunderbolt 3 and only have ports that are only capable of using the protocol that they are intended for:
    • you could only power the notebook via 1 proprietary port that was on 1 side of the machine
    • you could only connect USB devices to the two USB ports and thus no more than 2 USB devices could be connected
    • when you connect 2 displays to the Thunderbolt ports you can no longer connect any Thunderbolt devices
    • when you connect Thunderbolt devices that do not come with daisy-chain options you cannot connect any displays (the HDMI port is the only option)
    • the HDMI only allowed HDMI connections
    So basically anyone who wants to connect 2 displays via DisplayPort and use a Thunderbolt device is screwed. Anyone wanting to use more than 2 USB devices is also screwed. And so on. Not to mention you had to buy a dock AND a separate charger because you couldn't do all that via a single cable.

    With the 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports this has changed. You can now connect 4 USB devices, use 2 DisplayPort connections and still connect a Thunderbolt device (2 even to be precise), just buy a dock and have that charge the notebook all through 1 cable and so on.

    1. Apple is smart, not clairvoyant.

    2. iPhones and iPads do not need to be connected to any computer. They work fine without them and have been doing so for several years now. They can be charged via the charger that comes in the box and can connect to other devices (such as a Mac) but are not required to. When you want to connect them to other devices this can be done via bluetooth and/or wifi.

    3. The only items that don't come with a charger are the mouse, keyboard and trackpad. All of those have been released in an era where USB-C didn't yet exist. You can buy chargers for them or use your smartphone/tablet charger. Also see item 1.

    Your arguments are idiotic. There is absolutely no thought in those at all let alone any understanding of the products and technology that is discussed here. You really need to start educating yourself on the subject. Unless you want to look like a complete idiot of course.
     
  22. bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

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    #22
    Yes, I totally agree. And I have to say, even when it's a glorified desktop, it might be worth the money because a single cable makes for a very clean and tidy desk.
     
  23. c0ppo macrumors 6502a

    c0ppo

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    Feb 11, 2013
    #23
    Of all the things mentioned here, only one valid is that TB2 couldn't be used for charging the device. The only one :)

    1) You could connect 2 USB-A devices. True. But that is 2 more then today. And if you wanted more USB devices, you could use TB2 dock/hub/adapter, or even USB-a hub. Something you can't use today :)

    2) Why would I connect 2 displays to TB2? There is HMDI as well, right? And there are docks, right? I connect 2 displays via just one TB2 port via my tb2 dock. And still I have all those sd cards, usb-a, hdmi ports free.

    3) HDMI actually allowed more then just hdmi connections. You have hdmi-vga, hdmi-dvi, hdmi-display port cables and adapters.

    I simply don't see how anyone is screwed? You can connect your MBP with almost any tv/monitor without adapters/dongles/etc. You can use usb-a, sd card, all without adapters.

    And if you want more, then you have to use adapters/dongles. With new MBP, you have to bring a bunch of adapters/dongles with you just to use the basic stuff. How many monitors have USB-c today? TV? Anything?

    Your screwed. Bring adapters. Forgot them? Well, you can't use what you want :)

    The rest of your post is written like a true fanboy, so I won't bother anymore :(
     
  24. bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

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    #24
    But isn't that really a hypothetical situation? I mean, when I hook up my MBP to a monitor, it's 99,99% of the time my own one. The correct cable is connected to the monitor, ready to hook up the notebook.

    Sure, if you have one of those jobs that involves going to clients to give presentations, I agree. But in that case, you probably make sure you have a special work laptop bag with every imaginable dongle in there.
     
  25. c0ppo macrumors 6502a

    c0ppo

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    #25
    And that is my case. And no matter how many dongles you buy, eventually you are gonna forget one, or simply won't own the one that you require.
     

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