Docking station for early 2011 MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alexjholland, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. alexjholland macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    Hey, I recently upgraded an early 2011 MacBook Pro (SSD, RAM etc) that I'm taking with me to Australia in two weeks, for a couple of years.

    At the weekend I sold my iMac and am solely on the MBP now.

    What options do I have for a docking-station when I get to Australia?

    It looks like Thunderbolt 1 and 2 are compatible with each other, but Thunderbolt 3 is different?

    Also, it looks like Thunderbolt docks remain fairly expensive?

    Basically, is there any sensible alternative to plugging in a larger monitor, keyboard and mouse everytime I come home when in Australia?

    I figure neither USB nor Firewire will have enough bandwith to handle the monitor?
  2. robvas macrumors 68020

    Mar 29, 2009
    Thunderbolt Cinema Display. They are cheap used here in the US, not sure about down under.
  3. bartvk macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2016
    The Netherlands
    Thunderbolt 3 is still downwards compatible. Apple has a dongle for that.

    I've never heard of Firewire docking solutions, but there are so-called DisplayLink docks. DisplayLink is the company that makes the chipset and the driver, and many manufacturers make all kinds of different products using it. These are based on USB 3. Some people have had good luck with these, however I have the feeling that they're very good at uncovering bugs in macOS (i.e. that normally wouldn't appear).

    And you're right, these Thunderbolt 2 docks are still pretty expensive. There's no working around that. Like Rob above suggested, Apple's old Thunderbolt display may be okay.

    Considering that laptop is probably 5 years old, I think I'd buy a Thunderbolt 3 dock. It'll still be useful should you upgrade.

    By the way, for that laptop any docking solution will still require power via MagSafe.
  4. alexjholland thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    Cheers guys. I think given the cost, I'll stick with a USB hub.

    Paying £200 just to be save myself plugging in a monitor cable doesn't seem to make any sense.

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