Docking Station Recommendations

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TJ71, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. TJ71 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2015
    Using macbook pro retina and have it hooked up a LG 34 inch monitor. Love the combo! Was wondering if anyone had suggestions for a docking station. I'm looking at the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock and the Startech Thunderbolt Dock currently and curious on feedback on those two or any other brands that work well.

  2. thebro20 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2014
  3. stevieraveon macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2012
    I just setup a Henge Dock vertical docking station to my retina 15 inch. I have it hooked up to two 27 inch 2560x1440 monitors.

    I absolutely love it. There is also a horizontal dock they sell, but I don't care about using my laptop screen when docked.

    Since the dock only has one USB input, I also bought cheap USB 3.0 port replicator.

    I also had to buy two mini display port to Dual DVI adapters ($99 each from apple) since those are needed to get to high resolution screens.
  4. kodaker macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Speaking of docks I am a new Macbook owner and want to know how docking works. I see pictures of a docked laptop closed and vertical in a stand. When I close my Macbook it turns off, or at least goes to sleep. How does using a dock keep it running?
  5. kodaker macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Never mind, I found a web site that explains using a Macbook in clamshell mode.
  6. TJ71 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2015
    I really like that one. It says they are not shipping them until February. How did you get yours so quick? Is there another site where I can get one sooner?

  7. thebro20 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2014
    They're in pre-order so I had ordered mine in december so it would ship in January. If you can wait till February to get it, I highly suggest that one.
  8. EggWhite macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    I ordered and am waiting for the StarTech thunderbolt 1 dock. I had been comparing all the different models and really didn't see a huge advantage to the thunderbolt 2 docks vs thunderbolt 1 except for 4k (which I don't plan on getting any time soon). The major downside I saw with all the docks is, if the dock comes with thunderbolt and HDMI you can only use one or the other if you don't have a thunderbolt display. I wanted two external monitors ideally and didn't seem like any of the thunderbolt 2 docks would allow that using mDP and HDMI. So I decided to get a cheaper thunderbolt 1 dock and see what the next generation or two of docks add in functionality. Hopefully I made the right choice and will know soon.
  9. TJ71 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2015
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I've got to make a decision pretty quick. That OWC sure is enticing!

  10. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I've been using a StarTech TBDOCKHDPBC for over 6 months now. Its a solid product about as good as it gets for a docking station. The only gripe I have is the audio pop when going to sleep, but it seems that all TB docks do that including the OWC.

    The OWC product has a few issues, and if you want to risk early developer bugs then its OK. It has two more USB ports and is TB2 compliant if thats important to you, but its also $70 more money. Your call.
  11. EggWhite macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    I just got my StarTech Thunderbolt 1 dock yesterday and so far very impressed.

    I am using this on a 2011 MacBook Pro 17 with an i7. So this laptop only has 1 thunderbolt port, and no USB 3.0 ports at all.

    I used SATA to USB3 adapter to a Crucial m4 128GB (Not the fastest SSD in the world)

    Connected to laptop directly I get about 27MB/s write and 34MB/s read
    Connected to the dock I get 170MB/s write and 352MB/s read
    So huge improvement for an older laptop without many options for faster connections.

    I connected the gigabit port on the dock to my network and was getting on average 30-60MB/s transfer when moving files over the network. Which was about the same or slightly slower then what I get with the built in network port.

    At the moment I am driving an Asus PB278Q 1440p monitor without any issues and controlling it with a wired USB mouse and keyboard without issues.

    So far very happy, I had one issue coming out of sleep but I think that wasn't fully a dock issue since I have had a similar issue in the past.

    I stuck with a Thunderbolt 1 dock since I didn't feel a 2 dock added much and would have cost me close to 200 more (I am Canadian and this dock was local, and 2 docks would have to be shipped from the US, plus exchange rate).

    The one feature I really wanted was the ability to drive two external mDP or HDMI monitors but none can. So I got the cheaper dock and may upgrade in the future when better docks come out.
  12. mobilebuddha macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    perhaps i'm just being dense.. but can you or someone tell me whether this dock can accept 2 monitor connections, 1 from some sort of a thunderbolt-to-DVI or thunderbolt-to-displayport connection and 1 from HDMI, at the same time?

    i have a late 2013 MBP and I would like to connect to 2 external monitors and be able to use the additional USB ports..


  13. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    That computer only has Thunderbolt 1.0, so it wouldn't have made a difference.
  14. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    I too am now in the market for one. I was looking at Belkin, Elagato and OWC. If anyone has any experience with the first two I'd love to hear it.
  15. pudcraft macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2013

    just get it on took 1 day for me to get it.
  16. thebro20 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2014
    I have the OWC thunderbolt 2 dock and I love it. It works great, and I like having the 5 USB ports and I also can't complain about the sleek design of it. All in all I'm satisfied with it and was worth the money.
  17. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    I love the Elagato TB2 Dock. It has a great dock utility that lets you disconnect all drives with one click. I'm not sure if the others have that but it is a great feature. I've had it for a month and it has worked flawlessly. The only drawback is that it has 3 USB3 ports. 4 or 5 would be nice.
  18. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    No, with all of the current docks you can only use either the hdmi or a passive mdp adapter but not both. The only way to get more than 1 display is to use an actual thunderbolt display.

    I have not had a very good experience with the Belkin TB2 dock including intermittent USB and audio disconnects. It also throttles my ethernet speed for some reason.
  19. mobilebuddha macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    argh, that's good to know. I guess I'll stay away..
  20. roncron macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2011
    LandingZone makes docks for the Macbook Air & Pro:

    A couple years ago, I bought one for my 11" MBA and loved it. I recently bought a 13" retina MBP and immediately bought the LandingZone dock for it, and it's even better. I take my Macbook to work every day, and it's a pain to plug and unplug my speakers, printer, external mouse & monitor, etc every time. Plus the LandingZone adds more USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet port.

    I've also had excellent customer service from them. They are worth checking out. They also offer a modest discount for college students and teachers, I think it was about $20, not a lot, but enough for a pizza.

Share This Page