So many docks and hubs.... Which ones do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Bbeelzebub, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Bbeelzebub macrumors member

    Bbeelzebub

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    #1
    So, I just ordered a 2017 MBP and I know I will need to be getting a dongle or a dock as my external drives, etc. are all USB 3.0.

    Looking at the hubs and docks, I'm seeing that some have ethernet modems, HDMI, etc.... Which ones do you all recommend? There are sooooo many and they aren't inexpensive, but the quality of a lot of them seem really cheap.

    I really only require SD / Micro SD, USB and HDMI. I move stuff between computers a lot and now that I've 95% eliminated Windows out of my life, I'm thinking I'll be moving stuff around a lot less.

    Hoping to find good build quality, reliability and value without having to pay 200 bucks. Thanks!
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    You have a couple of choices here. You could just buy some cables usb c to whatever your peripherals use and swap out the cables this will be your cheapest option and you can carry on using your machine as you have always done.

    You can go with a simple usb C dock with hdmi sd and even power pass through, these are quite cheap ($40-70) but well made and small and light to carry or are unobtrusive in a desk set up. Something like these...

    https://www.amazon.com/HooToo-Ether...60996&sr=8-4-fkmr0&keywords=hootoo+usb+c+dock

    This one stays connected to your mac...

    https://www.amazon.com/HooToo-Ether...60996&sr=8-4-fkmr0&keywords=hootoo+usb+c+dock

    Or you can pay 200 bucks or up for TB 3 for multiple 4K screens and USB 3 support on multiple drives through one cable.
     
  3. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
    #4
    Personally I'd act NOW while it's on early sales discount, and get the CalDigit "TS3 Plus" Tbolt 3 dock.

    Quite simply, it's the best dock on the market by far, as it offers 85W charging (for MBP 15", most TB3 docks don't, and zero USB-C ones do), a whopping *15* ports in total (inc. DP to connect any previous display standard via dongle: Mini-DP/HDMI/DVI/VGA!), fast SD (UHS-II 300MB/s!), and along with the 5x USB-A 5Gb/s ports even has 2x USB-C ports (1@ 10Gb/s, 1@ 5Gb/s) in addition to the TB3 pass-through port.

    Forget the rest, unless you want a more portable non-TB3, USB-C bus-powered solution, say for on the road usage.
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    The Hootoo I linked above offers 4K video and 100w charging for 15 inch pro's on a USB C hub with usb 3, Ethernet, and HDMI, all over USB C for less than $70. Just saying

    there is one with sd cards and 100w charging as well for $45

    https://www.amazon.com/HooToo-Adapt...rd_wg=zW4so&psc=1&refRID=433P18GTK02FWC167NN3
     
  5. jimthing, Mar 19, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018

    jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
    #6
    There seems to be a lot of conjecture on Amazon with those, concerning whether they achieve the 85W on the 15" MBP's though, i.e. flaky.
    Hence why I suggested the TB3 dock solution as the most reliable, as those cheaper things look to actually only work at max 60W.

    AFAIR, USB-C Power Delivery spec does 60W max, whereas TB3 specs can do up to 100W max. Hence those wanting 85W for their 15" MBP's are pretty much forced to go TB3 dock rather than vanilla USB-C dock. Though to be fair, many users report that 60W does them ok most of the time for their power needs on 15" MBP's, so it likely depends on how bothered you are. (along with how many and what ports you want available, of course.)
     
  6. 4RunnerHeaven Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    #7
    Caldigit TS3+. Best one you can get right now. I tried the Elgato (forget the name) TB3 dock, and had issues with it not charging and other conflicts. Went to the Caldigit TS3 and haven't had a single issue since!
     
  7. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #8
  8. Bbeelzebub thread starter macrumors member

    Bbeelzebub

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    #9
    If I didn't know better, I'd think we're being flooded by CalDigit employees. ;)


    I think that one is a bit too overkill for my use. My iMac is still my main computer, the MacBook Pro is more for an on the go type of thing. Light and portable (Well, minus my 21000 mah Ravpower brick) I definitely wouldn't want to lug that Caldigit unit around.

    I'm going to give it a few days after my MBP arrives on Thursday and see how I manage. I may have no use for what I think I'll need.

    In theory, I love the idea of those simple all in one 50 dollar docks, however, when I see power issues in the amazon reviews, it gives me concern of their ability to fry my electronics.
     
  9. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
    #10
    Agree on the fact that AFAICS, most of the cheaper portable (non-TB3) vanilla USB-C docks are not "branded" ones, being from the main electronic companies you could trust. They're from small operations you have to take a punt on: I mean "HooToo", "Tiko", "Letscom" ...hardly recognisable names are they, lol. Yet they want you to trust them to let them power your $£€multi-thousand Mac!

    I suppose there are a few more recognised brands out there:
    Anker: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anker-Premium-Mini-Dock-Ethernet-Chromebook/dp/B072F2M874
    Lenovo: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-Charging-MicroSD-Portable-Chromebook/dp/B074112BNY
    HP: https://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-USB-C-Travel-Type-C-notebook/dp/B01AA0NACO
    et al.

    But they could equally fry your board, I suppose.
     
  10. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #11

    You need to decide which interface to go with first. USB-C or Thunderbolt 3.

    USB-C generally speaking has much slower speed and share bandwidth with all the ports on the dock. Some USB-C dock or adapter claimed they are Thunderbolt 3 grade but they are NOT. They just share the same USB-C connector with TB3. All the USB-C docks or adapters that are around or under 100 dollars are usb-c, not TB3, so be aware. HyperDrive is one of the examples. These USB-c adapter tends to break your computer's TB3 ports and also not provide enough power to external devices, so stay away anything that is just doing pass-through charging and claiming 50G bandwidth. No such 50G Interface thing in the world. They are misleading the general users who have no idea about what they are buying.

    If you want a real USB-C dock, check with OWC and Caldigit. Around 150 dollars or less you can get a good one. Caldigit one is reported as the best usb-c dock and it supports Apple superdrive which is the most important feature to me ;) the downside is you need to install ethernet driver, and it can only do 4K/30 while all the Thunderbolt 3 dock can do 4K/60 and that's why you need to pay more on the better TB3 dock.

    The TB3 dock, the first choice is also Caldigit, which is TS3 plus. Caldigit has been doing thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3 docks and really know what customers want. They should be the most reliable source for any thunderbolt docks. I also like OWC's dock which has firewire port, the only downside is 60W charging, not the best choice for the 15" MBP.

    TB3 dock has 40G bandwidth in total, and that can go to many USB 3 ports, ethernet, displayport, sd card, while USB-C dock is 5G only. You get what you pay for ;)
     

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