The one who often needs to connect many accessories to his new Mac, and especially accessories with older ports like usb type-a, mini display port and maybe even firewire quickly encounter problems. An Imac, though, has several older USB ports, while a Macbook Pro only has thunderbolt 3 / usb-c ports.
All three products in this test are desktop thunderbolt 3 docks and suitable for Macbook Pro (2016 and 2017) or the latest generation of Imac. The products come from Elgato, Belkin and OWC, all experienced accessory manufacturers.
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Docking stations in this test are all stationary beams weighing a couple of kilos and requiring their own power supply via clumsy network adapters . Certainly, it is possible to drag them to the office or move them around at home, but we do not get it anymore.
All docking stations in this test use thunderbolt 3 for fast transfer and high bandwidth, and in order not to connect other thunderbolts 3- accessories like raid system or egpu: without speed loss.
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Many ports are important for this type of product, but also the right ports for your own needs, and it spreads a little bit between the models. Everyone has of course traditional usb type-a ports and even gigabit ethernet, but when it comes to plugging screens, there are a few different ports that apply. More about the latter.
Also powerful charging is important. All models can power and load a 13-inch or 15-inch Macbook Pro, but only two of them can charge the 15-inch at the same speed as the included original charger. There is therefore a lot to consider in the selection of a new thunderbolt 3-doll.
Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock – at least, with small margin
Elgato's Thunderbolt 3 dock is the outer the most compact (with small margin), and perhaps also the most elegant doll in this test. It may play less role if it's only on the desktop, but it does not necessarily have to be ugly for it. Elgato's doll is similar to the former thunderbolt 2 doll, but here it is the faster thunderbolt 3 that applies.
Through a thunderbolt 3 port we get nine other ports of various kinds:
In the back:
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Two Usb 3.0 (Type A)
- Two Thunderbolt 3 Available a Macbook Pro with up to 85 watts
- A display port with support for display port 1.2 and hdmi 1.4b