Sunday, 21 Oct 2018

An overview of all Thunderbolt 3 docks

Last update: June 24, 2017

Multiple Thunderbolt 3 docks have now gone up for preorder, and most of them have seen reviews. We figured it was a good time to give an overview about what’s out there.

Release DatePrice as per May 26Specs(Pre-)orderReview
BelkinJune 6US$ 349.99LinkLinkMacRumors
CalDigitFirst shipment of TS3 preorders have been sold out, new preorders shipped out July 2017US$ 299.99LinkLinkMacRumors
Geekanoids
ElgatoJune 6US$ 299.99LinkLinkNerd Techy
Kensington
SD5000T
June 20US$ 349.99LinkLinkMacRumors
OWC“Shipping soon”US$ 299LinkLinkMacRumors
Plugable
TBT3-UDV
“Summer 2017”N/ALinkN/A N/A

We’ve talked to an industry insider, who told us that these docks are all based on the Intel reference design. Barring unexpected surprises, these docks will not differ in major ways. The common features are: support for dual 4K monitors, or a single 5K monitor, all have ethernet, none have HDMI and all have dual Thunderbolt 3 ports. The unique selling point for each dock will be in which additional ports it offers, how much power it charges a connected laptop, or some particular design you really like. Check out the table below.

PowerUSB 3USB CSpeed of
USB ports
DisplayPortSD CardAudioLegacy portsOther notable
features
Belkin85W33.012 out
CalDigit85W33.1 gen 111 in, 1 out2 x eSATAApple SuperDrive compatible
Can be placed upright
Elgato85W23.011 in, 1 outApple SuperDrive compatible
Kensington85W213.011 in, 1 outVESA mounting plate available
Kensington lock
OWC60W53.1 gen 11 x mini-DP1combined
in/out
S/PDIF
FireWire 800
Two colors available
Plugable 60W5 3.01 – combined
in/out
Can be placed upright

Note that some companies have brought out Thunderbolt 3 docks earlier this year, but these don’t charge the laptop (or trickle-charge at 15W): there’s the CalDigit TS3 Lite and the Plugable TBT3-UD1-83. If you don’t mind hooking up power as well as a dock, then these could be a lower cost option.

We’ll keep you updated; in the meantime, check out our current selection of docks and hubs.