The Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD has been a long time coming. Anyone with a new laptop with a USB-C connector that also transfers data using the Thunderbolt standard — like, say the new MacBook or MacBook Pro — has been waiting for a dock that can handle every external device you could think of, plus power delivery. Well, it’s here, and we’re
Thunderbolt 3 is a huge jump in transfer speed over the last generation. Its maximum transfer rate of 40Gbps means that, with fast enough devices on either end, you could transfer a 4K movie from one storage location to another in half a minute. You can connect two 4K external displays to this dock, as well as Ethernet networking and three USB 3.0 ports, as well as a set of headphones or external speakers.
More impressive than all that, though, is the fact that the latest Express Dock HD can do it while delivering 85 Watts of power upstream to the computer connected to either of its USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. That’s pretty close to the theoretical 100 Watt limit of Thunderbolt 3, and more than fast enough to amp up whatever USB-C-powered laptop you’re connecting to it.
Anyone that has a thin and light USB-C laptop knows how frustrating it can be to carry around dongles and other bits and pieces for all the devices you want to connect. A dock is a godsend, especially if you’re setting up at your work desk of a morning and then working remotely — from the laptop itself — at other times.
A massively gutsy 170-Watt power adapter bundled with the dock will power any connected peripherals as well as charging your laptop at the same time. You’ll be able to keep your laptop up to a metre from the dock, too, since Belkin bundles a cable of that length with the dock.The new dock will land soon for $529 in Australia and $559 in New Zealand, and it’ll be available through Apple.com.au for the time being — stay tuned on additional retailers.