Thunderbolt Docking Station

Thunderbolt Cables

Although not scheduled to be released until September 2012 at the earliest, Belkin, Sunix and Matrox realise the importance of a Thunderbolt Docking Station.

That is why they are currently showcasing the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock, Sunix Pili and Matrox DS-1 Docking Station, highlighting the benefits their new products can deliver.

The Thunderbolt Docking Station fulfils a role due to the design of the new generation of Ultrabooks, including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

With more sleek and slim, lightweight designs, vendors are finding it difficult to include all the peripherals and ports we have become accustomed to.

Apple started this trend recognising that by utilising Thunderbolt technology they could attach up to six peripherals while utilising just one Thunderbolt Port.

They have their own Thunderbolt Docking station built into the 27” Thunderbolt Monitor, but it has no USB 3 ports. There is however a built in FaceTime HD Camera and Thunderbolt cable.

Thunderbolt Display

By connecting one Thunderbolt cable to a Thunderbolt Docking station you then have access to all the ports it has available. Not only does this deal with compatibility issues, (so you don’t require lots of different adapters), it cuts down on cables also. Plus all these products are compatible with Macs or PCs too.

All the Thunderbolt Docking Stations have Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock and Sunix Pili do have a big advantage over the Matrox DS-1, in that they have two Thunderbolt ports.


Thunderbolt Docking Station

This enables them  to be part of a Thunderbolt daisy chain. You could connect to the Thunderbolt docking station, then daisy chain onto other Thunderbolt peripherals like a Thunderbolt external hard drive. The Apple Thunderbolt Display has a built-in Thunderbolt cable, so although it only has one port it can still daisy chain up to six devices.

With an integrated hot-swap 3.5 inch SATA HDD enclosure, the Sunix Pili offers you a potential 4TB of storage. There is a slim Blu-ray writer, Multi-card reader (SD, MMC, MS & xD) and four USB 3.0 ports.


Thunderbolt Docking Station

The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock has three USB 3.0 ports and the Matrox DS-1 has only one but a further two USB 2.0 ports.


Thunderbolt Docking Station

These inclusions do come at an additional cost though, so it depends on what your requirements are?

Below is a list of all four Thunderbolt Docking Station specifications to compare:


Belkin Thunderbolt Express

Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock Specifications
Ports 2x Thunderbolt (daisy-chaining supported) 

3x USB 3.0

1x FireWire 800

1x eSATA

1x Gigabit Ethernet

3.5mm audio in and out

Sunix Pili

Sunix Pili Docking Station Specifications
Ports 2x Thunderbolt (daisy-chaining supported) 

4x USB 3.0

1x Gigabit Ethernet

1x Multi-Card Reader

1x SPDIF digital audio interface

Matrox DS-1


Matrox DS-1 Docking Station Specifications
Ports 1x Thunderbolt (daisy-chaining not supported) 

1x USB 3.0

2x USB 2.0

1x Gigabit Ethernet

1x DVI (output)

3.5mm audio in and out

Thunderbolt Display (Docking Station)

Thunderbolt Display Docking Station Specifications
Ports 1x Thunderbolt (daisy-chaining supported) 

3x USB 2.0

1x Gigabit Ethernet

1x FireWire 800

1x MagSafe connector

Thunderbolt Adapters

3 responses to Thunderbolt Docking Station

  1. You forgot to mention that the Belkin has HDMI out. So I believe you can actually have two displays attached to the Belkin (one mini display port and one HDMI). Or, since TB supports daisy chaining, you can get the Apple TB display which supports diasy chaining and then add a third monitor. In theory, of course :-).

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