Is Elgato’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock an Essential MacBook Pro Companion?

Available for sale from next month, Elgato’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock provides all the interconnects any MacBook or MacBook Pro user needs, including support for legacy USB, Ethernet and more – and all through a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. The product will be available in the US and UK (£269) from early June.

Everything You Want, You Got it

The successor to Elgato’s popular Thunderbolt 2 Dock (UK link, US link), the new edition adds a range of connections many Mac users might need. The idea is that with the dock and an external monitor, your MacBook or MacBook Pro becomes a desktop Mac as and when you want it to be.

The German product design company evidently listened to some of the criticisms of Apple’s new Macs, as the Thunderbolt 3 Dock supports the following useful interconnects you just won’t find on the base machine:

  • Dual 4K monitors (or one 5K monitor)
  • 3x SuperSpeed USB devices (which can even recharge your iPhone)
  • Gigabit Ethernet,
  • Audio in and out,
  • Charging for the MacBook up to 85 W, all through a single Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Everything You Need

These are the tech specs for the product.

Ports

2x Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) with support for:

  • – Thunderbolt (40 Gb/s)
  • – Computer Charging (up to 85 W)
  • – Device Power (up to 15 W)
  • – USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gb/s)
  • – DisplayPort (up to 4K)

1x DisplayPort with support for:

  • – DisplayPort 1.2
  • – HDMI 1.4b

1x RJ45 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet

3x USB 3.0 (5 Gb/s, 1.5 A, USB Battery Charging 1.2 & UASP)

1x 3.5 mm Headphone Output (amplified analog stereo)

1x 3.5 mm Microphone Input (mono)

1x Power Input (DC 20 V, 8.5 A)

Dimensions & Weight

  • Dimensions: 20 x 8.9 x 2.9 cm / 7.9 x 3.2 x 1.1 in
  • Weight: 300 g / 10.5 oz

It ships from June 6 and includes a power supply and a 50cm Thunderbolt 3 cable

Is it Essential?

Apple faced a huge heap of criticism when it moved Macs over to USB-C. Some of it was warranted — why use an adaptor to recharge an iPhone? But much of it was less than constructive. However, if you are a Mac pro wanting to get the very best you can out of your existing peripheral devices (particularly in the video space), then you’ll want one of these. I think this might include video and graphics pros, who should probably consider this product from this veteran and reputable hardware developer.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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