Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock overview: A compact port extender for Mac

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock overview: A compact port extender for Mac

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Launched right into a crowded subject, Satechi’s new Thunderbolt 4 Dock would not simply present legacy ports, however extra Thunderbolt as properly.

Most individuals expertise a time when there by no means appear to be sufficient ports for the peripherals they use on a day-to-day foundation. There may be at all times some new gadget that catches the attention, which makes individuals assume “This will probably be good for my workflow” earlier than cursing as they start the sport of cable musical chairs. Once more.

That is very true relating to laptops and tablets, as it is a unending cycle. However fortunately, there are alternatives to assist us mitigate the shuffle.

Thunderbolt has come a good distance within the final decade. Thunderbolt 3 was maybe the last word supply of Apple’s “one cable for every thing” promise, including energy supply to a bunch pc to the combination. However, on the time, it was a daisy-chain protocol.

With the onset of Thunderbolt 4, a number of hubs are coming into the market as all-in-one options with extra than simply energy and legacy port multiplication. Now, they are often Thunderbolt port multipliers as properly.

Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock is likely one of the newest era of docks with a real Thunderbolt hub function — and Satechi loaned YourNextApp with a Thunderbolt 4 Dock to take out for an prolonged check drive.

What’s within the field?

Conserving all of it easy and simple, the field comprises the Thunderbolt 4 Dock, a U.S. Energy adapter, and a single, brief Thunderbolt 4 cable to get you going. This will appear slightly sparse, however that is all it’s good to get going with this dock.

Proper out of the field, it is easy to understand the general design and really feel of the dock. It has a smooth design that’s aluminum and shiny black plastic that matches properly with different Apple-centric {hardware} and desk peripherals.

The general footprint of the dock at 8 inches by 5 inches doesn’t require an enormous quantity of desk floor actual property to accommodate it.

One side of the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock has a host connection and an SD card reader.
One facet of the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock has a bunch connection and an SD card reader.

The dock feels sturdy, and the rubber footpads on the underside of the dock are a welcome function for individuals who are inclined to lose parts behind the desk whereas transferring different peripherals and gadgets round.

Appropriate Units

MacBook Professional M2, MacBook Air M2, 2021 MacBook Professional M1, 2020/2019/2018/2017/2016 MacBook Professional, 2020 MacBook Air M1, 2018 MacBook Air, 2021 iMac M1, 2019/2017 iMac, iMac Professional, 2021 iPad Professional M1, 2020/2018 iPad Professional, 2020 iPad Air, Microsoft Floor Laptop computer Studio, Microsoft Floor Professional 8.

On the entrance of the dock is a Thunderbolt 4 host port, which connects to your Mac and might present 96 watts of energy supply. This may recharge all present MacBook fashions, together with the 16-inch MacBook Professional.

The entrance additionally has a USB-A 2.0 port, a 3.5mm combo headphone and microphone port, and a UHS-II SD card reader for offloading pictures.

Across the again are three Thunderbolt 4 ports that may output 15W every, in addition to three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a safety port, and an influence connection.

The other side has more Thunderbolt 4 and USB connections, and Gigabit Ethernet
The opposite facet has extra Thunderbolt 4 and USB connections, and Gigabit Ethernet

The Thunderbolt 4 Dock is genuinely plug-and-play, with no extra software program, drivers, or proprietary {hardware} required to arrange. The dock comes out of the field, you plug within the cables and the exterior energy supply, and you may be up and operating in minutes.

On the desk

The first Mac used for the overview is a 2018 Mac mini. Whereas higher than the M1 Mac mini so far as port choice goes, as soon as you actually begin loading it up for skilled work, it is time for extra ports.

The Thunderbolt 4 Dock virtually solved a few of my each day points instantly. From the a number of Thunderbolt 4 ports to the extra USB ports on the again, this unit changed and simplified my total peripheral and cable administration method for my dwelling workspace.

The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock is fairly small (coin for scale)
The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock is pretty small (coin for scale)

Like many dwelling workplace setups, this desk used a bizarre Frankenstein mixture of cables and workarounds with a number of hubs, together with some with exterior energy and a few with out. Now, every thing works, prices, and operates precisely as they’re purported to, and there are nonetheless a number of ports open if there is a want so as to add a brand new piece to the gathering.

Three USB-C units can connect with the dock, with as much as 40 gigabits per second of knowledge switch and 15W of charging with every port, relying on whether or not they’re Thunderbolt-enabled and what different units are additionally related to the dock. That is useful for exterior exhausting drives, gadget charging, and so forth, and gives way more flexibility.

And, in fact, bandwidth continues to be restricted to the 40 gigabit connection inherent to Thunderbolt. This does not pop up usually, and definitely much less usually than a ten gigabit USB-C hub manifests the problem.

After three weeks of utilizing the Thunderbolt 4 Dock, there hasn’t been a single technical situation. To date, it has been rock-solid — however we’ll revisit this if issues erupt.

Show help

Whereas providing a variety of port protection, with it capable of deal with fairly a number of connections by way of a single Thunderbolt 4 connection to the host, it does lack one widespread port kind: HDMI.

Closely utilized in shows, in addition to televisions, having at the least one would’ve been a useful addition to the roster, and one that might’ve simply squeezed in to some empty house on one facet.

That stated, it does help a number of shows related to its Thunderbolt ports with a USB-C to HDMI or DisplayPort cable. At a most, this may be two screens at a time, with every capable of be at a 4K decision and at a 60Hz refresh price.

This exterior show help could be restricted additional relying on the Apple Silicon chip in use. Apple’s core M1 and M2 chips are restricted to 2 shows complete. However, on our check Intel Mac Mini and a 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Professional, help for 2 4K screens is a welcome addition.

Pricing and worth

As fantastic as the house use options are for the Thunderbolt 4 Dock, it can actually shine in makeshift places of work and journey workspaces on the go. The unit is sturdy with out being a brick, and with even with the facility brick, it can simply journey in laptop computer luggage, briefcases, and backpacks to conferences, conventions, and distant working conditions.

The Thunderbolt 4 Dock retails for $299, in line with different Thunderbolt peripherals in its class. Once you have a look at all the advantages and weigh the associated fee towards the doable myriad of tech cluttering your desk or journey workspaces, the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock is a must-buy.

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock Execs

  • A number of Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • A number of USB ports
  • Versatility with SSD playing cards and extra audio port
  • Simple plug-and-play
  • Backward appropriate with Thunderbolt 3 and future proofing for Thunderbolt 4
  • Sturdy and moveable design

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock Cons

  • No HDMI ports
  • Dock will solely help as much as two exterior screens at a time (most decision is ready to 4K at 60Hz)

Score: 4.5 out of 5

The place to Purchase

You should purchase the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock from Amazon, priced at $299.


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