Wednesday, 15 Aug 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 Date Price as per May 26 Specs (Pre-)order Review
Belkin June 6 US$ 349.99 Link Link MacRumors
CalDigit First shipment of TS3 preorders have been sold out, new preorders shipped out July 2017 US$ 299.99 Link Link MacRumors
Elgato June 6 US$ 299.99 Link Link Nerd Techy
June 20 US$ 349.99 Link Link MacRumors
OWC “Shipping soon” US$ 299 Link Link MacRumors
“Summer 2017” N/A Link N/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.

Power USB 3 USB C Speed of
USB ports
DisplayPort SD Card Audio Legacy ports Other notable
Belkin 85W 3 3.0 1 2 out
CalDigit 85W 3 3.1 gen 1 1 1 in, 1 out 2 x eSATA Apple SuperDrive compatible
Can be placed upright
Elgato 85W 2 3.0 1 1 in, 1 out Apple SuperDrive compatible
Kensington 85W 2 1 3.0 1 1 in, 1 out VESA mounting plate available
Kensington lock
OWC 60W 5 3.1 gen 1 1 x mini-DP 1 combined
FireWire 800
Two colors available
Plugable  60W 5  3.0 1  –  combined
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.