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Cable Matters offers a dock that can drive 2 4K/60Hz monitors with a MacBook Pro for under US$200

The Cable Matters Dual-Input USB-C Docking Station with Dual HDMI for 4K. (Source: Cable Matters)
The Cable Matters Dual-Input USB-C Docking Station with Dual HDMI for 4K. (Source: Cable Matters)
The connectivity-equipment maker Cable Matters has released a new docking station that can expand a MacBook Pro's output by up to 2x 4K at 60Hz via HDMI. This Dual-Input USB-C accessory can also support 80W Power Delivery (PD) charging and read microSD/UHS-II SD cards. It is available at US$189.99 per docking station.

One main selling point of an up-to-date MacBook Pro (or Retina-enabled MacBook Air) must be the power needed to drive multiple 4K displays, even if they both have a 60-hertz (Hz) refresh rate. However, unfortunately, their Thunderbolt 3 port counts can limit these possibilities somewhat.

This has caused Apple ultrabook fans to resort to docks and docking stations that expand greatly on the potential of one (or more) of these components. Unfortunately, many of the best examples can cost about US$280 or more.

Cable Matters claims that its new Dual-Input USB-C Docking Station can solve this problem at about 70% of this cost. It allows a device such as a MacBook Pro to control 2 monitors, both of which can be 4K, so long as the user has 2 USB-C ports free on the same machine.

These ports connect to 2 others (1 of which delivers 80 watts (W) of Power Delivery-standard charging) on the new docking station, located next to their respective HDMI outputs for their monitors. The Station also has a Gen2 USB type C port with up to 18W charging speeds and 10-gigabit per second (Gbps) data-transfer speeds, dual headset/mic audio-out and a USB-A port with 10W charging and a 10Gbps data-rate of its own. 

These monitors can be a combination of 2 [email protected] displays, or 1 4K panel at 30Hz and another at 60. These options are selected via a hardware switch on the Docking Station. However, the former conformation does drop the Station's data transfer rate speed down to that of USB 2.0 (or 480 megabits per second (Mbps)), with the same Ethernet speed.

A 30 + 60Hz monitor arrangement, on the other hand, is associated with USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 data transfer speeds and Gigabit Ethernet. Cable Matters sells this Dual-Input USB-C Docking Station at US$189.99 per unit, athough discounts apply in cases of multi-unit purchases.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 06 > Cable Matters offers a dock that can drive 2 4K/60Hz monitors with a MacBook Pro for under US$200
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-06-12 (Update: 2019-06-12)