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OWC unveils Thunderbolt 3 Dock targeted at new Macbook Pro

OWC's new Thunderbolt 3 Dock looks to greatly expand the connectivity of Apple's Macbook Pro line. (Source: OWC)
OWC's new Thunderbolt 3 Dock looks to greatly expand the connectivity of Apple's Macbook Pro line. (Source: OWC)
With frustration growing around Apple's decision to replace all I/O ports on the new Macbook Pro line with USB Type-C, several companies are pushing new dongles, hubs, and docks on the market. OWC, a company known for making Apple-specific products, is taking pre-orders for an impressively equipped, if not expensive, dock.

The new Macbook Pro line is here, and with its arrival Apple has said goodbye to commonly used ports. The Cupertino company has chosen to equip the devices with only USB Type-C ports, which has caused lots of frustration for several users, especially professional photographers and video editors. People are bemoaning the loss of I/O like the SD card slot and more prevalent USB Type-A ports on older models. The company Other World Computing (OWC) hopes to alleviate the pain of this transition with their new Thunderbolt 3 Dock.

While we've seen expansion options from other companies, OWC's dock supplies 13 ports to expand connectivity options. On the front, users get a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, an SD card reader, and a 3.5 mm audio in/out. On the back, the device provides:

  • Four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports
  • One S/PDIF optical audio out
  • One FireWire 800
  • One Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 enabled USB Type-C ports
  • One mini DisplayPort out

OWC also allows users to opt for an eSATA connection through one of the USB 3.1 Type-A ports. The dock will ship with a 0.5 meter Thunderbolt 3 cable capable of up to 40 Gbps transfer speeds.

The dock also includes a separate power input on the back to supply power to all the ports. The wattage supplied by the dock isn’t yet known, so the device may or may not be able to additionally power a connected notebook. While the dock does provide lots of expansion, it isn’t as portable as other solutions due to this separate power requirement. The device is perhaps most useful to people that use notebooks as their primary computer at a dedicated workspace.

While OWC primarily targets Macbook users, the dock connects via a Thunderbolt 3 enabled USB Type-C connection. Any computer with a Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port should be able to connect to the dock and take advantage of the ample port selection.

The dock is listed at USD $299.95, but OWC is currently taking preorders for USD $279.00 through their website MacSales.com. The dock is available in space grey or silver to match the new Macbook Pro’s color scheme. OWC expects to begin shipping the dock in February of 2017.

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OWC's new dock offers an impressive 13 ports, including FireWire and USB Type-A. (Source: OWC)
OWC's new dock offers an impressive 13 ports, including FireWire and USB Type-A. (Source: OWC)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2016 11 > OWC unveils Thunderbolt 3 Dock targeted at new Macbook Pro
Sam Medley, 2016-11- 7 (Update: 2018-06-28)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.