OWC unveils Thunderbolt 3 Dock targeted at new Macbook Pro
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.