StarTech.com introduces Thunderbolt 2 4K docking station
Peripherals manufacturer StarTech.com today unveiled a new docking station for Thunderbolt 2 (Thunderbolt 1 is backwards compatible) enabled laptops. Its main highlight is the capability for Ultra HD 4K (3840x2160) output via either mini-DisplayPort or HDMI. Two screens can be connected simultaneously as well, but only HDMI and Thunderbolt - in that case the former will support a resolution of up to 3840x2160 and the latter up to 2560x2160 pixels. Normal Thunderbolt daisy-chaining with up to 6 devices is also supported.
Thanks to the 20 Gbps (~2.5 GB/s) bandwidth offered by Thunderbolt 2, StarTech.com was able to add various additional interfaces. There are four USB 3.0 ports, one of which is located on the docking station's front and supports fast peripheral charging even when there's no laptop connected. Next to it is a 3.5mm combo audio jack, while optical S/PDIF on the back allows to connect more sophisticated audio equipment. Analogue audio capture is possible with a line-in jack. An eSATA port allows to connect external storage devices with this interface, and gigabit Ethernet (Wake-on-LAN supported) takes care of the network connectivity. The list of all the chipsets utilized in the device can be found on its product page.
With its sleek silver casing made of plastic and aluminium, the docking station is designed to match Apple's MacBook Pro lineup, but should also work with other Thunderbolt laptops. Its low weight (500 g / 17.6 oz) and compact dimensions (234 x 88 x 38 mm / 9.2 x 3.2 x 1.5 inch) allow easy transportation, though a 12V/5A power adapter will need to be carried as well.
The new docking station is already available and costs 329.99 USD in the US, 339.99 CAD in Canada and 308.99 GBP (exc. VAT) in the UK.