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Update: The chart listing dock features has been refreshed to include new releases since this article's original publication. That new MacBook Air has a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, and is missing many of the older ports you need to have to connect your peripherals. Fortunately, there are a large number of Thunderbolt 3 docking stations to choose from, but with choices comes consumer confusion. As the market for the docks has grown, it has become harder to decide which dock is the best one to buy. Tradeoffs abound, between the number of extra ports they add, the additional features that are nice to have, and the price of the unit itself. Ultimately, the kind of dock required for the job depends entirely on the user's current needs, as well as planning for any future changes to their computing environment so there's no need to get another one any time soon.
Free star wars games for mac. Why get a dock? Ultimately, the aim of the dock is to connect more of a user's equipment to a Mac. The dock adds more ports at the expense of one existing Thunderbolt 3 connection, while also increasing the usefulness of the Mac at the same time, such as by adding a memory card reader, a secondary audio connection, or more displays. For example, an iMac owner may want to add multiple external drives to expand their storage capabilities, but do not wish to have all of the drives clogging up all of the available ports on the rear. They may also wish to have the extra components connected away from their workspace, so a single cable to connect multiple devices in that way may be a better option. Kensington SD5000T Thunderbolt 3 dock For MacBook Pro or MacBook Air users, a dock can be used as a way to connect power, all of their peripherals, accessories, and other hardware to their system while at a desk through a single Thunderbolt 3 connection, rather than multiple cables.
If they wish to work away from the desk, it's a single cable to disconnect everything, saving time when they have to move. What to look for Of the docks compiled by AppleInsider into the chart, the majority offer two Thunderbolt 3 ports, allowing one to be connected to the host system, while another is free to connect another Thunderbolt 3 device, effectively preventing the user from 'losing' a Thunderbolt 3 port. While many offer USB 3.1 Type-C connections, a few of the docks highlighted rely on it to connect to the host Mac instead of Thunderbolt 3.
For the most part, these docks will work relatively fine, but the maximum bandwidth between the dock and the Mac will be reduced from 40Gbps to 10Gbps, making them less desirable for those wanting to push high amounts of data. Belkin ExpressDock HD The ability to deliver power over the Thunderbolt 3 connection is extremely useful to MacBook Pro owners, allowing for charging through the same cable without running a second purely for power. Though all offer power delivery in varying levels, owners of the 15-inch MacBook Pro will want to look at docks with at least 87 Watts of power delivery through a single connection in order to properly charge their Mac. Again, most docks offer some sort of display connectivity, so users can add multiple monitors to their setup. Depending on the dock, this can take the form of one or more connections, including HDMI, DisplayPort, and Mini DisplayPort, most some including support for dual 4K monitors at 60Hz, assuming you're willing to use your downstream Thunderbolt 3 port to do so. HyperDrive Thunderbolt 3 Hub All of the docks offer USB 3.0 Type-A connections, allowing for the connection of hardware that has yet to graduate to Type-C.
The majority also include audio connections, as well as Gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting to wired networks, a feature likely to be welcomed by MacBook Pro users. In quite a few cases, the manufacturers included an SD card reader, though some also incorporate a microSD card slot into the design. Considering the plethora of microSD-to-SD adapters on the market, the latter isn't an essential feature for the vast majority of users. A few of the docks do differentiate themselves by including some lesser-used or older connectivity options, such as eSATA, VGA, and FireWire 800. It could be argued that there could be adapters and dongles on the market that can replicate these depreciated connections, so potential users having an urgent need to use those connection types may still want to look at others in the range —but we'll talk about some older connectors in a bit. That being said, as a dock is bought for its ports, it may be worth concentrating on those offering these extra ports to avoid the need of acquiring said adapters. Though there is probably no perfect solution to each use case, minimizing any extra purchases may be an idea worth pursuing.