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CES: Belkin unveils Thunderbolt Express Dock, coming in Sept. for $299

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
Belkin on Monday introduced its new Thunderbolt Express Dock, which will allow users to connect multiple devices to their Mac with one Thunderbolt cable when it arrives in September for $299.

Though it won't be available until later this year, the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock will be on display at the company's booth at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev. The dock will enable Thunderbolt-equipped Macs to access multiple desktop peripherals with just one cable.

"People purchase MacBook Airs and Ultrabooks for ultimate portability, but constantly plugging-in and unplugging numerous cable-connected peripherals is an annoying and time consuming ordeal," said Martin Avilla, general manager of Belkin's Core Business Unit. "The Thunderbolt Express Dock provides a much-needed solution that creates a cleaner, faster, more productive workspace and reliable connectivity to desktop devices and the Internet."

Highlighted features of the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock are:

Quickly connects into a desktop workstation and instantly accesses multiple devices with a single cable

Adds reliable, gigabit Ethernet connectivity to your laptop

Includes three USB 2.0 ports, one Firewire 800 port, one HDMI port, one 3.5mm Audio port, one gigabit Ethernet port and two Thunderbolt ports (one upstream and one downstream) for daisy-chaining to another Thunderbolt compatible device.

Utilizes Thunderbolt Technology for data transfer rates of up to 10Gbps bi-directionally




For now, Mac users looking to use Thunderbolt for a simplified docking solution can use Apple's Thunderbolt Display, which allows users to plug in one 10Gbps Thunderbolt cable that can drive multiple devices with its high bandwidth capacity. The Thunderbolt display serves as a docking station in addition to a monitor, and packs three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one Gigabit Ethernet port and a Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt devices.
post #2 of 60
Again, this is a terrible design, one that makes the thing darn near unusable, and the price is extortion, period.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #3 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Again, this is a terrible design, one that makes the thing darn near unusable, and the price is extortion, period.

I have to agree, it looks like an apple display stand, and the price ugh!!
post #4 of 60
USB 3.0 would have been nice as would a PCI or esata port, now that would have been useful.
post #5 of 60
USB 2..... Dare I ask if they are powered or not? I was hoping next generation firewire might appear by then, but even USB 3 will be lagging.
post #6 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by applecider View Post

USB 3.0 would have been nice as would a PCI or esata port, now that would have been useful.

Do they make "external PCI" or were you seriously suggesting a standard size 16x PCIe slot?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #7 of 60
Why does this take so long to release? Are they growing the aluminum from seed?

(And when September finally rolls around, the lack of USB 3 will seem pretty short-sighted.)
post #8 of 60
Piss poor design.

Rip off price.

Is there any body listening in China that can start knocking out Thunderbolt hubs at a reasonable price ?
post #9 of 60
Does the current TB driver already support all those other protocols (HDMI FW, USB, Ethernet, audio I/O etc.) ?

And what is that extra thing on the top?

The price probably reflects all the chip and port licensing.

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post #10 of 60
That's a mockup.

Here's the actual device.

http://www.hardwarezone.com/tech-new...-unveiled-2012

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post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Does the current TB driver already support all those other protocols (HDMI FW, USB, Ethernet, audio I/O etc.) ?

Since it's essentially PCI, it can support just about anything using bridges.

I'm not seeing the reported HDMI port on this thing, though.


Quote:
And what is that extra thing on the top?

It looks like a MagSafe connector for charging MacBooks.

The product shot on this device is pretty substandard. Who laid out the cables?
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachB10 View Post

That's a mockup.

Here's the actual device.

http://www.hardwarezone.com/tech-new...-unveiled-2012

Uh, yeah, that totally looks like the same device that's being reported on blogs everywhere.

Thanks for the clarification.
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

It looks like a MagSafe connector for charging MacBooks.

The product shot on this device is pretty substandard. Who laid out the cables?

Okay, I might be wrong about this. I sort of hope that I am, because if I'm not, that's about as low as you can go.



That cable is the cable on an Apple Thunderbolt Display, hence the MagSafe break-off. These idiots decided to string it (poorly) through their… monstrosity… instead of actually shelling out for a real, proper Thunderbolt cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachB10 View Post

Here's the actual device.

I honestly didn't think that they could top that mockup for hideousness, but they have. Who wants a gigantic box on their desk just for PORTS?!

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #14 of 60
Belkin is off in La La Land with this. It's not worth half that price.
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Uh, yeah, that totally looks like the same device that's being reported on blogs everywhere.

Thanks for the clarification.

Yea, do a google search and look at a few other blogs. I see several others with this design and so far, it's the only one that shows an HDMI port.

http://www.clubic.com/salon-informat...in-468436.html

In french, but shows other angles and is a recent image.

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post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachB10 View Post

Yea, do a google search and look at a few other blogs. I see several others with this design and so far, it's the only one that shows an HDMI port.

Either they're making two docks or that's not it at all.

This is it. Real image. CES.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #17 of 60
The individual parts look like they're made by Apple, but the whole doesn't. I mean, when you look at an Apple product you immediately know what it is, but when I look at this, a feeling of wondering what is it comes.
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Either they're making two docks or that's not it at all.

This is it. Real image. CES.


Where's the HDMI port they are reporting? Where's the audio?

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post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Do they make "external PCI" or were you seriously suggesting a standard size 16x PCIe slot?

Something along the line of an express 34 PCI card slot was what I was thinking of as the penultimate dongle. But then if the first accessory offered enough expansion then where would be the onus to create more?
Like this http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonne...ology/ECHOE34/.
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachB10 View Post

Where's the HDMI port they are reporting?

It isn't on that model, apparently.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #21 of 60
Wake me up when some manufacturer turns on a few brain-cells and produces one with USB 3. This looks DOA.
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It isn't on that model, apparently.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Belki...o-245380.shtml

No audio, no HDMI, no apparent ports on the rear. You would think they would show what they're advertising at the very least.

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post #23 of 60
I just got one of these: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/BookEndz/BEMBP17AL/ on sale for about $250 - works very nicely. USB ports do require a DC adapter (included) to be powered. Maybe a bit of a premium price - but is also a full notebook stand which has helped my system run cooler and gets lots of wires behind instead of sticking out the side - not sure why they had the DC plug on the side instead of the rear though - looks like enough space back there to me.

Belkin's solution is more like this sort of product: and maybe slightly more sleek than many I have seen but at several times the price. Sure Thunderbolt is the latest and greatest thing - but 3 to 4 or 5 times the price of non-ThunderBolt products does seems bit high.
post #24 of 60
Geez, Belkin, do you think you could possibly botch the rollout of this product any more?

1) No USB-3. Every single blog and its comments calls out this deficiency. There are already numerous USB-3 thumb drives available, along with portable external drives.

2) September? Is CES so important that you have to pre-announce something nine months in advance? (That was a rhetorical question, with the answer of 'no'.)

3) Conflicting product enclosures. Which is it going to be? Or maybe something entirely different come September?


I can't believe people haven't learned the formula from Apple. Finish the damned product, and only announce it when it's ready for imminent sale. Otherwise keep quiet.

It's not as if Apple hasn't shown the world how it's done, over and over again, and also shown how successful that simple formula can be.
post #25 of 60
Even ZDnet has the different design. Different person holding it too.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/ces-un...2-so-far/66484

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post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

I can't believe people haven't learned the formula from Apple. Finish the damned product, and only announce it when it's ready for imminent sale. Otherwise keep quiet.

It's not as if Apple hasn't shown the world how it's done, over and over again, and also shown how successful that simple formula can be.

Right? Jeez ...
post #27 of 60
I saw this last night, wasn't impressed.
post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Do they make "external PCI" or were you seriously suggesting a standard size 16x PCIe slot?

Why not? A thin box with a single PCIe slot would give a huge boost to non-mac pro models, and would take no more room than an external hard drive.
post #29 of 60
Krikey that's expensive.
post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachB10 View Post

No audio, no HDMI, no apparent ports on the rear. You would think they would show what they're advertising at the very least.

The side with the ports is the rear. They photographed it that way so the ports would be visible. Here is a picture where you can see the top and the direction of the word "Belkin".
http://www.losgranos.com/wp-content/..._1-439x340.jpg

-kpluck

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post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by applecider View Post

USB 3.0 would have been nice as would a PCI or esata port, now that would have been useful.

exactly. Most of the cost of this thing is likely to be the TB part. That being the case, adding USB3 and eSATA would (1) probably add little to the cost and (2) end up making the product much more appealing. At this price, it would make more sense for a person to just sell whatever monitor they have and buy Apple's Thunderbolt monitor instead.
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by applecider View Post

USB 3.0 would have been nice as would a PCI or esata port, now that would have been useful.

ABSOLUTELY USELESS and IRRELEVANT without USB 3.0 or eSATA, which would constitute the PRIMARY reasons for buying a TB hub in the first place (considering the wider availability of faster USB 3.0 devices nowadays)...so why is this even news?
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post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

ABSOLUTELY USELESS and IRRELEVANT without USB 3.0 or eSATA,

You realize, of course, that neither of those will matter by the end of this year.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

I just got one of these: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/BookEndz/BEMBP17AL/ on sale for about $250 - works very nicely. USB ports do require a DC adapter (included) to be powered. Maybe a bit of a premium price - but is also a full notebook stand which has helped my system run cooler and gets lots of wires behind instead of sticking out the side - not sure why they had the DC plug on the side instead of the rear though - looks like enough space back there to me.

Belkin's solution is more like this sort of product: and maybe slightly more sleek than many I have seen but at several times the price. Sure Thunderbolt is the latest and greatest thing - but 3 to 4 or 5 times the price of non-ThunderBolt products does seems bit high.

thanks for the less foaming at the mouth negative BS posts like most all the rest. I think that by the time Sept. roles around there will be a lot of good Thunderbolt solutions we'll all like. Of course we can always rely on a few dozen people to NEVER like anything or have ANYTHING positive to say or offer ANY solution to what they don't like.

Have a wonderful day, think different, stay crazy
post #35 of 60
Price: Yes, it's expensive, but then again Apple charnges $50 just for a cable! As of now they are the only game in town so they can pretty much charge whatever they want. I'm sure if/when competition comes along and TB parts get cheaper the price will go down.

USB3: Sure, TB can support USB3, along with USB2 and Firewire; but as I understand, the operation system still requires drivers to actually use it. Does Mac OS include them? Would Belkin have to license them from someone? It'd be bad if they included a port that nobody could use because they don't have the drivers.

HDMI: Since there will essentially be an HDMI dongle attached all the time, is it reserving display bandwith even if it's not being used? Or will the other ports get the max bandwidth if the display port isn't being utilized? More importantly, are there even any HDMI to mini DisplayPort adaptors (I haven't tried searching yet)? I know there are adaptors going the other way, but doesn't putting an HDMI port instead of a DisplayPort limit what you can connect? Does the HDMI port support sound? (All answers that will come in time, I'm sure.)
post #36 of 60
WOW $299

I'd rather buy a Thunderbolt Display with all the ports included for $999
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You realize, of course, that neither of those will matter by the end of this year.

And USB 2.0 will?
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post #38 of 60
Insert joke about wishing it were available sooner so I could use it with all of my currently available ThunderBolt products here.
post #39 of 60
What in the world is pushing the prices up so high? $299?! For a hub? I realize it's thunderbolt... but still...
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

And USB 2.0 will?

No, but at least that's included in devices now. We'll see Thunderbolt flash drives before we see very many more USB 3 ones.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
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