Matrox Thunderbolt dock turns MacBooks into desktops for $249

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Matrox on Sunday unveiled its new DS1 Thunderbolt docking station, which allows users to add multiple peripherals like an HDMI display, a full-size keyboard and a mouse to a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac or PC for $249.

The DS1 also includes a gigabit Ethernet port that provides connectivity to wired corporate networks at data transfers 18 times faster than Wi-Fi. In addition, it has a high-speed USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a microphone input, and a speaker/headphone output, all of which can connect to a Thunderbolt MacBook or Ultrabook with just one cable.

The Matrox DS1 has a solid aluminum construction that the company said is ideal for office, home or dorm use. It will be available at authorized dealers in September for $249 U.S.

"Today?s MacBooks and Ultrabooks are powerful enough for most corporate users but their limited connectivity makes them inconvenient, and their small screens and keyboards make them uncomfortable to use in the office all day," said Alberto Cieri, senior director of sales and marketing at Matrox.

"The new Matrox DS1 docking station easily enables the creation of an ergonomic workspace and brings much-needed expandability for printers, scanners, storage, smartphones, optical drives, cameras, flash drives, and other peripherals."

The Matrox DS1 will be showcased at the Computex Taipei 2012 event at Intel's official booth, located at M0410 in the NanGang Exhibition Hall.

Matrox


"Thunderbolt delivers unparalleled performance, flexibility, and simplicity to personal computing," said Jason Ziller, Intel?s director of Thunderbolt Marketing. "Products like the Matrox DS1 docking station help highlight what Thunderbolt makes possible."

Also set to arrive in September is Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock, which was announced earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show. It will also turn a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac into a full-fledged desktop workstation with an HDMI port, FireWire 800 port, three USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5-millimeter audio port, one gigabit Ethernet port, and two Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining to another Thunderbolt device.

Apple also offers the Thunderbolt Display, which lets users plug in one 10Gbps Thunderbolt cable to drive a monitor, 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 100
    ringoringo Posts: 328member


    What a piece of junk. Why would anyone buy this rather than dropping an extra $50 for the Belkin?

  • Reply 2 of 100
    commun5commun5 Posts: 36member


    Both the Matrox and the Belkin ports are ridiculously overpriced for what you get.

  • Reply 3 of 100


    DualHead2Go is still the best thing out there. I wonder when, if ever, we'll get a Thunderbolt multi-monitor solulion..?

  • Reply 4 of 100
    ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    U see all the nice looking apple products and they wanna sell a hideous piece of overpriced useless garbage like this? How is this even a story? Am I missing something or is AI getting sponsored articles now?
  • Reply 5 of 100
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member


    Uh, what were they thinking when they put the USB ports that close to each other when there's plenty of space on the front (among other layout issues)?

  • Reply 6 of 100
    mtmw1863mtmw1863 Posts: 4member


    I see a DVI port but where is the HDMI?

  • Reply 7 of 100
    dragitdragit Posts: 6member


    Super, thunderbolt to everything I already have…

  • Reply 8 of 100
    mike fixmike fix Posts: 222member


    It gives your laptop a few extra ports.  That does not make a laptop into a desktop.  

  • Reply 9 of 100
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    If you want the $999 Apple Thunderbolt Display but only have $600-650 to spend then this dock (or the Belkin) plus this display using the exact same display panel as Apple's ATD may fit your needs well.

    ringo wrote: »
    What a piece of junk. Why would anyone buy this rather than dropping an extra $50 for the Belkin?

    It does have USB3.0 which the Belkin doesn't have, although MR notes that USB3.0 may not be supported by Apple at this time.
  • Reply 10 of 100
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tasslehawf View Post


    DualHead2Go is still the best thing out there. I wonder when, if ever, we'll get a Thunderbolt multi-monitor solulion..?



     


    Serious question.  Can't you just daisy chain two Apple Thunderbolt Displays together?

  • Reply 11 of 100
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Serious question.  Can't you just daisy chain two Apple Thunderbolt Displays together?

    You can but that's a $2000 solution.
  • Reply 12 of 100
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 708member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Zandros View Post


    Uh, what were they thinking when they put the USB ports that close to each other when there's plenty of space on the front (among other layout issues)?



     


    For the life of me, I cannot figure out why they cram USB ports so close together. I dare them to plug two flash drives into the thing. Same with multi-outlet power strips. The common ones you see at Costco come with the plugs so close together it halves the utility of the product.


     


    I'd also like to see others do stuff like Apple with their magnetic power connector on their laptops. That cheap little circular plug in needs to go.


     


    See, we solve problems on this board. The universe hears the bitching.

  • Reply 13 of 100
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    You can but that's a $2000 solution.


     


    Oh, if they are that cheap can I daisy chain three or more together?  At what point will I see performance issues?

  • Reply 14 of 100
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Oh, if they are that cheap can I daisy chain three or more together?  At what point will I see performance issues?

    It all depends on the GPU you have. Taken from the first hit on the Google search of "how many thunderbolt monitors can you daisy chain?"...
    Not all Macs' Thunderbolt ports are created equal, however. While most Macs will be able to drive two Thunderbolt displays from a single port, the MacBook Air is only capable of driving a single display. Additionally, the 13-inch MacBook Pro's display will automatically go black if it's driving two Thunderbolt displays; Apple notes this is "expected behavior." The 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pros and iMacs should be capable of driving two displays in addition to their own internal LCDs. The Mac mini can drive two Thunderbolt displays plus a display connected via its HDMI port, but only if the mini has an AMD graphics card.

    I expect one day we'll see displays with their own GPUs in the displays or an external box that has a GPU or a box with PCIe clots for GPU(s) that can support many more. The real bottleneck right now is the GPU in your Mac/PC with the next bottleneck being the bandwidth of the interface, which is likely to be updated in 2014.
  • Reply 15 of 100


    As already mentioned - where is the HDMI? and more importantly, what about Thunderbolt pass-through?

  • Reply 16 of 100


    The picture does not match the specs...

  • Reply 17 of 100
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,094member


    You guys are harsh.  

  • Reply 18 of 100
    shogunshogun Posts: 360member
    Damn, that thing is ugly as sin. Should have made it $269.00 and paid a designer to design a box for it. Or hire your 6 year old daughter to do the same. Anything but THAT (shown above).
  • Reply 19 of 100
    dubstondubston Posts: 24member
    HDMI and DVI are the same except DVI doesn't carry audio. (and of course the connectors look different). A simple DVI to HDMI adapter is all that's needed to connect this box to an HDMI display.
  • Reply 20 of 100
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    What's with all the whining?

    OK, maybe they're not going to win a beauty contest, but maybe the target audience is more interested in function than form.

    Isn't it funny how the Apple haters claim that Mac users only buy Macs because of the appearance and that they're no different than PCs, but yet they're the first to jump on a product that doesn't meet their standards of beauty. Can you say 'hypocrite'?
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