Plugable's new Thunderbolt 3 dock provides 96W charging, supports two 4K displays

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in General Discussion
Plugable aims to solve all your port problems with its now TBT3-UDZ Thunderbolt 3 docking station, featuring 14 ports and 96W of power delivery.




Plugable's TBT3-USD offers maximum compatibility in a relatively small desktop package and AC/DC power brick. Designed to be used in both vertical or horizontal orientation, this dock can fit nearly anywhere.

It features 14 ports, which include a micro SD and SD card reader, a USB-C 10 Gbps port, a USB 3.2 type A 10Gbps port, five USB 3.0 Type A ports, an audio in/out port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two DisplayPorts, two HDMI ports, and a Thunderbolt 3 port that supports 96W of charging and up to 40Gbps transfer speeds.

The paired DisplayPort and HDMI ports can be used to connect up to two 4K displays at 60Hz. In any given marked pair, either one DisplayPort or one HDMI port can be used, allowing for the two displays.




What's most notable is the addition of the 96W Thunderbolt 3 port, which allows users to connect the highest-end 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Additionally, Plugable notes that the docking station is forward compatible with USB4 and Thunderbolt 4, as well.

Included in the box along with the dock are a power adapter, dock stand, a 3-foot Thunderbolt 3 cable, and a quick start guide. The Plugable TBT3-USD docking station is available from Amazon, where it retails for $299, plus a $50 off coupon.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    What’s up with all these companies building dumb ass Thunderbolt/USB-C hubs? It only has 2 TB/USB-C ports. And when you plug it into your MBP/MBA you now have 1. Wtf is the point? Like it’s supposed to expand all of your ports. Maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way? 
    twokatmewDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 5
    ryukyuryukyu Posts: 449member
    Nope, you're not. I have often thought exactly the same thing. This one is even worse because you only get one TB3 port, so you can't even daisy chain external TB3 peripherals.
    twokatmewsphericDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 5
    I think that Thunderbolt 3 only allows for a pass-through port - one of the features of Thunderbolt 4 is the possibility of a TB4 hub (if I understand it correctly).

    This isn't to say they couldn't offer USB-C ports, but with the expanded PD power delivery and gen 3.2 options many TB dock makers seem reluctant to add USB-C ports.

    USB-C has been and probably always will be a mess - and now with the addition of Thunderbolt 4 - which mostly seems to be Thunderbolt 3 with all the high-end options turned on - it will probably become even more confusing.

    Hope I've brightened your day  :).
    Dogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 5
    MJ23FE said:
    What’s up with all these companies building dumb ass Thunderbolt/USB-C hubs? It only has 2 TB/USB-C ports. And when you plug it into your MBP/MBA you now have 1. Wtf is the point? Like it’s supposed to expand all of your ports. Maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way? 
    Perhaps I am not understanding your issue.  Looking at your example of a MacBook Air with two Thunderbolt ports (and assume you are using this while at a desk and not running on batteries while on the move).  One of your two thunderbolt ports would normally be used for connecting a power supply which itself takes you down to one Thunderbolt port.  This "dumb ass... hub" (really docking station-esque) would take the place of the power supply connection so you would still have a single available Thunderbolt port available on your computer.  However, besides charging your computer it would also provide you with a plethora of ports your computer would not normally have...  USB-A, GbE, HDMI/Display port, Micro SD, SD, et al.

    While there are other docking stations out there at a similar price point, having more choices is generally a good thing in my book.

    Still...  Nothing will beat the awesomeness which was the Duo Dock!
    edited November 2020 rotateleftbyteDogpersonfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 5
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,852member
    MJ23FE said:
    What’s up with all these companies building dumb ass Thunderbolt/USB-C hubs? It only has 2 TB/USB-C ports. And when you plug it into your MBP/MBA you now have 1. Wtf is the point? Like it’s supposed to expand all of your ports. Maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way? 
    Perhaps I am not understanding your issue.  Looking at your example of a MacBook Air with two Thunderbolt ports (and assume you are using this while at a desk and not running on batteries while on the move).  One of your two thunderbolt ports would normally be used for connecting a power supply which itself takes you down to one Thunderbolt port.  This "dumb ass... hub" (really docking station-esque) would take the place of the power supply connection so you would still have a single available Thunderbolt port available on your computer.  However, besides charging your computer it would also provide you with a plethora of ports your computer would not normally have...  USB-A, GbE, HDMI/Display port, Micro SD, SD, et al.

    While there are other docking stations out there at a similar price point, having more choices is generally a good thing in my book.

    Still...  Nothing will beat the awesomeness which was the Duo Dock!
    This "dock" is powered by an external power supply, with a dedicated power connector for it.  TB3 allows daisy-chaining.  This dock does not include a pass-through TB3 port so essentially, it's a dead-end in therms of connecting TB3 devices like disk arrays.  It also lacks USBc connectors at the rear of the device, again... a dead-end.  

    I would not purchase this dock because of those limitation.  Thanks to AI recommendation, I purchased a Caldigit TB3 dock which addresses these setbacks.  It allows me to have one cable out of my iMac, and all my connectors (including my external TB2 Monitor and TB2 disk array to be daisy-chained.  It's a fantastic little dock that's bolted right underneath my desk.

    Its short-sighted for these manufacturers to design such a rigid, non-expandable dock.  Makes zero sense.
    Dogpersonwatto_cobraMJ23FEryukyu
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