OWC announces Thunderbolt 3 Dock with ports galore, returns functionality to new MacBook Pro

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2016
Capitalizing on Apple's decision to go all in on Thunderbolt 3 with its latest MacBook Pro, aftermarket Mac specialist OWC is taking preorders for a 13-port breakout dock that restores expansion options lost with the new laptop design.

Thunderbolt 3 dock for Mac


Announced through OWC's website, the Thunderbolt 3 Dock connects to a host Mac via an included 0.5-meter Thunderbolt cable and can support two 4K displays, up to six USB devices, a FireWire device, optical line out and -- much to the delight of distressed MacBook faithful -- an SD card.

Positioned on the dock's front face for easy access is an SD 3.0 card reader, analog 3.5mm audio jack and USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, the latter being an ideal location for plugging in an iPhone or iPad. On the back are four more more USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, in/out S/PDIF via TOSLINK connector, FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a mini DisplayPort socket.

With an Intel DSL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller onboard, the dock supports video pass-through at resolutions up to 4K at 60Hz. A second 2K or 4K monitor can be attached via the mini DisplayPort 1.2 port. The dock is also supports daisy-chaining multiple Thunderbolt devices together, useful in professional image editing workflows where fast data retrieval is vital.

Like other breakout docks, OWC's latest product draws more power than is allotted by the Thunderbolt 3 specification, meaning it needs an external power supply to operate at full capacity.

Adorama is currently taking preorders for the Thunderbolt 3 Dock at an introductory price of $279.00 in Silver and Space Gray. OWC is also accepting pre-orders for $279.00, which is $20 off the regular retail price. The device is estimated to ship in February of 2017.

Following last week's MacBook Pro unveiling, Apple has taken heat for eschewing connectivity features like an SD card slot and USB ports in a bid to push forward the laptops' design. As noted by potential buyers, the dearth of port options makes it difficult for certain users to connect peripherals -- and Apple's own iOS devices -- without purchasing converter dongles.

In response to early criticism, Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller on Wednesday said, "We know we made good decisions about what to build into the new MacBook Pro and that the result is the best notebook ever made, but it might not be right for everyone on day one."

As an example, the SD card reader was always a trade-off in Apple's mind, and the growing adoption of wireless transfers from cameras is quickly nullifying the slot's importance, Schiller said.

As for complaints claiming the new MacBook Pro models lack "pro level" features, the marketing chief pointed to the headphone jack as evidence that Apple did indeed take professionals into account when designing the laptop. The long-standing 3.5mm jack was recently removed from the latest iPhones, but is being retained on MacBook Pro to support audio gear used by musicians, film makers and other pro users. That being said, even the headphone jack was gimped, as AppleInsider earlier today reported the component no longer supports optical out.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 103
    Cool beans!

    I already have a OWC TB2 dock... looks like I'l be upgrading to this IF they solved the problem of USB drives spontaneously being dismounted / remounted.
    baconstang
  • Reply 2 of 103
    No HDMI?
    randominternetpersonrufwork
  • Reply 3 of 103
    xoopxoop Posts: 3member
    The reason OWC's dock 'spontaneously' unmounts drives is  that it is poorly shielded. Try putting an iPhone next to the dock then call it. Boom, drives are gone.

    Also, this dock won't power the MacBook? That's a drag.
    randominternetpersonDeelronstompypulseimagesdysamoriaduervostanthemanredgeminipadmdevneo-tech
  • Reply 4 of 103
    Skylake doesn't support hdmi 2.0 natively. Only over display port or thunderbolt. Idk if that complicates things or not.

    I realize this connects over thunderbolt but still it may be complicating things.
    pulseimagesharry wild
  • Reply 5 of 103
    xoop said:
    ...
    Also, this dock won't power the MacBook? That's a drag.
    How do you know it won't? Just because it needs an external power supply doesn't rule out the possibility of being able to power the Macbook. Nothing on the spec page says how much power their power supply can deliver, so I would say jury still out on that.
    baconstangstantheman
  • Reply 6 of 103

    bvhmac said:
    No HDMI?
    As Maxwell Smart would say, "missed it by that much."
    mwhitepulseimagesirnchrizwelshdog
  • Reply 7 of 103
    haha take that Apple and your stupid dongles  :D
    perkedelpulseimageskoban4max81
  • Reply 8 of 103
    No HDMI??

    All these hubs have the same ports -- yet no HDMI. They probably all use the same made-in-china cheap internals wrapped and branded slightly differently.
    irnchrizaknabi
  • Reply 9 of 103
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    $279
    bdkennedy1002anantksundaramdysamoriaking editor the gratewilliamlondonxzuharry wild
  • Reply 10 of 103
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,611member
    dacloo said:
    $279
    And for the less 'pro' people out there there is this one with not quite as many ports but with hdmi for only $65
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019R9ILTG/ref=cm_sw_su_dp
    edited November 2016 jony0rufwork
  • Reply 11 of 103
    xoop said:
    ...
    Also, this dock won't power the MacBook? That's a drag.
    How do you know it won't? Just because it needs an external power supply doesn't rule out the possibility of being able to power the Macbook. Nothing on the spec page says how much power their power supply can deliver, so I would say jury still out on that.
    From OWC's website: "and delivers charging power to your laptop and other devices, all at the fastest speeds possible"
    dysamoriabaconstangmagman1979steveh
  • Reply 12 of 103
    haha take that Apple and your stupid dongles  :D
    Uh, it's a $300 dongle.  What's your point?
    Deelronlolliverpulseimagesbaconstangredgeminipa
  • Reply 13 of 103
    paxman said:
    dacloo said:
    $279
    And for the less 'pro' people out there there is this one with not quite as many ports but with hdmi for only $65
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019R9ILTG/ref=cm_sw_su_dp
    I was checking that out the other day.  I'll wait to see the reviews, but it certainly seems like a better buy that the Apple HDMI adaptor.
  • Reply 14 of 103
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,961member
    bvhmac said:
    No HDMI?
    I'd rather it had the mini display port rather than the HDMI port. You can now use perhaps existing adapters you already have that go from Mini display to VGA, DVI, or HDMI. Plus, they'd have to pay for a license for HDMI I believe. The mini display port is much more versatile vs HDMI. 
    dysamoriabaconstang
  • Reply 15 of 103
    xoop said:
    ...
    Also, this dock won't power the MacBook? That's a drag.
    How do you know it won't? Just because it needs an external power supply doesn't rule out the possibility of being able to power the Macbook. Nothing on the spec page says how much power their power supply can deliver, so I would say jury still out on that.
    From OWC's website: "and delivers charging power to your laptop and other devices, all at the fastest speeds possible"
    Well, duh, there it is right on the top of the first page. That's what I get for going straight to the spec page...
    dysamoriabaconstangsteveh
  • Reply 16 of 103
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,611member
    paxman said:
    dacloo said:
    $279
    And for the less 'pro' people out there there is this one with not quite as many ports but with hdmi for only $65
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019R9ILTG/ref=cm_sw_su_dp
    I was checking that out the other day.  I'll wait to see the reviews, but it certainly seems like a better buy that the Apple HDMI adaptor.
    Yeah, I don't know it personally but there are several sellers on Amazon and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. 
  • Reply 17 of 103
    paxman said:
    dacloo said:
    $279
    And for the less 'pro' people out there there is this one with not quite as many ports but with hdmi for only $65
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019R9ILTG/ref=cm_sw_su_dp
    I was checking that out the other day.  I'll wait to see the reviews, but it certainly seems like a better buy that the Apple HDMI adaptor.
    I've got one for my 12" MacBook, better than the Apple dongle, feels more solid too.
  • Reply 18 of 103
    neo-tech said:
    Cool beans!

    I already have a OWC TB2 dock... looks like I'l be upgrading to this IF they solved the problem of USB drives spontaneously being dismounted / remounted.
    You have that problem, too?
    baconstangneo-tech
  • Reply 19 of 103
    dacloo said:
    $279
    Create new 2015 MacBook. Add $1000.
    baconstang
  • Reply 20 of 103
    anomeanome Posts: 1,296member

    xoop said:
    ...
    Also, this dock won't power the MacBook? That's a drag.
    How do you know it won't? Just because it needs an external power supply doesn't rule out the possibility of being able to power the Macbook. Nothing on the spec page says how much power their power supply can deliver, so I would say jury still out on that.
    From OWC's website: "and delivers charging power to your laptop and other devices, all at the fastest speeds possible"
    Well, duh, there it is right on the top of the first page. That's what I get for going straight to the spec page...

    I'd like to see what the power output they can manage is, though. A lot of USB-C docks only support 60W, so won't actually charge the 15" MBP.

    I'm guessing, given the timing and the wait time, that they do support the 15", but it would be nice to have something that said so explicitly.

    I mean, it could be there and I missed it, but I didn't see any details beyond the "delivers charging power" claim above.

    roundaboutnow
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