CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3 dock with eSATA, dual-4K display support starts shipping

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2017
CalDigit has commenced shipments of the Thunderbolt Station 3 dock, an accessory for Macbook Pro users wanting to expand their notebook's connectivity options first launched in CES, with the $299.99 device offering dual 4K display support and a pair of eSATA ports alongside more conventional connections.




Introduced as a Thunderbolt 3 dock for professionals in January, the Thunderbolt Station 3 borrows some of the appearance of its predecessor, the Thunderbolt Station 2, but upgrades the Thunderbolt connectivity to a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports. Able to offer 40Gb/s of bandwidth, these ports are also capable of recharging a connected MacBook Pro, providing up to 85W of power, and can also be used to daisy-chain up to six devices through a single Thunderbolt 3 port on a MacBook Pro.

On the front of the unit are audio connection ports, as well as a USB 3.0 Type A connection with standalone charging, while on the back are the Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.0 connections, Gigabit Ethernet, and one DisplayPort. The Thunderbolt 3 ports and the DisplayPort can be used to support two 4K monitors, with it also capable of powering a 5K-resolution display.

Added to the connections list are two 6 gbit/sec eSATA ports, allowing for external storage devices to connect to the dock and be used by the MacBook Pro. While users will probably want to use the spare Thunderbolt 3 connection to attach external storage to the dock, to take advantage of the higher bandwidth, the inclusion of eSATA at least means older storage hardware can still be used, making it an option for accessing archive drives.

CalDigit is shipping pre-orders of the Thunderbolt Station 3 now, with new orders expected to ship at the end of June. The dock is priced at $299.99. B&H is also accepting pre-orders at $299.99 with no sales tax outside NY and NJ.

The new release follows after another dock launched at the same time as the Thunderbolt Station 3, earlier this year. The Thunderbolt Station 3 Lite is a thinner unit at AppleInsider previously examined, with a slightly smaller number of connections and limited charging power, but is positioned as a value option at $199.99. B&H is currently taking $20 off the TS3 Lite with free expedited shipping and no sales tax outside NY and NJ.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    scottw2scottw2 Posts: 18member
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,046member
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    I hate giving time to a blatant Apple hater but you do realize that USB-C is the "current" specification for USB/Thunderbolt connections don't you? Try reading http://www.usb.org/channel and see that USB-C ports aren't a proprietary Apple product but the future of USB. Just because other companies, especially Windows-based, are slow to adopt new standards doesn't mean Apple is at fault for using them. There are more and more native USB-C peripherals coming on the market every week.

    The use of a dock is not new, it's been around for a long time for both Macs and Window-PCs (mainly laptops). 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 22
    I ordered mine on Jan. 7. No confirmation yet. Madly refreshing. 

    BTW, you incorrectly list the price as $249.99 in the first sentence.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,895member
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    Really, all you need to do for a lot of things is buy a new cable. They are USB-C to USB-A or B cables. There are USB-C to HDMI cables, etc. So no, you don't need a plethora of expensive dongles, you just need to get a new cable which simply replaces the one you were previously using. The costs of these new cables are well under $300. If you want to use a dock, thats fine as well if it makes life easier so you don't have to unplug and plug in cables all the time if you were to use your MacBook Pro with a display, keyboard, mouse, ext hard drive, etc. The same would be true of the outgoing MacBook Pro. 

    I really don't know why everyone freaks about about this USB-C stuff. Its really a non-issue. Its just that people like you freak out and blow everything totally out of proportion and start stating incorrect things. 

    If you want to think about it...the new MacBook Pro is actually the most expandable Mac laptop as like I said, you can basically get nearly cable you need for USB-C to whatever you want to connect to. You can even get a USB-C to DB9 (vintage Serial) cable. And, Thunderbolt has the bandwidth to basically run whatever you want to throw at it. 
    edited June 2017 StrangeDaysmichael scrip
  • Reply 5 of 22
    scottw2scottw2 Posts: 18member
    rob53 said:
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    I hate giving time to a blatant Apple hater but you do realize that USB-C is the "current" specification for USB/Thunderbolt connections don't you? Try reading http://www.usb.org/channel and see that USB-C ports aren't a proprietary Apple product but the future of USB. Just because other companies, especially Windows-based, are slow to adopt new standards doesn't mean Apple is at fault for using them. There are more and more native USB-C peripherals coming on the market every week.

    The use of a dock is not new, it's been around for a long time for both Macs and Window-PCs (mainly laptops). 
    And I similarly hate to explain obvious Apple failings to the apologists. Every criticism of the company and I'm branded a hater. I've been an Apple fan since my poor student day. Over the years I've moved to a die hard Apple fan to a more practical mind, Apple-liking developer. There's nothing wrong with having a hub or dock at your desk. In fact I much prefer them when sitting down at my desk. However, a major function of a laptop is connectivity on mobile. Got a USB key or external HDD? Chances are that they are gonna be USB-A. Need to connect to a projector? That's HDMI or VGA. Need to transfer files from a camera or camcorder? SD card. The MacBook Pro needs adapters for each of these. Even if I swallow the costs, what if I forget to bring an adapter? I'm left with a machine that can't connect to anything. The previous gen MacBook Pro have all of these things out of the box. I didn't have anything to plug into the Thunderbolt port but that's not a problem since I can use the other ports. The fact the new iMac still keep the USB-A ports are positive signs and I'm looking forward to Apple bringing them (along with a few other ports) back to the MacBook Pro.
    JohnEastern84
  • Reply 6 of 22
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    scottw2 said:
    The fact the new iMac still keep the USB-A ports are positive signs and I'm looking forward to Apple bringing them (along with a few other ports) back to the MacBook Pro.
    Not going to happen.
    netroxStrangeDaysstompy
  • Reply 7 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,895member
    scottw2 said:
    rob53 said:
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    I hate giving time to a blatant Apple hater but you do realize that USB-C is the "current" specification for USB/Thunderbolt connections don't you? Try reading http://www.usb.org/channel and see that USB-C ports aren't a proprietary Apple product but the future of USB. Just because other companies, especially Windows-based, are slow to adopt new standards doesn't mean Apple is at fault for using them. There are more and more native USB-C peripherals coming on the market every week.

    The use of a dock is not new, it's been around for a long time for both Macs and Window-PCs (mainly laptops). 
    The fact the new iMac still keep the USB-A ports are positive signs and I'm looking forward to Apple bringing them (along with a few other ports) back to the MacBook Pro.
    I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. The iMac is a totally different animal vs a MacBook Pro. People just have to face the fact that the design of the MacBook Pro is the way it is and its not changing anytime soon. If you read my post above, most of your USB-C worries are really non-issues. 
  • Reply 8 of 22
    scottw2scottw2 Posts: 18member
    macxpress said:
    I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. The iMac is a totally different animal vs a MacBook Pro. People just have to face the fact that the design of the MacBook Pro is the way it is and its not changing anytime soon. If you read my post above, most of your USB-C worries are really non-issues. 
    To each his own. I will not buy a Mac laptop with only USB-C ports, only to carry around a bunch of dongles to connect it to accessories. Either the world needs to catch up with Apple or Apple has to return to the real world.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Is it compatible with eSATA drives like LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk?
  • Reply 10 of 22
    barthrhbarthrh Posts: 87member
    nhughes said:
    scottw2 said:
    The fact the new iMac still keep the USB-A ports are positive signs and I'm looking forward to Apple bringing them (along with a few other ports) back to the MacBook Pro.
    Not going to happen.
    I'm still waiting for them to bring back the Mini USB connector. Got a bunch of those useless cables. Darin' to dream!
    stompy
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,634administrator
    appex said:
    Is it compatible with eSATA drives like LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk?
    We'll find out shortly. Should be.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,634administrator

    scottw2 said:
    macxpress said:
    I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. The iMac is a totally different animal vs a MacBook Pro. People just have to face the fact that the design of the MacBook Pro is the way it is and its not changing anytime soon. If you read my post above, most of your USB-C worries are really non-issues. 
    To each his own. I will not buy a Mac laptop with only USB-C ports, only to carry around a bunch of dongles to connect it to accessories. Either the world needs to catch up with Apple or Apple has to return to the real world.
    You are probably never buying a Mac laptop ever again, then. I understand where you're coming from, but we've heard this all before, when the iMac launched.
    StrangeDayspscooter63
  • Reply 13 of 22
    landcruiserlandcruiser Posts: 211member
    scottw2 said:
    rob53 said:
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    I hate giving time to a blatant Apple hater but you do realize that USB-C is the "current" specification for USB/Thunderbolt connections don't you? Try reading http://www.usb.org/channel and see that USB-C ports aren't a proprietary Apple product but the future of USB. Just because other companies, especially Windows-based, are slow to adopt new standards doesn't mean Apple is at fault for using them. There are more and more native USB-C peripherals coming on the market every week.

    The use of a dock is not new, it's been around for a long time for both Macs and Window-PCs (mainly laptops). 
    And I similarly hate to explain obvious Apple failings to the apologists. Every criticism of the company and I'm branded a hater. I've been an Apple fan since my poor student day. Over the years I've moved to a die hard Apple fan to a more practical mind, Apple-liking developer. There's nothing wrong with having a hub or dock at your desk. In fact I much prefer them when sitting down at my desk. However, a major function of a laptop is connectivity on mobile. Got a USB key or external HDD? Chances are that they are gonna be USB-A. Need to connect to a projector? That's HDMI or VGA. Need to transfer files from a camera or camcorder? SD card. The MacBook Pro needs adapters for each of these. Even if I swallow the costs, what if I forget to bring an adapter? I'm left with a machine that can't connect to anything. The previous gen MacBook Pro have all of these things out of the box. I didn't have anything to plug into the Thunderbolt port but that's not a problem since I can use the other ports. The fact the new iMac still keep the USB-A ports are positive signs and I'm looking forward to Apple bringing them (along with a few other ports) back to the MacBook Pro.
    The tech world marches on and everyone will look back at this port issue like we look at parallel and serial ports. Anyway, check out one of these... https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hyperdrive-thunderbolt-3-usb-c-hub-for-macbook-pro#/
    I have one and love it. The only other thing I changed was the USB cable between my MBP and the USB hub. Total cost, ~$90. Enjoy.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,895member
    scottw2 said:
    macxpress said:
    I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. The iMac is a totally different animal vs a MacBook Pro. People just have to face the fact that the design of the MacBook Pro is the way it is and its not changing anytime soon. If you read my post above, most of your USB-C worries are really non-issues. 
    To each his own. I will not buy a Mac laptop with only USB-C ports, only to carry around a bunch of dongles to connect it to accessories. Either the world needs to catch up with Apple or Apple has to return to the real world.
    And if you read my post above, you don't need a bunch of dongles. There is a USB-C to whatever you need cable for nearly anything you'd want to connect to it. There's no need to get a bunch dongles when all you probably need is a new cable. This is called technology advancement....sometimes its painful but if companies like Apple don't push forward instead of living in the past, nothing will ever get accomplished with the world catching up. When USB first came out there were basically no USB peripherals to be had...until Apple completely dumped its old I/O with the original Bondi Blue iMac and went all USB with it. People bitched and whined then and well the sun still came up the next day and Apple is still standing. Oh, and all of a sudden there were all kinds of USB peripherals, even Mac compatible ones! This change will be no different. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,946member
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    Nonsense. I'm a working pro and have no need for the legacy ports, thank you. Much prefer the lighter and more power efficient portable. 

    If you don't think USBC is going to stick around awhile I dunno what to tell you. 
    stompypscooter63
  • Reply 16 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,946member

    scottw2 said:
    rob53 said:
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    I hate giving time to a blatant Apple hater but you do realize that USB-C is the "current" specification for USB/Thunderbolt connections don't you? Try reading http://www.usb.org/channel and see that USB-C ports aren't a proprietary Apple product but the future of USB. Just because other companies, especially Windows-based, are slow to adopt new standards doesn't mean Apple is at fault for using them. There are more and more native USB-C peripherals coming on the market every week.

    The use of a dock is not new, it's been around for a long time for both Macs and Window-PCs (mainly laptops). 
    And I similarly hate to explain obvious Apple failings to the apologists. Every criticism of the company and I'm branded a hater. I've been an Apple fan since my poor student day. Over the years I've moved to a die hard Apple fan to a more practical mind, Apple-liking developer. There's nothing wrong with having a hub or dock at your desk. In fact I much prefer them when sitting down at my desk. However, a major function of a laptop is connectivity on mobile. Got a USB key or external HDD? Chances are that they are gonna be USB-A. Need to connect to a projector? That's HDMI or VGA. Need to transfer files from a camera or camcorder? SD card. The MacBook Pro needs adapters for each of these. Even if I swallow the costs, what if I forget to bring an adapter? I'm left with a machine that can't connect to anything. The previous gen MacBook Pro have all of these things out of the box. I didn't have anything to plug into the Thunderbolt port but that's not a problem since I can use the other ports. The fact the new iMac still keep the USB-A ports are positive signs and I'm looking forward to Apple bringing them (along with a few other ports) back to the MacBook Pro.
    My pro-sumer cameras use CF cards, not SD -- how would I plug them in? Oh yeah I use a cable. What if you want a network jack? Get a dongle. No way on earth Apple is going to saddle all of us with HDMI ports just because you *might* need it once -- get a freaking cable and stop whining. 

    Obvious point -- No device can be all things to all people. But adding a bunch of stuff that you might need maybe someday is a poor compromise, when they can instead add ports and everybody can use what they actually need. 

    But hey, you know best right. Armchair exec and all that. 
    stompypscooter63
  • Reply 17 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,946member
    scottw2 said:
    macxpress said:
    I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. The iMac is a totally different animal vs a MacBook Pro. People just have to face the fact that the design of the MacBook Pro is the way it is and its not changing anytime soon. If you read my post above, most of your USB-C worries are really non-issues. 
    To each his own. I will not buy a Mac laptop with only USB-C ports, only to carry around a bunch of dongles to connect it to accessories. Either the world needs to catch up with Apple or Apple has to return to the real world.
    Thanks for letting us know you won't be buying. Was getting worried. 
    macxpresspscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 22
    scottw2scottw2 Posts: 18member
    macxpress said:
    scottw2 said:
    rob53 said:
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    I hate giving time to a blatant Apple hater but you do realize that USB-C is the "current" specification for USB/Thunderbolt connections don't you? Try reading http://www.usb.org/channel and see that USB-C ports aren't a proprietary Apple product but the future of USB. Just because other companies, especially Windows-based, are slow to adopt new standards doesn't mean Apple is at fault for using them. There are more and more native USB-C peripherals coming on the market every week.

    The use of a dock is not new, it's been around for a long time for both Macs and Window-PCs (mainly laptops). 
    The fact the new iMac still keep the USB-A ports are positive signs and I'm looking forward to Apple bringing them (along with a few other ports) back to the MacBook Pro.
    I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. The iMac is a totally different animal vs a MacBook Pro. People just have to face the fact that the design of the MacBook Pro is the way it is and its not changing anytime soon. If you read my post above, most of your USB-C worries are really non-issues. 
    To each his own. I will not buy a Mac laptop with only USB-C, along with a bunch of dongles to connect it with accessories. Either the world needs to catch up with Apple or Apple has to return to the real world.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    I have a related question.... not owning a TB3 /USB-C capable Mac yet I was looking up TB2/TB3 adapters.  To my surprise Apple sell a cable they claim to be bi-directional, I also read that TB2 to TB3 isn't as bad as it might seem on paper.  However I am left baffled a wee bit as reverse adapters in my days in the field hit the male - female issues.  Do I take it these things are bi-directional and have gender neutral ports and plus these days?  Anyone tried TB3 peripheral on a TB2 with this adapter?
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 20 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    scottw2 said:
    macxpress said:
    scottw2 said:
    rob53 said:
    scottw2 said:
    Welcome to the MacHub Pro, a laptop that cannot connect to anything. The decision to include only USB-C ports is a huge mistake as there's virtually nothing that you can plug into them. Buying an Apple laptop these days means bunch of dongles and adapter to connect accessories to your computer. Budget an extra $300.
    I hate giving time to a blatant Apple hater but you do realize that USB-C is the "current" specification for USB/Thunderbolt connections don't you? Try reading http://www.usb.org/channel and see that USB-C ports aren't a proprietary Apple product but the future of USB. Just because other companies, especially Windows-based, are slow to adopt new standards doesn't mean Apple is at fault for using them. There are more and more native USB-C peripherals coming on the market every week.

    The use of a dock is not new, it's been around for a long time for both Macs and Window-PCs (mainly laptops). 
    The fact the new iMac still keep the USB-A ports are positive signs and I'm looking forward to Apple bringing them (along with a few other ports) back to the MacBook Pro.
    I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. The iMac is a totally different animal vs a MacBook Pro. People just have to face the fact that the design of the MacBook Pro is the way it is and its not changing anytime soon. If you read my post above, most of your USB-C worries are really non-issues. 
    To each his own. I will not buy a Mac laptop with only USB-C, along with a bunch of dongles to connect it with accessories. Either the world needs to catch up with Apple or Apple has to return to the real world.
    Surely you'd only need one multi functional box with all the other stuff attached to 'it'.  Leaving you light weight Mac free to be carried about when not needing all the extra stuff.  Seems like a great idea to me.
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