Hands on: Mantiz Thunderbolt 3 dock gives USB-A and VGA to MacBook Pro owners

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2018
Mantiz took its experience in building a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure, and used it to make the new Mantiz Titan dock -- and AppleInsider just got its hands on one.




The Mantiz Titan dock itself is smaller than just about every other Thunderbolt 3 dock we've seen. Like all of the Thunderbolt 3 docks providing full 87W of charging power, the power supply is pretty giant, which at this point seems to be an inescapable fact of life, or physics.

Also inescapable is the general uselessness of a 0.5 meter Thunderbolt 3 cable. But, in the case of the Titan, the Thunderbolt 3 port is on the front of the dock, not inline with the rest of the ports.




This allows for some alternate cable runs, and at first glance makes a little more sense. That said, a free short cable is better than no cable -- but in actual usage, we've still found it to be just a bit shorter than we want, so you should still plan on buying a longer one.

Mantiz has taken the ports you'd expect on a Thunderbolt 3 dock and crammed them into a new custom case design. All of the ports are on the back, including 4K video connectivity, which we'll delve into shortly, Gigabit Ethernet, a VGA port, and a pair of USB 3.0 type A ports.

The company has taken a slightly different approach to Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. Besides the front-mount, there is no downstream Thunderbolt 3 port. Instead, the company has gone for additional video connectivity with a HDMI 2.0a port paired with a DisplayPort 1.2 port, and a discrete DisplayPort 1.2 connector.

Dual 4K at 60Hz is obtained by either using both of the DisplayPort connectors, or DisplayPort connector 1 and the HDMI port. This isn't a bad thing, as in practical use dual-4K support in docks utilizes what would be the second Thunderbolt 3 port in some form of hardware-based USB-C alternate mode for connecting a display, so most users are still served by the unusual change-out.

USB speeds are in-line with other docks we've tested. Initial testing shows about 230 megabytes per second with large files on both read and write speed with a SSD array more than capable of saturating the USB 3.0 type A connection -- but we'll delve a bit deeper into this in a future review.




The Titan's pre-order price is $199 with a regular retail of $229. Given the price, a full 87W of charging power, coupled with the smaller size, makes the Mantiz Titan a compelling choice for a Thunderbolt dock at first glance.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    How hot does it get when doing sustained data transfers across it? That seems to be a differentiating factor between TB3 docks in other reviews I've seen.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,275administrator
    ascii said:
    How hot does it get when doing sustained data transfers across it? That seems to be a differentiating factor between TB3 docks in other reviews I've seen.
    Our test file package is 100GB of 4GB+ video files, for TB3 dock testing. Seemed to be pretty steady. It got toasty, but not blazing like some others. This is one of the reasons I like the TS3 and TS3+ from CalDigit's vertical orientation.
    edited March 2018 ascii
  • Reply 3 of 14
    No passthrough port? Ugh, let's bring back the worst “feature” of Thunderbolt 2. Fail.
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,275administrator
    No passthrough port? Ugh, let's bring back the worst feature of Thunderbolt 2. Fail.
    Nearly all TB2 docks had passthrough ports.

    In this case, as with any engineering decision, it's a tradeoff
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 5 of 14

    .... Like all of the Thunderbolt 3 docks providing full 87W of charging power, the power supply is pretty giant, which at this point seems to be an inescapable fact of life, or physics.
    Its a price thing rather than physics. The switching power supply supply could be made MUCH smaller, by using much higher switching frequency, and appropriate magnetics. More difficult to design and approve (EMI emission) and more expensive to produce. For a Dock like this that inset intended to be portable there is no need for the power supply to be smaller I suppose.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Mantiz_JohnMantiz_John Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    No passthrough port? Ugh, let's bring back the worst feature of Thunderbolt 2. Fail.
    Nearly all TB2 docks had passthrough ports.

    In this case, as with any engineering decision, it's a tradeoff
    yes, it is a tradeoff, we put the one more DP ports and use that to be tradeoff with the Thunderbolt downstream port and users don't have to buy or prepare the extra type C to DP ( HDMI ) adapter to have dual displays output.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Mantiz_JohnMantiz_John Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    ascii said:
    How hot does it get when doing sustained data transfers across it? That seems to be a differentiating factor between TB3 docks in other reviews I've seen.
    skin Temp ( assume you are asking for this,) it is less than 42 degree while power delivery 87W + Full usage ( 2 displays ran by 4K @ 60HZ + Lan + Dual USB )
    asciifastasleep
  • Reply 8 of 14

    Is it possible to plug in 3 monitors (1080p) or 2K at 60Hz?

    edited March 2018
  • Reply 9 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,275administrator

    Is it possible to plug in 3 monitors (1080p) or 2K


    We'll check for the full review. I don't think so, given how the HDMI and one DisplayPort are connected.

    My normal test rig is dual-4K, but we'll see.
  • Reply 10 of 14

    Is it possible to plug in 3 monitors (1080p) or 2K


    We'll check for the full review. I don't think so, given how the HDMI and one DisplayPort are connected.

    My normal test rig is dual-4K, but we'll see.
    Thanks! would be very interesting. Just thought to use 2 Displayports and VGA for the third one.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,275administrator

    Is it possible to plug in 3 monitors (1080p) or 2K


    We'll check for the full review. I don't think so, given how the HDMI and one DisplayPort are connected.

    My normal test rig is dual-4K, but we'll see.
    Thanks! would be very interesting. Just thought to use 2 Displayports and VGA for the third one.
    That's my plan, yeah.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Mantiz_JohnMantiz_John Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    Mantiz Titan disigned concept is rely on the Thunderbolt connection which is Max 40Gb Bandwidth. [email protected] is about 16G and by 2 will be 32G, leave 5G for the USB. which s already 37 G + Lan for 1 g, total 38G, there's no more bandwidth that we can output the third display chancel including the VGA.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Mantiz Titan disigned concept is rely on the Thunderbolt connection which is Max 40Gb Bandwidth. [email protected] is about 16G and by 2 will be 32G, leave 5G for the USB. which s already 37 G + Lan for 1 g, total 38G, there's no more bandwidth that we can output the third display chancel including the VGA.
    And what about 3 x full HD?
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Mantiz Titan disigned concept is rely on the Thunderbolt connection which is Max 40Gb Bandwidth. [email protected] is about 16G and by 2 will be 32G, leave 5G for the USB. which s already 37 G + Lan for 1 g, total 38G, there's no more bandwidth that we can output the third display chancel including the VGA.
    or on the other hand, theoreticly I could use 2 x 1440p (2 x 7 Gbps = 14 Gbps) and a 1080p = 5 Gbps? The question generally is if I can "talk" to 3 monitors at all or if the Macbook or dock can only handle 2 monitors? In my case I only use Fully HD or maybe 2K. I'm not going to 4K at the moment and want to use 3 lower res monitors (without the retina screen). That is possible with my windows machine at the moment and want to switch to a macbook with the same setup. I hope I could explain it correct :)
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