The best Thunderbolt 3 docks for Apple's 2019 iMac, 2018 MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and MacBoo...



  • Reply 61 of 63
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,354member
    eightzero said:
    Request to AI: with the macmini and MBA announcements with thunderbolt 3 ports on them, can we have a summary of thunderbolt 4k/5k displays? Pretty sure now this will be how I will replace my iMacs going forward.
    When we roll up a list like this, we aren't just picking randomly. We've used each item, and can vouch for how decent it is. This is a bit more of a problem with TB3 and USB-C displays as we've only tried a few. I'll put it on the list.
    Thanks. These things are really hard to compare; and aren't really all that common. A prices seem to be all over the place.
  • Reply 62 of 63
    gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 277member
    I bought the USB-C HyperDrive for a Macbook a year ago. This is not a TB3 dock, but USB (but it's in the list). The dock doesn't come with its own power source, so you have to put the charger of your Mac in. But the charger of the MacBook or 2018 MBA is only 30W. The dock itself uses 15W for the ports on it, even when these ports are not used. The resulting power is max 15W, but in practice it is a lot less and as a result it won't charge your Macbook or MBA while it is in use. A battery app shows the "30W minus 15W passthrough" as 13.8W max power.

    They say in their FAQ it delivers 60W, and they even kept saying that after I explained that when fed by a 30W charger it could never deliver 60W (after all, where does the rest come from?) and they still say in their FAQ it is capable of delivering 60W (45W for the Mac and 15W for itself). But that should be read that — with a 60W charger of a MBP — it consumes 60W and delivers 45W).

    The table in the article (and their FAQ) therefore are wrong/misleading when they say "60W power delivery" as it is "power from charger pass-through minus 15W".
    87W charger: max 72W delivery
    60W charger: max 45W delivery
    30W charger: max 15W delivery
    The table needs to be adapted for those docks that do not come with their own power to say "pass-through minus X".

    It is probably a perfect dock, but one should add that if used with a MacBook Air or MacBook, you need to buy a heavy duty charger as well (adding to the cost) if you want to charge your Mac when in use. According to Hyper (in mail), it could als pass 87W-15W (so 72W, which is above what they claim). Haven't tried that yet.

    One could also say that the standard chargers by Apple for MacBook and MacBook Air are underpowered for anything but solely driving the Mac itself.
  • Reply 63 of 63
    Three comments about dongle devices, like the HyperDrive Thunderbolt 3 hub, and one about FireWire First: They may not offer the functionality you expect. For example they often cannot both charge your computer and run a Thunderbolt display at the same time, because USB-C ports are data only. This means that you will need to plug in additional cables to the other ports on your Mac. Second: Unless both of the type-C connectors are attached to your laptop, they may not be able to power accessories like a hard drive. Third: These compact dongles are incompatible with protective shell cases. You can buy (expensive) USB-C patch cables, but you would need two for the dongle to carry both Thunderbolt and power. In case it isn't pretty obvious, I've been disappointed. There are lot of choices for these dongle docks - not sure why AI featured only the HyperDrive. You can compare prices on the Satechi Aluminum USB-C Pro, the Sanho HyperDrive PRO 8-in-2 USB-C, tye Wavlink Aluminum Thunderbolt 3 Dock for Macbook, and the FONLLAM Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C Dock. I am not recommending any of these, by the way, but they all offer pretty much the same functionality. Personally, I upgraded to the CalDigit. ---- As for FireWire, AI seems to have missed the many people purchased very expensive video cameras and even SLRs that depend on FireWire. Swapping these out to keep up with Apple ports is considerably more costly than fussing with outdated hard drives. For such people, losing FireWire is not a small problem.
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