Anker debuts pair of PowerExpand Thunderbolt 3 docks

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2020
Two new Thunderbolt 3 docks from Anker provide power, legacy ports, and video connectivity with one cable to your MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro.




A Thunderbolt 3 dock can help in any number of situations, from connecting legacy USB-A devices to your MacBook Pro to connecting multiple monitors for improved working spaces. Anker's PowerExpand docks come in two different sizes, a 7-in-1 docking station and a 13-in-1 docking station, both designed to expand the capabilities of your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

PowerExpand 7-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock

PowerExpand 7-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock


The smaller of the two, the PowerExpand Mini Dock, offers seven different ports to broaden the potential of your Thunderbolt 3 laptop - such as the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.

The included HDMI port allows you to connect to an external monitor in resolutions up to 4K at 60Hz. Perfect for those who prefer working in clamshell mode, or those who like to use an additional monitor while working.

The PowerExpand Mini offers 45W of charging, more than enough for a MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. It will charge a 16-inch MacBook Pro, but at a much slower rate. Additionally, if you are doing anything process-intensive, the dock will not charge your laptop until resources are freed up.

The PowerExpand Mini is compatible with the MacBook Air produced in 2018 and onward, and the MacBook Pro produced in 2016 and forward. However, if you own a 16-inch, i9 MacBook Pro, we do not suggest using this -- or any other low-powered dock -- to supply power to your computer.

Input/Output on Anker PowerExpand Mini

  • USB-C Port (10 Gbps, 5V/0.9A)
  • USB-A Port (10 Gbps, 5V/1.1A)
  • SD and microSD Card Reader (SD 4.0 UHS-II
  • Thunderbolt 3 Upstream Port (40 Gbps, 45W)
  • HDMI 2.0 Port
  • Gigabit Ethernet Port
The PowerElite 7-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock retails for $199.99.

PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock

PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock


The PowerExpand Elite offers 13 different ports, including SD card slots, audio input/output, USB-C ports, USB-A ports, and more.

This dock also offers 85W of charging power to keep your MacBook Pro topped up, as well as two 15W Thunderbolt 3 ports and an 18W USB-C Power Deliver (PD) port, perfect for keeping your iPhone charged. Except under periods of extreme load, the 85W that the PowerExpand Elite provides will keep a 16-inch MacBook Pro battery at full power

For those who use multi-display setups, The Thunderbolt 3 port supports 5K at 60Hz, while the HDMI port supports a resolution of 4K at 60Hz. Users can connect displays to both ports simultaneously. If you connect a USB-C to dual HDMI splitter, you'll be able to connect three displays at 4K at once.

Input/Output on Anker PowerExpand Elite

  • SD Card Slot (SD 4.0 UHS-II)
  • microSD Card Slot (SD 4.0 UHS-II)
  • Audio In & Out
  • USB-A Port (5 Gbps, 5V/1.5A)
  • USB-C Port (10 Gbps, 5V/0.9A)
  • USB-C Port (10 Gbps, 5V/3A or 9V/2A)
  • Thunderbolt 3 Downstream Port (40 Gbps, 15W)
  • Thunderbolt 3 Upstream Port (40 Gbps, 85W)
  • USB-A Port (5 Gbps, 5V/0.9A)
  • HDMI 2.0 Port
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • DC-IN (20V/9A)
The PowerExpand Elite Thunderbolt 3 Dock is compatible with the MacBook Air from 2018 and onward and the MacBook Pro from 2016 and onward, and can be purchased from Amazon for $299.99.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    These things are still ludicrously expensive, over the top for some uses, and insufficient for others. It’s like this category of product is impossible to get right and no one cares to make it affordable. Yet, Apple has created this market by dropping all the ports on MacBooks and not saving us any expense while doing so.
    lkruppbraytonakneo-techjrc
  • Reply 2 of 7
    anomeanome Posts: 1,465member
    The Elite is listed on Amazon.com.au for A$645, which is expensive even for a Thunderbolt 3 dock, they're normally at least A$100 cheaper. And with the mid-year deals on a lot of the bigger names, like the Calidigit, Belkin, Kensington and Plugable docks are currently over A$300 cheaper (~A$300-350).

    Still waiting to see what happens with USB4 and the changes in Intel's licensing for TB. In the meantime, I'm using my Hyperdrive dock I got from a Kickstarter shortly after I got my MBP in 2016, and it cost a lot less and works fine.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,404member
    I can't recommend the Mini Dock, even though I am normally a fan of Anker products. Amazon sells a few no-name and HyperDrive docks that offer exactly the same features (except for 100W rather than 45W on the TB3 port in some cases) for anywhere from half to a quarter the price. Possibly you won't get as many years out of it as you would with an Anker model, the IMO the Anker Mini is too little too late.

    The Elite is a different story, but again it's around the same price as most TB3 docks, so build quality and the ports you're looking for are the main distinguishing features. 
  • Reply 4 of 7
    PylonsPylons Posts: 32member
    I agree with Dysamoria and Anime. This one is too expensive for the ports it offers, probably mostly due to the cost of the TB chipset. The only things in this dock that push the aggregated bandwidth towards needing Thunderbolt are the 10 Gbps USB ports. Other than those, you can get everything this dock offers in the various $50-$80 USB-C-based docks already available. If you need 10 Gbps USB then there are cheaper options as well.
    I love Anker's battery products but this one doesn't seem to have much of a place in the market.

    Also I wish someone would put faster than 1 GbE in these. 2.5 GbE chipsets are below $5. With the recent launch of AMD B550 and Intel Z490 motherboards 2.5 GbE is becoming standard so we can expect cheaper switches soon as well.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,686member
    After co-working at home I'm convinced what a want is the dock that pairs with a monitor. Highjacks the power cable for the monitor, provides a display connection to the monitor, adds maybe ethernet and a few USB ports. Better still if it double sided tapes or fixes to the monitor so they can be moved one piece.

    That would seems to be a winner for lots of offices home and non-home that have good displays that aren't USBc
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    ClarusClarus Posts: 36member
    dysamoria said:
    These things are still ludicrously expensive, over the top for some uses, and insufficient for others. It’s like this category of product is impossible to get right and no one cares to make it affordable. Yet, Apple has created this market by dropping all the ports on MacBooks and not saving us any expense while doing so.
    Dropping ports did not create these docks, because they were not technically practical with the limited ports (yes I said that) available on old Macs. What created the market for these docks was the alternate mode capability of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports. That capability, and support for higher bandwidth and power levels made possible the single cable from laptop to everything (power, wired network, displays, etc.) solution that I currently enjoy every single day with my OWC TB3 dock. Only one cable to plug or unplug when I need to run. And since the dock supplies power, my Apple adapter was freed up to stay in my laptop bag.

    If Apple equipped Mac laptops with the typical number of ports they used to, or still found on PC laptops, it would not have been enough. The 13 ports on my hub - most of which are in use - will not all fit on a laptop. I probably would have bought one anyway.

    I cannot dispute that they are very expensive, which definitely hurts when you're already paying over $2000 for a laptop. But my hub handles so many peripherals for me rock solid all day long, and the convenience of one-cable connect/disconnect is so valuable, that after a year of use I think it's proven its worth. Especially if it works for another 2-4 years. Offloading all those ports helped me downsize to the 13" for better portability when mobile. I do have a small USB-C hub in my laptop bag too, of course, for times when I need it.

    Pylons said:
    Also I wish someone would put faster than 1 GbE in these.
    Someone does. You will find 10GbE in the OWC (Macsales) Thunderbolt 3 Pro dock. If you look up the specs, you have to be looking at the Pro dock, the non-Pro is regular old 1GigE. Of course, it's even more ridiculously priced...
    edited June 2020 chiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    jrcjrc Posts: 817member
    I'm surprised none of these have super-expensive WHEELS as options. 
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