CalDigit Thunderbolt Station - Thunderbolt Interface Expansion Device for Mac and PC
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- Expand your connectivity to up to eight devices with a single Thunderbolt cable
- Dual Thunderbolt ports allow users to daisy-chain up to five devices
- Three USB 3.0 ports for blazing 5Gb/s transfer speeds
- One HDMI port for display output
- One Gigabit Ethernet port for wired network access
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The CalDigit Thunderbolt Station adds USB 3.0, Audio In & Out, HDMI, and Ethernet connectivity to your computer via dual Thunderbolt ports. Housed in a high strength aluminum body, the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station's rugged construction and portable form factor make it an excellent solution for professionals on the road. Additionally, the three USB 3.0 ports has charging support for iOS devices and Apple's SuperDrive. The CalDigit Thunderbolt Station is solid value for anyone looking to expand the versatility of their Thunderbolt enabled computer and less expensive than anything else on market.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The device is solid. It's a bit heavier than I expected it to be, but very portable. There are rubber feet on the bottom of the dock to keep the dock from scratching my desk surface. The device does get warm when it is turned on, but by no means does it get hot to the point that I worry about it overheating.
The USB 3 ports work well. I read previous reviews that state that it takes 15 - 20 seconds to recognize USB devices, but I found that they connect instantly. And, All 3 USB ports will read/write simultaneously. The USB ports will charge my iPhone 5s, but not a Retina iPad mini, although the computer will recognize the Retina iPad mini and sync it when it is connected to this dock. The dock will recognize both iPhone and iPad connected at the same time, but only the iPhone will charge. I wish there were 2 USB ports on the front of the device, rather than just one.
The HDMI port is plug and play. My external monitor connected instantly, with a full 1080p resolution.
The audio out jack works great too. I have not yet tested the audio in jack or the ethernet jack.
I like that this product has a sleek look and has a small footprint on my desk. However, I am not a big fan of the power brick that came with it. I think I would rather a unit with a built in power supply, even though it would double the size of the unit sitting on my desk.
I also read a review stating that there was a high-pitched humming noise coming from the device. I tried to listen to this device with my computer in sleep mode, awake mode, with devices plugged in, and without devices plugged in. I have not heard any noise coming from the dock at all. It's completely silent.
Overall, I think this is probably the best quality thunderbolt dock on the market today. At $50 - $100 less than other Thunderbolt docks on the market today, it's also the best priced dock available. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is thinking about purchasing a thunderbolt dock.
Connectivity-wise it's great. I have it hooked up to a new Macbook Pro 13 (late 2013) with a external monitor over HDMI (also tried with mini-displayport to HDMI connector), a USB mouse, an Android Phone (USB), headphones, and an external USB HDD. All work great and I can just unplug the one Thunderbolt cable and power cord and go mobile. It's awesome.
BUT.. when's it's idle there's a really annoying high pitched noise coming from the station. As long as there is a thunderbolt cable plugged in and idle (no computer connected or computer is asleep) the sound is there.
I emailed their support department and they say it's due to the power requirements of the thunderbolt spec and there's nothing they can do. They suggest unplugging the station when not in use. I was pretty disappointed with this answer. It's poor power supply design (or more likely layout on the circuit board) and is fixable, although with new hardware.
I hope they make a new revision to address this then it's a perfect product in my eyes.
Is anyone else running into this issue? By their response, I would assume other units experience this too.
I need it and am headed out of the country so I'll deal with the noise for the sake of the convenience the dock provides.
When I return to my office, I put my laptop on a raised stand and plug in an external keyboard and Logitech Marble Trackpad. I also like to keep my three backup, bus-powered hard drives connected via a USB hub with individual power switches (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007X75MXS/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1); this allows me to leave my three bus-powered drives always plugged in to the USB hub, but not turned on except when I am ready to use them (makes backing up easier and reduces wear and tear on the drives).
In addition, I plug in my external speakers to the Mac's audio out jack.
That's how things were BEFORE I got the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station. WITH it, I get three USB ports, so my USB backup drives, etc., run much faster. Coolest of all, I can dispense with plugging in a USB hub and the external speakers. Instead, I just plug all those peripherals into the Thunderbolt Station. When I put the laptop on its stand, I plug in the one Thunderbolt cable, and I'm set to go!
In addition, to my pleasant surprise, the Thunderbolt Station allows me to nest USB hubs in nearly all cases. I have a different USB hub plugged into each of the Thunderbolt Station's USB 3.0 ports, giving me a total of 18 USB 3.0 ports! So far, all my peripherals work fine plugged into one of these hubs, which are, in turn, plugged into the Thunderbolt Station. Occasionally, my iPhone 5 fails to connect to the computer that way, so I just plug it directly into one of my laptop's (now unused) USB ports.
I find I am also able to record audio with my MicPort Pro interface plugged into one of the piggybacked hubs, too.
I am delighted with this product! It makes it much more convenient to come and go with my laptop, and gives me boosted performance, as well.