Belkin ships Thunderbolt Express Dock

Belkin announced Tuesday that it's shipping its Thunderbolt Express Dock, an expansion chassis for Thunderbolt-equipped Macs that provides a Gigabit Ethernet connection, FireWire 800 port, two Thunderbolt ports, three USB 3.0 ports and separate headphone and mic jacks.

Belkin's aiming the device at MacBook Air and Pro users with Thunderbolt-equipped systems who want to be able to quickly connect to and disconnect from peripherals at their desk.

Belkin isn't the first out of the gate with one of these gadgets and they won't be the last. Do you have a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac? If so, do these sorts of gadgets appeal to you?

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Belkin ships Thunderbolt Express Dock


We should do a piece on the best docking solutions for Mac. I have a Thunderbolt display, so I probably don't need this, but I'm curious as to the pros/cons of the different docks at this point.

Peter, help! :)

the thunderbolt display does not have usb 3.0 ports...WTH was apple you will need one if you do want to plugin stuff to the macbook

I use the Thunderbolt too (bought one on your advice on twitter 8-) ) I love it and it works in just the way that I need it to. USB 3.0 is the only downside. I just have my rMBP in a TwelveSouth stand and use the USB sockets if and when I need them but truthfully, I use the Thunderbolt ports much more and it is demonstrably quicker.

I would love to go dual screen but I know that the next Apple Display form factor is going to be more like the current iMac and will run the risk of looking more than a little odd next to my current one. I may well then opt to get a 2nd Thunderbolt Display if I can match up the funds with a suitably reduced screen price.

Does anyone know if these thunderbolt docks support full Ethernet such as packet capture? I know that the usb to Ethernet usually doesn't.

This is good news, indeed! I know Matrox already has a Thunderbolt hub out, but I like this one, since it does not make you choose specifically between a certain type of monitor connection. I can't wait to order it.

I have a desktop iMac (late 2011). What is the best solution for multiple inputs and top speed? I have my Thunderbolt input hooked up to a external hard drive at the moment.

Notice that there is still only ONE Thunderbolt port available for a peripheral. I need two as a video editor with a 2012 MacBook Pro, non-Retina. One for a large Display Port monitor and another for a capture card enclosure (I run media off of USB-3 drive). Only one capture card in the world has Thunderbolt pass-through daisy-chain capability and that's the AJA IO XT at $1500. All of the less expensive alternatives cannot. I finally bit the bullet for the AJA, but it would have been nice to see some kind of hub with TWO actual TB ports available. Why is this so difficult for the market to produce?

This gizmo feels seriously overpriced to me. I'm right in their target demographic, with a 15" retina macbook and a 2nd monitor. Sometimes work at home and sometimes at the office. But 300 bucks for this thing? Not for me. For one thing, you lose one thunderbolt port in order to gain one thunderbolt port. And as someone else mentioned, no HDMI? I'll keep plugging and unplugging my monitor and external hard drive for now - ok, ok, and speakers, and printer on occasion - until someone makes something a bit more robust at about half this price.

I agree with some of the others here. Too expensive for what it is. If it was half the price I'd probably order it immediately.

We've all waited far too long for Thunderbolt accessories, and are charged far too much for rather lame choices. I get excited when I see posts like this one, but reading further than the headline always disappoints and other readers comments mirror my feelings.

We are the Thunderbolt leppers... outcasts... living in blind hope for a decent and affordable product that no one has even pre announced. I have the hump!