Plugable has been crafting Thunderbolt 3 accessories for many years now. Thanks to all of the company’s experience, it has now delivered one of the most powerful Thunderbolt 3 docks to date. It boasts a total of 14 ports that are powered using one Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C cable. Additionally, the dock is able to supply 100W of power to a compatible MacBook or PC.
An impressive Thunderbolt 3 dock
The upcoming Plugable TBT3-UDZ Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Docking Station is one of the most-robust offerings we’ve seen to date. Of all its features, one of the most notable is that this Thunderbolt 3 dock is capable of driving two 4K displays at 60Hz.
Many competitors top out at 30Hz or just a single display at 60Hz, making this solution a solid choice for many professional workflows. Plugable touts this Thunderbolt 3 dock as the first to allow “users to connect up to 2 additional 4K displays using either HDMI or DP without the need of external adapters.”
Among other I/O, those that rely on a wired network connection will be pleased to find a 1Gbps Ethernet port along the back. There are also a total of seven USB-A ports, two of which are along the front and support 10Gbps. The other five are along the back and deliver USB 3.0 speeds of 5Gbps.
Those that rely on SD and microSD for managing a camera, Raspberry Pi, or perhaps Elgato’s upcoming 4K60 S+ Game Capture Card will find easily accessible ports along the front. Additionally, a combination 3.5mm slot can be found and can be used as a microphone input or for audio output.
Apple spoils MacBook users with Thunderbolt 3 ports that are ready for top-tier throughputs of 40Gbps. The waters get muddied when buying many Thunderbolt 3-equipped PCs, with some only supporting 20Gbps and others at 5Gbps USB-C. Thankfully Plugable appears to have thought through of the potential caveats and lists what can be expected with its Thunderbolt 3 dock on devices with slower throughput speeds on its website.
Pricing and availability
When the Plugable TBT3-UDZ Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Docking Station debuts at the end of Q2 2020, expect it to be accompanied by a $299 price tag. While certainly a pricey dock, few can go head-to-head with the top-tier functionality offered here.
Of all the features found here, there is only one glaring issue I can see, and it’s the lack of extra USB-C ports. Even my hub of choice (reviewed here) offers up the ports it utilizes, which can’t be said for Plugable’s upcoming Thunderbolt 3 dock. Thankfully Plugable still sells a preceding hub that does, in fact, provide an additional Thunderbolt 3 port. Outside of this issue, the new Thunderbolt 3 dock from Plugable appears to be a slam dunk.
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