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Review: Matrox DS1 Thunderbolt docking station

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Post your comments for Review: Matrox DS1 Thunderbolt docking station here
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#2 User is offline   DavidAllen 

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  Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

Too expensive for what it offers. At that price it should have two Thunderbolt ports and eSata connections too.

It really is about time that the shackles were lifted from Thunderbolt to give affordable peripherals to use with out Macs.
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#3 User is offline   monospaced 

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  Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

I share DavidAllen's sentiments. For those users looking for a multi-port dock, I have to assume that like me, FireWire is top of the list of necessary ports. Also, with the way things are moving in the world of connectivity, it's weird there is no HDMI port or professional level audio I/O as well. For what amounts to not much more than a USB hub with a plain-jane Ethernet (which most Macs have anyway), I can't understand the $250 price tag.
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#4 User is offline   tokyojerry 

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  Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:37 PM

The concept is right but being overpriced and under featured, this product / concept is not ready for prime time yet. Only a single USB3 port? The other two are only USB2? And, we are in the age of USB3 with backward compatibility to USB2? Come on! All 3 ports should be USB3, period. Not USB2, USB1.1. And, the TB (thunder bolt) single port as state is also a no go. Dual ports minimum for daisy chaining. I can live without firewire as I don't use it at all.
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#5 User is offline   bhawksman 

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  Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

Despite the lack of an extra Thunderbolt port, and only a single USB3 connector, not to mention the outrageous $249 price you awarded this product a four mouse review? C'mon...
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#6 User is offline   wlunscher 

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  Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

Belkin is offering their Thunderbolt express dock with the extra Thunderbolt port and firewire + 3 USB 3.0 ports for $300. Still seems awfully expensive to me for what these things do. Also, both of these only have 3 ports, the first thing I'd do is add a USB hub. A shame, how much would it cost them to load up these devices with ports?!

I find it curious we haven't seen more creative Thunderbolt peripherals. An external mini tower comes to mind. It should be a straight-forward exercise and should cost less than a cheap PC tower (which go for about as much as these hubs!). I'd like to see a paper examining the costs and challenges of implementing Thunderbolt.
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#7 User is offline   Fitzpatpaul 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:09 AM

Quote

I share DavidAllen's sentiments. For those users looking for a multi-port dock, I have to assume that like me, FireWire is top of the list of necessary ports. Also, with the way things are moving in the world of connectivity, it's weird there is no HDMI port or professional level audio I/O as well. For what amounts to not much more than a USB hub with a plain-jane Ethernet (which most Macs have anyway), I can't understand the $250 price tag.


You should take a closer look to the review monospaced, it clearly states that an HDMI port is provided!
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#8 User is offline   davidlfoster 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:33 AM

This product is pathetic - way overpriced! It needs all USB3, a firewire, and Thunderbolt port to even be considered a realistic investment. And Macworld gives this accessory four mice? You should run two of those mice back into their holes and give this the two that it really deserves. It's stuff like this that makes PC-diehards roll their eyes and wonder what wouldn't Mac users either put up with or shell out for accessories that are clearly inadequate in almost every sense of the word.

My subscription is almost past time for renewal and this is the type of incisive review you deliver. Frankly I am underwhelmed. Macworld's standards have to be higher - both for the products they review and for the reviews too.
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#9 User is offline   michaelgpalma 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:54 AM

I'm not sure what the point of this product really is? Really. I'm looking at a picture of the ports on a MacBook Pro on Apple's site Ethernet, Thunderbolt, 2 X USB 3, line out and line in. This product Ethernet, DVI or HDMI, 1 X USB 3, 2 X USB 2 lie in and line out. So for $249 you a 1 X USB 3, 2 X USB 2 hub and thunderbolt to DVI/HDMI adapter. I can get a USB 3 hub and a display adapter for under $50 at Amazon. Make them all USB 3 and add in another Thunderbolt port then you have a compelling product.
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#10 User is offline   tony_d 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

Agreeing with the other posts here. It needs another TB port and at least one FW port. I can't believe that it has two USB 2 ports and one USB 3. All three should be USB 3. If I was in the market for a external display and a TB breakout box it seems Apple's TB display hits the nail on the head. The more I think about it. its really not that overpriced considering it has all the right ports.
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#11 User is offline   monospaced 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

Quote

You should take a closer look to the review monospaced, it clearly states that an HDMI port is provided!


You're right, although it wasn't as clearly stated as I had hoped. In fact, to get an HDMI port, you have to buy the model that has it, otherwise you just get a DVI port.
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#12 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

For my taste and needs they should merge both models into one: DVI + HDMI, USB 3 only, gigabit ethernet, plus a second thunderbolt and a pair of firewire ports.
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#13 User is offline   tatilsever 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:08 AM

Quote

I'm not sure what the point of this product really is?

You could try reading the article:

"The DS1 creates what Matrox calls “one-cable convenience,” eliminating the need to connect and disconnect individual devices as you come and go from your desk."
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#14 User is offline   leicaman 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

To be fair, they announced an update to the product at CES where it will have three USB 3 ports rather than only one with two USB 2 ports. And Apple has yet to update their Thunderbolt display with any USB 3 ports. So give them a break folks.

It SHOULD have Firewire 800 (at least one) and eSATA (at least one, better to have two) even if it makes it bigger. And most certainly, two Thunderbolt ports. Though I have to wonder what the issues might be with people trying to connect two monitors to such a device. It might not work because Thunderbolt seems to need to run monitors and everything else on two separate streams. Two monitors on two separate ports would take up both streams.

The Belkin unit seems better suited to what I'd want in such a device. As for the price, you always pay a premium for being first on the block with such a device. I'm betting this kind of thing is hard to implement for companies, and Intel is being quite stingy with who gets to even make Thunderbolt devices.

It seems Thunderbolt is finally getting some attention other than the ignorant debate over the mistaken notion that it competes with USB 3. More devices are coming faster. FirmTek has a killer little drive enclosure coming I'm looking at. And there are some other devices such as the PCIe expander from OWC. As these things get more common prices will come down. But for now, I'd say these prices are pretty reasonable, considering what they were supposed to cost when they were first announced.

This post has been edited by leicaman: 18 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

Eric

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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