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Review: Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock lets you get plugged in easily

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:00 AM

Post your comments for Review: Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock lets you get plugged in easily here
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#2 User is offline   kirkmc 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:45 AM

Belkin's website shows compatibility only with laptops. Why would it not be compatible with other Thunderbolt-equipped Macs?
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#3 User is offline   icerabbit 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:51 AM

$300 and BYOC? For a product that is meant be connected via TB?

That's pretty bold for an expansion accessory, as you can't even use the thing out of the box! And at $300 there's absolutely no reason they can't throw a $5 cable in.
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#4 User is offline   Norton 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:12 AM

icerabbit said:

$300 and BYOC? For a product that is meant be connected via TB? That's pretty bold for an expansion accessory, as you can't even use the thing out of the box! And at $300 there's absolutely no reason they can't throw a $5 cable in.


$5?
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#5 User is offline   Norton 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:14 AM

Thanks for the review. I was hoping you'd shed more light on the USB 3.0 ports - do they require extra drivers? Can you boot the Mac via one of them, and with Belkin capping the speed to about 2.5Gbps, can you run some tests as to whether the speed is halved compared to plugging directly into the laptop's USB 3.0 ports?
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#6 User is offline   neutra 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:45 AM

The big question is how this hub plays with a MacBook AND a Thunderbolt display. If one were to plug this hub into the back of the TB display would all the ports on both work and sort themselves out?
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#7 User is offline   ricsimonis 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:55 AM

Thanks for the review James. Further speed tests would be helpful.

My understanding about the 2.5Gbps limit on the USB 3 ports via Thunderbolt has to do with a speed limit placed on it by the Thunderbolt spec. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that.) A similar restriction exists on USB 3 PCIe cards (except that's more of a hardware limitation).

I've been looking for a way to add USB 3 to my MBP but have discovered that true USB 3 speeds are unattainable without an actual on-board USB 3 controller.
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#8 User is offline   tms 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:07 AM

Exactly, thank you for making the point for all to see. "Belkin" is not limiting the USB 3 speed.

The rest of you can stop making comments alluding to Belkin somehow screw%*& you. I don't work for the company. I just like when people speak from factual knowledge. (thus I seldom pay attention to major media anymore either)

Do a little research, get off your proverbial butt, and make sure you know what you are talking about. (not you ricsimonis)
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#9 User is offline   joeboo20 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:13 AM

I visited CalDigit at the National Assoc. of Broadcasters last month. If you can wait, they have their Thunderbolt station coming out in July for $199. It has three USB 3.0 ports which have the UASP protocol which does not limit the transfer rate at 2.5Gbps which the Belkin dock does. Being a Video Editor, I need the transfer rates USB 3.0 has the capability of so I can plug in a UASP USB 3.0 hard drive such as CalDigit's AV Pro, Lacie Rugged Thunderbolt/USB3, or Firmtek's miniSwap/U3. I want USB 3.0 and the speed benefits, I do not want to be limited to 2.5 Gbps otherwise USB 2 would be good enough for me for non-video related devices. The Belkin is overly priced and USB 3.0 is limited. I'm waiting on the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station which also has an HDMI port.
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#10 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:04 AM

View PostNorton, on 03 May 2013 - 04:12 AM, said:

icerabbit said:

$300 and BYOC? For a product that is meant be connected via TB? That's pretty bold for an expansion accessory, as you can't even use the thing out of the box! And at $300 there's absolutely no reason they can't throw a $5 cable in.


$5?


Okay. Maybe $10 ;)

When I buy any device, peripheral, etc. I like to see a required connection cable and power source included, if it needs it. My point is that if they, as a manufacturer, make a bulk order and put one cable in every box, it would not cost them that much; and it would make the price point more acceptable.
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#11 User is offline   jdb8167 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:36 AM

icerabbit said:

icerabbit said
$300 and BYOC? For a product that is meant be connected via TB? That's pretty bold for an expansion accessory, as you can't even use the thing out of the box! And at $300 there's absolutely no reason they can't throw a $5 cable in. Okay. Maybe $10


Belkin itself charges $40 and Apple charges $29. There doesn't seem to be anything cheaper.
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#12 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:41 AM

View Posttms, on 03 May 2013 - 08:07 AM, said:

The rest of you can stop making comments alluding to Belkin somehow screw%*& you.


I know all too well that new tech is expensive, especially as an early adopter myself. I just thought / think it is a bit bold to sell a computer dock without the required cable in the box. Unlike other existing tech stuff where one easily has a spare (parallel, usb, ethernet, ... ) cable around or can source one inexpensively.

Hopefully the price of TB products will come down as time moves on. A TB cable is already down to $30 from Apple. Belkin's down to $40.
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#13 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:45 AM

View Postjdb8167, on 03 May 2013 - 09:36 AM, said:

icerabbit said:


icerabbit said
$300 and BYOC? For a product that is meant be connected via TB? That's pretty bold for an expansion accessory, as you can't even use the thing out of the box! And at $300 there's absolutely no reason they can't throw a $5 cable in. Okay. Maybe $10


Belkin itself charges $40 and Apple charges $29. There doesn't seem to be anything cheaper.


I had just looked up what Belkin charges themselves. We'll have to wait for Monoprice and others to step in and create more competition. The trouble really is the chips in the cable connector. But, we all know the bulk rate for an Apple or Belkin cable is a fraction of what they charge retail, with packaging, distribution, etc.
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#14 User is offline   wynnbwynn 

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  Posted 03 May 2013 - 10:22 AM

Norton said:

icerabbit said
$300 and BYOC? For a product that is meant be connected via TB? That's pretty bold for an expansion accessory, as you can't even use the thing out of the box! And at $300 there's absolutely no reason they can't throw a $5 cable in. $5?

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