Thunderbolt 4 is here, and so is the primary absolutely powered Thunderbolt 4 docking station. Kensington’s SD5700T features a whopping 11 ports, 90W of energy supply, and switch speeds of as much as 40Gbps. It offers both one 8K output at 30 Hz or two 4K outputs at 60 Hz.
Make no mistake: It is a fancy dock. It’s listed for $289.99 on Kensington’s site. However if you happen to’re the sort of one that makes use of an elaborate desk setup with a number of screens and peripherals, and you’ve got the cash to spend, this might be a good selection.
If you happen to take a look at the newest Thunderbolt 4 laptop computer releases, you’ll in all probability discover that a few of them have… sparse port picks. That’s par for the course as laptops get thinner. The Dell XPS 13, as an example, solely has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one audio jack, and one microSD card reader. (And a type of ports will typically should be occupied by the charger.) If you happen to’ve determined to purchase one of many XPS 13 fashions (which is an efficient alternative — they’re nice), and also you wish to use an exterior monitor, peripherals like a mouse and keyboard, or an Ethernet connection, you’re going to want a dock of some form.
That doesn’t imply you want the SD5700T — Thunderbolt 4 ports will nonetheless assist a less expensive Thunderbolt 3 dock if you have already got one mendacity round. However I do suppose the SD5700T is value shelling out for if you happen to want extra connectivity and worth Thunderbolt 4 performance. It primarily packs a full home-office setup into one very moveable field.
The dock can also be appropriate with Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks which might be operating macOS Huge Sur. It labored simply superb with my 2019 MacBook Professional.
In addition to the aforementioned Thunderbolt 3-enabled MacBook Professional, I’ve been utilizing the SD5700T with a Thunderbolt 4-enabled Acer Swift 5 as properly. I’m somebody who typically must plug in far more mice, cameras, drives, headphones, and different thingamabobs than my laptops enable, so my workspace is commonly lined in a large number of dongles and docks. The SD5700T offers a heck of much more connectivity than docks of this measurement that I’ve used previously, and it’s made my life quite a bit simpler.
With a single Thunderbolt cable (which is included), Kensington 5D5700T house owners have entry to the next:
- 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports (with switch speeds as much as 40Gbps and twin 4K video output)
- 4 USB-A ports (one 5V / 1.5A charging port on the entrance and three Gen 2 @ 10Gbps ports on the again)
- One Gigabit Ethernet port
- One audio combo jack
- One UHS-II SD 4.0 card reader
- 90W energy supply (whatever the variety of linked units)
Clearly, use circumstances fluctuate, however I actually can’t consider the rest that the overwhelming majority of individuals would wish. And bear in mind, these aren’t all you get — plugging the dock into one port frees up the opposite ports in your laptop computer which may in any other case be occupied by a charger, monitor adapters, and different peripherals.
The SD5700T didn’t require any experience in any respect to arrange: I plugged the dock into the wall, plugged in all my odds and ends, turned it on, after which linked it to the laptop computer. And that was it — it simply labored.
All the pieces I linked labored simply superb. I didn’t expertise any bugs or efficiency points. The one factor I’d wish to see is a approach to disconnect the dock as an entire with a single click on. At the moment, it’s important to eject each linked system individually earlier than unplugging a laptop computer from the SD5700T, which could be a ache in case you have a bunch of issues plugged in. There are third-party apps that may make this occur, however some firms like Corsair present ejection utilities optimized for their very own docks.
Closing statement: It’s not a bad-looking dock. It’s obtained a pleasant end that’s shiny however unobtrusive — nothing that may stand out in your desk or flip any heads within the workplace. At 0.96 kilos (0.435 kg) and seven.68 x 2.95 x 1.18 inches (195 x 75 x 30 mm), it’s additionally straightforward to hold round if it’s essential transfer your workspace. You’ll be able to slip it in into a handbag or backpack and not using a drawback (although the 180W brick is a bit clunky).
You’ll be able to preorder the Kensington SD5700T now, and it’ll ship within the second week of January.
Pictures by Monica Chin / The Verge