OWC's newest desktop dock is compatible with Mac and Windows systems, though the style and features are a perfect fit for Apple's refreshed MacBook Air systems.
Apple has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to deprecating legacy technologies, starting with the noteworthy absence of the head-turning Bondi Blue iMac G3 in 1998, under the direction of Sir Jonathan Ive. Since then, Ive's minimalist influences have led to design decisions—most controversially, moving exclusively to USB-C on MacBooks—which have frustrated enterprise users who rely on a heterogenous array of ports, forcing people to live the #DongleLife.
Luckily, the extensibility of Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C, and the practical engineering of Other World Computing (OWC)—a company with decades of experience in bridging the gap for Apple ecosystem adherents—has produced the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which allows users to connect peripherals and power their MacBooks by plugging in just one cable.
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The 14-port Thunderbolt 3 dock, released this week, provides 85W of power for charging, and includes one mini DisplayPort (mDP) connector, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a gigabit Ethernet adapter, optical audio (S/PDIF) connector, and four Type-A (full size) USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back of the dock for connecting monitors, disks, and other peripherals intended to live on your desk. The front of the dock includes one Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1 port and one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port each, plus a 3.5mm analog audio jack (with headset support) and dedicated SD and microSD Card slots, which support SD Express, for a maximum transfer speed of 985 MB/s.
Of note, two of the five total Type-A USB ports deliver 7.5W each for high-power charging, while the front-facing USB-C port supports USB-PD (Power Delivery) at 15W maximum. The dock can support dual 4K displays, or one 5K display.
The dock is available immediately from OWC via MacSales.com at $299.99 MSRP, and is available in Space Gray and Silver.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock allows users to connect peripherals and charge by connecting one cable.
- It features dedicated SD and microSD Card slots, both of which support SD Express, for a maximum transfer speed of 985 MB/s.
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