review

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock with SD Card Reader & FireWire 800 Port

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock (TB3 Dock) is the perfect solution for powering and charging Thunderbolt 3 laptops, while solving the problem of messy cabling and dongles! You can plug everything to the TB3 dock, allowing you to easily move your laptop around without having to unplug everything, which is neat.
front of OWC TB3 dock

Thunderbolt 3 cable
With OWC's Thunderbolt 3 dock, you get twice the speed of Thunderbolt 2 through a single cable to your laptop, as well as a power supply of 60 watts for charging laptops like the 13-inch MacBook Pro without the need of using a MacBook USB-C charger. You can use the OWC dock to charge the 85 watt MacBook Pro (15-inch version) and though it charges at a slower rate it's not really a problem if you leave the laptop plugged-in while in use.
OWC TB3 dock weighs 522 grams (18.4 oz)
With OWC's TB3 Dock, you can power two 4K monitors, connect and charge up-to six USB devices and hook up FireWire devices thanks to a 9-pin FireWire 800 port located on the back of the unit. If you're not familiar with Apple's FireWire, you may remember FireWire from back in the 1990's when it was also known as IEEE 1394b-2002 high speed serial bus.
four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports located on the back of the unit
Today, FireWire is a legacy port so it's kind of obsolete even though is faster than USB 2.0. If you own a digital camcorder or an Apple iPod digital music player, you can really benefit from the FireWire 800 port as it is much faster than USB 2.0 and about half as fast as USB 3.0. You can get write and read speeds of 480 Megabit per second (Mbps) and 584 Mbps respectively.
back of OWC TB3 dock
With OWC's TB3 dock you get a total of 13 ports, including a SD card port, a 3.5mm analog audio in/out port, five USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, an S/PDIF port, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a mini DisplayPort.
three ports located on the front: USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, headset jack and SD card reader
The USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports deliver a massive 5Gb/s transfer speed and 1.5 amps of power, which is perfect for charging gadgets like Apple's iPad.
back of the unit: 2x TB3 ports, mini DisplayPort and 20V power socket
The SPDIF digital output on OWC's Thunderbolt 3 dock is perfect for feeding better quality stereo audio to an outboard DAC (Digital to Analog converter) or for feeding the Dolby Digital or DTS audio from DVDs to a home theater system.
OWC TB3 Dock dimensions: 25 mm (height), 230 mm (width), 89 mm (length)
The Gigabit Ethernet port on OWC's Thunderbolt 3 dock allows you to connect hardware like a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) camera at a transfer rate of one gigabit per second (1,000,000,000 bits per second).
The Thunderbolt 3 ports combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single a USB Type-C connection. You can combine six devices, like storage devices and 4K monitor displays together in a linear series (a.k.a. daisy-chained).
The Thunderbolt 3 ports can transmit video thanks to speeds of up to 40Gbps via the DisplayPort (DP) 1.2 standard so both Thunderbolt 3 ports support 2K or 4K at 60 Hz. You can have connected two 4K displays at 120 Hz or two 5K (5120 x 2880) monitors at 60 Hz.
There is also a dedicated Mini DisplayPort which supports audio and video transmission so you can hook up a monitor or a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter or a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter when connected directly to the Mac's Thunderbolt port.
The expanded analog audio in/out port of OWC's Thunderbolt 3 dock works very much like the inputs and outputs of a computer sound card so you can drive a pair of speakers, a microphone or a headset.
inside the box
As far as reliability, the OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock doesn't miss a beat, running everything that is connected seamlessly without any issues at all. Accessories included with OWC's Thunderbolt 3 hub are a half-a-meter-long Thunderbolt 3 cable, a power cable and a Chicony AC adapter (chicony ac adapter A16-135P1A)
yellow tip pin size: 5.5mm x 1.7mm 
rubber feet on each corner
Activity LEDs on the bottom of unit
2 Year OWC Limited Warranty

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