Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock is the best and most expensive docking station for the MacBook

Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock is the best, most expensive and most versatile docking station for Apple equipment available on the market. The device is a complete and total solution that turns your desk into a powerful work center. Unfortunately, you have to pay terribly big money for monstrous high performance.

Man quickly gets used to good. That's why I can not imagine functioning without Pro Dock. This is the best gadget that can be offered to a MacBook based on the USB-C standard. Newer Apple laptops have been deprived of many classic ports, which would replace USB-A sockets or an SD card pocket. Elgato fixes this state of affairs, again turning the MacBooks into versatile machines with a wide range of applications, without the need for adapters.

Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock has everything that is missing from the new MacBooks.

The workstation connects to the laptop via Thunderbolt 3 in the USB-C standard. The included cable allows you to transfer data at a maximum speed of 40 Gb / s, and power the laptop with energy up to 85W. Of course, to power a laptop, you need an additional cable (included) from the mains socket to the Elgato charging input. Thanks to it, the MacBook Pro charger goes to nothing and is replaced by a docking station.

It is a pity that unlike other stations from the same manufacturer, Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock does not work without a cable connected to the mains. The USB-C connection itself is unfortunately not enough. Pro Dock requires much more energy, because the device consists of a complete, impressive set of sockets. Thanks to them, everyday office work on the MacBook is again a pleasure, and we forget about the drawer with adapters. Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock is:

  • Thundebrolt 3 socket for connection with a laptop (USB-C) (40 Gb / s) for charging devices up to 85 W.
  • The second Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) slot (40 Gbps) that powers connected devices up to 15W, with backward support USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) and DisplayPort 4K / 60 Hz support)
  • DisplayPort 1.2 (4K / 60 Hz) with HDMI 1.4b support (4K / 30 Hz).
  • Two USB 3.1 Gen 2 sockets (USB-C) (10Gb / s, 1.5A, USB 1.2 & UASP charging)
  • Two USB 3.1 Gen 1 sockets (USB-A) (5 Gb / s, 1.5 A, USB 1.2 & UASP charging)
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 3.5mm headphone jack + microphone
  • UHS-II SD card reader
  • UHS-II microSD card reader
  • Power socket that allows you to use the station as a laptop power source (DC 20 V, 8.5 A)

Thanks to Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock it is possible to work on three 4K screens.

Unlike many other stations, Pro Dock does not force you to descend to FHD while working on multiple screens. Using DisplayPort 1.2 and the Thunderbolt 3 slot, we can use two additional 4K displays (4096 by 2160 pixels), keeping the refresh rate at 60 Hz. The problematic exception is Dell's monitors. For some reason I had to reduce the refresh to 30 Hz on them to enjoy the 4K format on all screens. It is worth having this in mind.

It is a pity that in the set for this money no HDMI adapter was added, preferably in version 2.0. Only the 2.0 adapter will allow you to work at a resolution of 4096 by 2160 pixels. The 1.4b adapter is already a descent to 2560 by 1600 pixels. These parameters can be raised, but at the expense of refreshing. Something for something. Noteworthy, there are no obstacles to using two HDMI adapters - one for DisplayPort and the other for Thunderbolt 3.

Elgato also thought about the owners of iMacs with 5K screens. Pro Dock allows you to connect one 5K screen, maintaining its native resolution at 60 Hz refresh rate. It's great when we want to connect iMac with a laptop. From the very beginning, feel that the docking station was created with Apple hardware in mind, their parameters and their specifications. Thanks to this, the use of Pro Dock in the environment and devices is immediate, legible and trouble-free.

Pro Dock adds what is missing from the new MacBooks.

For me, Dock's most practical option is to use SD and microSD cards. I import photos from IEM Expo without searching for adapters, just like screenshots from the Switch for review. I do not have to think about home networking or charging devices. I just insert the card and it's ready. Like a cliché, a kind of obviousness, but not for users of new MacBooks. You pay for the "bold", minimalistic vision of Apple every day.

The other priceless addition of Elgato is the internet socket. Thanks to him, the docking station performs excellently when the MBP is used as a field machine. Many press zones use an Ethernet connection that is not available for MacBooks. The Gigabit port solves this problem.

If the station has a permanent place on the desk, you should think about using it as a laptop capacity dilator. The two rear USB-C sockets operate independently of each other, operating on separate controllers. Thanks to this, we can connect to them equipment that needs solid speed, such as external SSDs. The maximum transfer rate of up to 10Gb / s is enough to effectively manage files. Especially that, as I wrote earlier, connecting additional accessories in no way sabotages the performance of the individual USB controller.

The maximum efficiency loss forced on Elgato testifies to solid architecture.

I tried to strangle the docking station. I connected the MacBook Pro to the 5K screen (LG 34WK95U-W) via the Thunderbolt 3 connector. At the same time, I used the Dock Pro as a laptop charger, as well as an active internet port. For this I forced the external SSD drive to work at its maximum speed using dedicated software. Effect?

Image refresh rate remained unchanged. Internet data packages have not suffered in any way. Internet transfer has not fallen. On the other hand, the SSD recording value dropped, dropping from almost 10 Gb / s to 4.8 Gb / s. It's a great result for any docking station. Forcing Dock Pro to do so at the same time, I counted on far more adversities. Such a combination would overwhelm most mid-range stations if any of them would support 5K screens.

The stress test results clearly demonstrate that Elgato will not fail in even the most difficult situations. The equipment is reliable and you can build a professional workstation on it. A studio with several screens that will be useful for a graphic designer, an audio-visual content producer or a photographer. Dock Pro is a top-of-the-top device that Apple could do just as well.

It is a pity that the Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock is so terribly expensive.

For an excellent docking station dedicated to Apple equipment, which currently exists, you have to pay as much as PLN 1500. This is a staggering sum that for many people will seem straight from space. After all, on Allegro we can find USB hubs for several dozen zlotys. The question is whether such a hub will support two 4K monitors simultaneously. Will we charge it with the MacBook. Will we send the file at 40 Gb / s. Does it have an internet socket and an SD reader. Has six USB ports. Does it support the Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort 1.2 standards.

The biggest advantages:

  • All ports, sockets and entrances that are needed for happiness
  • Separate controllers for individual sockets
  • Full use of Thunderbolt 3 technology
  • Support for 5K screens, work on three displays simultaneously
  • It recharges the MacBook and some laptops from Windows
  • Perfect integration with macOS
  • Looks good, it fits the MacBook Pro
  • Amazing performance and amazing performance

The biggest drawbacks:

  • Awful price (PLN 1500)
  • No alternative operation mode without a network cable
  • At this price, they could add an HDMI adapter to the set

Communications standards, sockets types, technologies used - all this means that there are a lot of docking stations on the market with diametrally different components. Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock is a model that has (almost) everything from the highest possible shelf. For this gadget is very elegant, has a metal casing, as well as support for macOS system dedicated software. It is without a doubt that there is no equipment for everyone. However, if someone is looking for the best possible solution for their MacBooks and iMacs, just found the Holy Grail, which will last for years.



Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock is the best and most expensive docking station for the MacBook

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