OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Macworld Australia Staff
23 October, 2017
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OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Other World Computing, www.macsales.com

Pros 

Lots of ports, just works

Cons 

Leads to a cable nest on your desk

US$299 or $AU$419

Reviews

OWC is well known to Mac owners. I’ve been a happy customer for many years. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock packs in a plethora of ports for connecting almost anything you want to your Mac.

The Thunderbolt 3 Dock boasts three ports on the front of the unit:

  • SD card slot
  • 3.5mm headphone jack, and
  • USB 3.1 with a USB-A port.

And another ten on the back of the 230 x 89 x 25mm body that comes in either silver or space grey:

  • Four USB 3.1 ports with USB-A connectors
  • SPDIF output for digital sound
  • Firewire 800
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports with USB-C connectors, and
  • A Mini-DisplayPort port.

One of the USB-C ports on the back is used for connecting the Thunderbolt 3 Dock to your Mac. It is the optimal application for this peripheral for MacBook and MacBook Pro owners who want to optimise their desktop experience when they’re in the office and connecting to external storage, and a large display.

The Thunderbolt 3 Dock can handle two 4K displays or one 5K display, as well as almost any other device you can think of. The high-powered USB-3.1 ports deliver 60W of juice, so it can charge your MacBook or 13-inch MacBook Pro. But it won’t deliver enough juice for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

I tested the Thunderbolt 3 Dock with a current MacBook and tried it with a couple of different displays (I needed a USB-C to HDMI adaptor for one), as well as external hard drives and my network using a cable. Everything passed the ‘just works’ test.

Macworld Australia‘s buying advice: OWC retails the Thunderbolt 3 Dock for US$299. Local distributor ClickSpot offers it up for AU$419. That’s actually not a bad price when you take into account the exchange rate and factor in GST (I used the current rate from xe.com with AU$1=US$0.77), but it’s still an expensive way to avoid plugging in a couple of cables. But if you have a bunch of external devices, including legacy FireWire gear, then it’s a great option.

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