Thunderbolt technology is severely underused in today’s market. I say this because a lot of users don’t know how much speed they are missing out on until they begin using a product with Thunderbolt and USB 3 technology. The Akitio Thunder Dock is one of those products that shows you just how much potential our computers have.
The Akitio Thunder Dock supports older and newer technologies, including two Thunderbolt ports, two eSATA host ports (up to 6Gb/s), one 7 watt bus-powered FireWire 800 host port, and two bus-powered USB 3.0 host ports.
The Thunder Dock looks like something Apple would design, albeit a little boxier. It uses an all-aluminum design with ports in the front, back and left sides. While using it, I found it does get a little messy when you have wires running all over, though I stuck to using USB 3 and one Thunderbolt device. As such, the Thunder Dock is very useful for power users, but perhaps not so much for average users who own many Thunderbolt, USB 3, or FireWire products.
The Thunder Dock brings together all of the products and organizes the I/O into one compact little box, allowing me to connect all of it to my Macbook Air with one Thunderbolt cable. To ensure that power doesn’t drop during heavy use, Akitio has built in two independent eSATA controllers for continuous power delivery. There isn’t too much to do with the dock other than power all of your technologies in one centralized location, though it is very useful and is set at a very good price for all of the technology that you can run through it.
One feature I think will be very useful is the ability to daisy chain up to six Thunderbolt devices, especially when hooking up multiple screens to one Macbook. The most I would hook up would be two screens, though I like knowing I can hook up Thunderbolt hard drives in addition to the screens if I choose to.
Buy the Akitio Thunder Dock
Provides: Linking of I/O including Thunderbolt, USB 3, and FireWire in one dock
Minimum Requirements: USB 3, Thunderbolt, or FireWire port, Mac or PC