Akitio Thunder Dock Thunderbolt docking station review

Sections: External and Portable Storage Devices, Peripherals, Reviews

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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.

AppleTell Rating: 

Buy the Akitio Thunder Dock

Provides: Linking of I/O including Thunderbolt, USB 3, and FireWire in one dock
Developer: Akitio
Minimum Requirements: USB 3, Thunderbolt, or FireWire port, Mac or PC
Price: $249
Availability: Now

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  • Rob

    Seems to me that everything with Thunderbolt has an automatic $200 markup, don’t see this as a $250 value item. Shame really because TB has potential if it weren’t for the apparent greed of the manufacturers. Example, OWC brings out a Thunderbolt drive enclosure identical in design to their FW 800, eSATA and USB3 enclosure, it’s over $200 extra…plus it’s not even TB2.

  • Andy Grant

    I bought this dock as it seams the Sonnet docking station is never going to be released. It is not available in the UK so had to get it shipped from the states.
    I was a bit dissapointed with the speeds, but probably due to my drives rather than the dock, I’m getting about 90 mbs via the usb 3 drives. Somewhat untidy as the author highlights.
    A good around dock giving a little of everything.