I recently bought a new Macbook Pro with Retina display, and have been looking for a dock to use with my widescreen monitor and various peripherals. There are a bunch of thunderbolt docks available by brands such as Belkin, CalDigit and Elgato, but I got the chance to look at the Kanex Thunderbolt 2 Express dock. Let’s check it out.Note: Images can be clicked on to view a larger size.
Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock
3ft Thunderbolt Cable
Number of Thunderbolt Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 2.0
Number of USB Ports: 2 x USB 3.0 + 1 x charge ready USB 3.0
Number of Ethernet Ports: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
Additional Ports: 1 x HDMI Out and 1 x Headphone (Aux) Out
Video: Up to 1080P and 4K resolution
System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.8.4 or higher
Compatible with all Thunderbolt supported Mac and PC
When I first opened this dock, I immediately liked the aluminum body and lightweight feel of it. It matches Apple’s hardware style and design.
On the back of the dock are two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone/microphone jack, gigabit network port, two Thunderbolt 2.0 ports, HDMI port, and power cable.
On the front, there is a super charge ready USB 3.0 port, which means you can charge an iPhone or iPad. This was really convenient when I plugged my iPhone 6 Plus and it worked great.
On the back I plugged in power, HDMI cable, Thunderbolt cable provided by Kanex, Satechi Monitor stand and a Logitech USB dongle.
The only two things I needed to have connected to the Macbook Pro were the Thunderbolt cable and power adapter.
At the time of this review, I connected a 23″ monitor via HDMI. Everything worked great and I had no issues. My Mac, display, and attached devices woke up from sleep, and there was no lag. I didn’t have any drives connected to the dock, but with the Thunderbolt 2 port you can transfer data at a rate of up to 20 gigabits per second, even faster than USB 3.0. You have all the ports needed for a nice desktop. I can imagine this dock being very useful for video editors or any user that transfers huge files frequently.
Just a note, right after I drafted this review, I upgraded to a 4K monitor, and the dock handled it brilliantly. It supported what this model Macbook Pro and monitor supports, which is a full 4K at 60hz. Just awesome. If this dock gives you the all ports you are looking for, give it a try.
It’s only been a few weeks since I posted this review, but I’m still using the Kanex Thunderbolt dock for my 4K display and USB devices. It handles my 4K display better than my Macbook Pro does natively! I never have problems with it, and it always stays cool on my desk.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Kanex. Please visit their site for more info.