Elgato Thunderbolt 3 mini dock review – can you connect MacBook?

Elgato Thunderbolt 3 mini dock review
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Elgato Thunderbolt 3 mini dock connects everything to your MacBook Pro or Windows notebook at once. The most important feature of this dock is its dual 4K display support at 60 Hz via DisplayPort and HDMI connections. Does it work as advertised? Yes. I tested two 4K displays simultaneously, one over HDMI and the other over DisplayPort, and both connected without any issues at 4K 60Hz. For HDMI especially, this is a big deal, because HDMI connectivity on modern MacBook Pro machines has often been hit and miss with 4K connectivity at a silky smooth 60Hz. Find details in Elgato Thunderbolt 3 mini dock review.

Specifications

  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0 with HDCP compliance
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (gen 1) Type-A
  • Built-in hideaway Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.2 x 1-inch
  • Weight: 4.4 ounces
  • Works with Mac or Windows machines with Thunderbolt 3
  • Price $149.95

Compatibility

When it comes to compatibility, the Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock will work with Apple’s macOS High Sierra 10.13 or later as well as with Microsoft’s Windows 10 and later.

Elgato Thunderbolt 3 mini dock review

Build

The Mini Dock from Elgato/Corsair enjoys an amazing level of build quality. The plastics feel great and fit together perfectly, and the components used internally are top notch. Being very compact, the Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock weighs 125 grams (4.4 ounces), looks like a big pack of mints, and comes with a foldable 12 cm (4.7 inch) cable that can be quickly hidden when not in use as well as easily managed when in use.

Ports

As mentioned in the into, the Mini Dock offers both HDMI and DisplayPort in one device. Both ports support 4K60 while Corsair does mention this device supports refresh up to 144Hz at lower resolutions. To the right, we find the USB 3.0 port and lastly, the Gigabit Ethernet.

The minimalistic Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock is aimed primarily at owners of Apple’s latest MacBook Pro laptops who need an essential set of ports while on the go. The Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock has one DisplayPort 1.2 output, an HDMI 2.0 output (with HDCP support), a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port (5 Gbps, up to 1.1 A), and a GbE port.

Short cable

The Thunderbolt 3 cable is captured within the dock, perfect for traveling and something every portable dock should have.

Networking

Your super-slim notebook need not restrict you to Wi-Fi. Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock features a Gigabit Ethernet port, so you can always capitalize on the unbeatable speed and reliability of a wired connection. Stream high-bandwidth media without interference. Transfer critical files without interruption. And get the job done quickly, so you can tackle the next.

High-performance workflow

Docks of such high caliber are primarily deskbound, forcing you to part with performance the moment you get a move on. Not Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock. With its pocket-size footprint and built-in Thunderbolt 3 cable, you disconnect safely in a snap, slip it into your bag, and take your pro-grade connectivity with you.

Elgato Thunderbolt 3 mini dock performance review

Performance testing started with the USB 3.0 port. As you can see, we were able to get full speed out of it using an SSD, 422 MB/s read and 413 MB/s write.

Moving over to the Gigabit ethernet port, we ran the Elgato through our standard testing. Looking at the chart, we found it to be a very consistent holding 949 Mbps throughout the length of testing. For comparison, we have the Caldigit solution that did 952 Mbps.

Alternate of Elgato Thunderbolt 3 mini dock

CalDigit TS3 Plus

The CalDigit TS3 Plus has the most useful array of connections we found, starting with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, five USB-A ports, and two USB-C ports (one USB 3.2 Gen 1, one USB 3.2 Gen 2).1 It also has an SD card slot, a DisplayPort connector (which works with HDMI via an inexpensive adapter), Gigabit Ethernet, audio-in and -out jacks, and an S/PDIF jack for digital optical audio—the last one a rarity in these devices. And while most docks have a horizontal orientation, you can also position the TS3 Plus vertically to minimize its footprint. All current Apple laptops and desktops have Thunderbolt 3 ports, as do a lot of newer PCs, such as our top ultrabook picks; check your computer’s manual. If a cheaper USB-C hub or dock can’t meet your needs and you need the extra bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3, this CalDigit model has the best combination of ports, size, and shape we’ve yet found.

HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2

In addition to a middle-of-the-road three USB-A ports, the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 offers a second USB-C port, making this dock more useful if you have more modern accessories and don’t need access to as many older devices at once. It also includes two DisplayPort connectors, so you can attach two displays at the same time without taking up your Thunderbolt 3 port. We like its small cube shape and its low price.

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