Thunderbolt 3

Get up to $100 off connectivity-boosting Thunderbolt docks

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OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock
OWC's Thunderbolt Go Dock is a mobile powerhouse.
Photo: OWC

Known for docks, hubs and other Mac-friendly accessories, OWC has put together a big sale on Amazon. You can get up to $100 off Thunderbolt docks!

We’re focusing on Thunderbolt docks that can help you broaden your computer setup’s connectivity. But you can also find external hard drives, memory kits, keyboards, cables and more in the sale.

Turn your laptop into a desktop with new StarTech Thunderbolt 4 dock

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StarTech.com's capable new Thunderbolt 4 docking station can broaden your laptop's horizons.
StarTech.com's capable new Thunderbolt 4 docking station can broaden your laptop's horizons.
Photo: StarTech.com

With Thunderbolt 4 connectivity becoming more and more common in new laptop computers, including various Macs, you may be in the market for a worthy docking station. After all, small, lightweight laptops don’t always have all the ports you need. So it’s a good thing StarTech.com recently released its TB4CDock for Mac and Windows.

The Thunderbolt 4 station bristles with the ports you need to turn your laptop into a desktop, or close to it.

New Echo 5 Thunderbolt 4 hub expands Mac and iPad Pro connectivity

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The new Echo 5 Thunderbolt 4 hub provides 85W of charging power.
The new Echo 5 Thunderbolt 4 hub provides 85W of charging power.
Photo: Sonnet Technologies

Sonnet Technologies rolled out its new Echo 5 Thunderbolt 4 Hub on Tuesday to enable Mac and iPad Pro users — or anyone with a Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port on their machine — to expand their connectivity to peripherals like displays, input devices and storage. And it offers a robust 85W of charging power.

When you get a computer or tablet and it has fewer ports than you’d like, hubs like this one can come in handy.

This portable Thunderbolt SSD is so tough it’s been to space [Review]

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OWC Envoy Pro FX review
OWC Envoy Pro FX
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

No matter how hard you are on your gear, you aren‘t going to destroy the OWC Envoy Pro FX. The 2 terabyte SSD is waterproof and offers military-level drop toughness. Plus the USB-C accessory supports Thunderbolt 3 so data transfers are super fast.

I put the solid state drive through testing. Here’s how it stood up.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock adds 14 powerful ports to your Mac [Review]

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OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock review
Put the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock on your desk and you’re ready for high-speed connections to a wide range of accessories.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You need a powerful dock to make your Mac the center of a highly capable office. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock has fourteen ports for connecting a wide range of peripherals. That includes multiple USB-C ports, something you won’t find on USB-C hubs. Plus there’s USB-A, Ethernet, a headset jack and more.

I added this dock to my office. Here’s how it performs in real-world use.

C2G’s new docking kits help turn a laptop into a desktop

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C2G's new docking station kits strive to simplify your work-from-home networking.
C2G's new docking station kits strive to simplify your work-from-home networking.
Photo: C2G

Many folks are working from home a lot, but setting up a proper computer workstation frustrates them. C2G wants to help make it easy with a bunch of new docking kits ready-made to solve connectivity woes, especially if you want your laptop to be more like a desktop computer.

Instagram content creator pictures setup perfection [Setups]

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Instagram content creator Matt Tran runs his MacBook Pro with an ultrawide screen and a portable one for different reasons.
Instagram content creator Matt Tran runs his MacBook Pro with an ultrawide screen and a portable one for different reasons.
Photo: Matt - Instagram @nvzion

Austin, Texas-based photographer Matt Tran initially built his impressive setup to share his pics on Instagram, and you can certainly see a lot of them there. But now he uses his workstation, centered on a MacBook Pro and two monitors of vastly different sizes, to film and edit videos.

“I like having the 38-inch [LG] ultrawide to view the timeline on Final Cut Pro and the smaller, 15.6-inch Desklab portable monitor to review the footage,” he told Cult of Mac.

Apple’s new Thunderbolt 3 cable costs a mere $129

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Is the Apple Thunderbolt 3 cable the best on the market? Or just the most expensive?
Is the Apple Thunderbolt 3 cable the best on the market? Or just the most expensive?
Photo: Apple

The Apple Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable comes at a price that should make even the most devoted Mac fan blink. At $129, it costs at least $50 more than comparable cables.

Not everything Apple sells is extraordinarily expensive. But it’s undeniable that the company occasionally adds on the “Apple Tax.”

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 dock is ready for a professional office on the go

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Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Core includes 8 ports.
Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Core can be the hub of your mobile office.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin’s newly-unveiled multiport adapter uses Thunderbolt 3, not just USB-C, and can drive two 4K monitors at 60 Hz. But that’s just the start, as the Dock Core can also transfer data over a USB-C connection at up to 40 Gbps. Plus it includes Gigabit Ethernet, a pair of USB-A ports, audio in/out, and more.

It’s designed to be part of high-performance mobile office, as it does not need a second power source.

Anker’s Thunderbolt 3 hub packs an amazing 13 ports

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The Anker PowerExpand Elite connects to Macs over Thunderbolt 3.
The Anker PowerExpand Elite includes so many ports it’s almost easier to list the ones it doesn’t have.
Photo: Anker

Anker boasts that the just-released PowerExpand Elite hub lets you “connect everything imaginable,” and there’s a certain amount of justification. This accessory has no less that 13 ports. There’s Thunderbolt 3, USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, audio ports, memory card readers, and more.

The company also launched on Wednesday the Anker PowerExpand, which “only” has seven ports of a range of types.

ADAM elements CASA Hub 10E brings versatility to your MacBook

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ADAM Elements CASA Hub 10E opens up possibilities for your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air connectivity.
The CASA Hub 10E opens up possibilities for your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air connectivity
Photo: ADAM elements

This USB-C hub post is presented by ADAM elements.

Have you switched to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air laptop that only has USB-C ports? Then you probably want to either upgrade your connected hardware or get used to working with a hub. That’s where the CASA Hub 10E from ADAM elements comes in. Featuring two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, a Thunderbolt 3 port and two USB-C ports, the expandable, modular hub brings plenty of versatility to your MacBook and the devices you need to connect to it.

Tiny adapter adds 480GB SSD and HDMI to your MacBook [Review]

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Minix Neo Storage Pro with MacBook
Minix Neo Storage Pro combines an SSD, USB-A and HDMI in a clip-on package.
Photo: Minix

Apple doesn’t make it easy to upgrade your MacBook. But the Minix Neo Storage Pro does. Clip this to your laptop to add 480GB of storage capacity. Even better, the multiport adapter also includes an HDMI port and a USB-A port for connecting legacy accessories. And there’s a Thunderbolt 3 port, too.

I’ve been testing the Neo Storage Pro for weeks. Here’s how well it works in regular use.

Microsoft disses Thunderbolt as too insecure for Surface devices

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A Thunderbolt 3 cable is also a USB4 cable.
Microsoft says Thunderbolt is secure. Virtually every other computer maker apparently disagrees.
Photo: Caldigit

Microsoft claims it won’t adopt the Thunderbolt standard for its Surface laptops and tablets because it’s inherently insecure, according to an internal company video leaked onto Twitter recently.

Thunderbolt was developed by Intel and Apple, and it’s widely used on Macs. It’s also been adopted by virtually every PC maker. But not Microsoft.

OWC ThunderBlade external SSD offers 16TB of super-fast storage

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OWC ThunderBlade uses Thunderbolt 3 and can be part of a RAID.
With up to 16TB of capacity, the OWC ThunderBlade hold almost an entire day of 4K RAW footage.
Photo: OWC

Creative professionals working with 4K or 8K video, or anyone who just wants an enormous amount of portable storage, can turn to the OWC ThunderBlade.  Starting Thursday, this SSD now offers up to a whopping 16TB in capacity, and can transfer data at 2800MB/s.

OWC also updated its Envoy Pro EX line with 4TB version. And the Accelsior 4M2 internal SSD now also offers up to 16TB of capacity.

Latest macOS beta brings fab new tool for boosting battery life

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macOS Catalina is here. But proceed from Mojave with caution.
Portable Macs get the most attention in the new Catalina beta.
Photo: Apple

Apple seeded the second beta of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 to developers this morning, bringing with it a major change to the way MacBooks charge.

Several tech sites got an explainer from Apple on how the new Battery Health Management feature works. The tool is coming to every MacBook with a Thunderbolt 3 port — and it could be a godsend to your battery.

Tiny MacBook adapter unites 480GB SSD, Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI

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Minix Neo Storage Pro with MacBook
Minix Neo Storage Pro combines an SSD, USB-A and HDMI in a clip-on package.
Photo: Minix

Minix Neo Storage Pro is a 480GB solid-state drive that’s also a USB-C multi-port adapter. Plug it into a MacBook and it expands the storage capacity, while also adding HDMI and USB-A ports. And there’s also an accessible Thunderbolt 3 port.

Magrig hopes to bring MagSafe to modern MacBooks and iPads

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Magrig Adapter is MagSafe for Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C
Add MagSafe-like capabilities to your Thunderbolt 3 MacBook with Magrig Adapter.
Photo: Magrig

Magrig Adapter lets USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 cables easily disconnect if they get yanked on. It’s a revival of MagSafe, which Apple used to build into MacBooks.

There are competing options, but most of these can only transfer power. Magrig, on the other hand, promises up to 40Gbps data transfers as well as 100W of power.

USB4 enables hubs with multiple USB-C ports

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A Thunderbolt 3 cable is also a USB4 cable.
If the specs for USB4 are familiar, that’s because they’re built on the Thunderbolt 3 standard already in most Macs.
Photo: Caldigit

Today’s USB-C hubs include multiple USB-A ports, but can’t add additional USB-C ports. This will change when USB4 gets widely implemented, which just took a big step forward with the specifications for this standard being finalized.

And users should welcome an increase to 40Gbps data transfer speeds, too.

USB4 expands Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 to everyone

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A Thunderbolt 3 cable is also a USB4 cable.
A Thunderbolt 3 cable is also a USB4 cable.
Photo: Caldigit

Just a week after USB 3.2 was unveiled, the USB Promoter Group went ahead and took the wraps off the follow up. But if the specs of USB4 sound familiar, that’s because they’re based on the Thunderbolt 3 standard already implemented in most Macs.

So users of other types of computers can finally benefit from the faster connection speeds that Apple devices have been enjoying for years.

The one dongle every MacBook owner needs

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Calbit dongle
We found the one dongle to rule them all.
Photo: Erfon Elijah

The 2018 MacBook Pro is one of the sexiest machines Apple’s ever made. There’s just one problem: you need a bunch of dongles to use all your favorite accessories.

Because the MacBook Pro only has USB-C ports you’ll need a dongle for ethernet, a dongle for an HDMI display and another dongle to connect your gadgets that use USB-A, which is like everything. CultCast host Erfon Elijah, aka The Gadget Hunter, has been on the search for the perfect dongle solution for people on the go. In his latest video he reveals his favorite new dongle of 2019.

If you’re ready to taste the sweet relief of living life with just one dongle, pay attention:

ThunderMag revives MagSafe for Thunderbolt 3 connections

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ThunderMag replaces MagSafe for USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connections.
ThunderMag replaces MagSafe for USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connections.
Photo: innerexile

MagSafe break-away cables were a great way to keep MacBooks from getting damaged but Apple stopped using them as part of the transition to USB-C.  ThunderMag is a new accessory that replicates this feature.

Its inventor claims there’s no data or charging slowdowns, as have plagued earlier attempts to replace MacSafe.

Elgato’s new Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock packs all the ports

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Elgato Thunderbolt Pro Dock
Bring ports back to your MacBook.
Photo: Elgato

CES 2019 bugIf you just upgraded to a new MacBook, you’re probably finding it hard to live without all your favorite ports. But if you pick up Elgato’s new Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock, you won’t have to.

The Pro Dock packs the most popular ports you’ll need — including Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort, and two card readers — eliminating the need for a bunch of different dongles.

Speed up MacBook Pro to 10 Gbps with this adapter

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OWC offers an adapter for your MacBook's Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to 10Gbps Ethernet networks.
OWC offers an adapter for your MacBook's Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to 10Gbps Ethernet networks.
Photo: OWC

Don’t be jealous of the 10Gbps Ethernet port in the iMac Pro. OWC introduced an adapter for your MacBook’s Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to networks at the same massive speeds.

Just be warned, the OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter isn’t an accessory for the casual user. It’ll set you back $187.99.

2018 MacBook Pro’s Thunderbolt 3 suffers big limitations

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The 2018 MacBook Pro is expected to look much like its predecessor.
Despite faster connections, display support hasn’t improved.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup has a lot of improvements under the hood that you might have missed. One of those is an upgraded Thunderbolt 3 controller from Intel.

Both the 13- and 15-inch models pack a new “Titan Ridge” chip, but unfortunately for some users, there are big limitations. Don’t rush out to blow your savings on an 8K monitor just yet.