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.

Targus’ Thunderbolt 3 dock supports two ultra-HD monitors

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Targus
Targus' Thunderbolt 3 dock promises to be one of the best yet.
Photo: Targus

CES 2018 bug Mobile computing accessories company Targus has used CES to debut its new Thunderbolt 3 dock, a model that is aimed at multi-platform users.

Letting you plug in two ultra high-definition computer monitors, the DOCK220USZ dock boasts a whole lot of ports. These include a pair of USB-C outlets, along with a full-sized DisplayPort, twin USB 3.0 type A ports, audio in and out, and one Gigabit Ethernet port.

Hey, Apple! Thunderbolt isn’t the answer to everything

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The 2017 iMac family.
Want to run VR on a new iMac? Get ready to spend big money on an external GPU with a Thunderbolt connection.
Photo: Apple

The new Macs that Apple unveiled Monday bring welcome upgrades to Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors. However, if you want to use the latest Apple computers for virtual reality, you’ll need to add an external graphics card in a pricey Thunderbolt 3 enclosure.

It’s yet another problem “solved” by Thunderbolt connectivity, but the do-it-all USB-C connector Apple is forcing down our throats isn’t the answer to everything.