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Leaving peripherals connected at a desk has become much easier with OWC’s Thunderbolt 2 Dock. Seen demonstrated at the ShowStoppers event before the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, OWC gave me some hands-on time with their helpful new connectivity gadget.

Review: OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock Reins In Your Peripherals With Simplicity

Overview

12 ports of connectivity that include FireWire 800, five USB 3.0 ports – two of which are on the side that provide 1.5A of power. That is enough juice for higher drain devices, like bus-powered external hard drives, to keep spinning. Additionally, this dock supports ultra-HD 4K and multiple displays.

Two Thunderbolt 2 ports provide 20Gb per second of bandwidth for all of the daisy-chained devices. Two audio ports, a microphone or line in, a Gigabit Ethernet port and an audio line out port. Need an eSATA port? OWC has you covered with NewerTech’s eSATA to USB 3.0 adapter, sold separately.

OWC clearly thought about the design of the dock that would reside on a desk visible at all times. The ports are inside of a finely crafted brushed aluminum case with a black plastic top and curved edges, that is sure to fit in with newer iMacs, Mac Minis, MacBook Pros or the sleek Mac Pro. The design of this aluminum dock reminded me of professional Apple gear.

Review: OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock Reins In Your Peripherals With Simplicity

The Thunderbolt 2 ports are capable of 20Gbps of throughput, which makes directly connecting up to 10 devices and five more Thunderbolt devices, to the dock, a snap. Put that bandwidth to use by connecting one ultra HD 4k screen or two high definition screens to one Mac.

Something to note when connecting screens with older tech such as DVI, DisplayPort or VGA is if the HDMI port is not being used, a Mini Display Port adapter or cable, can be used to connect a screen to one of the Thunderbolt ports. However, a Thunderbolt enabled screen will be required if another monitor is already connected to the HDMI port.

Review: OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock Reins In Your Peripherals With Simplicity

Adding a secondary Gigabit Ethernet port to a system that supports Thunderbolt 2 goes a long way to keeping high bandwidth workflows producing consistent results. Rendering video in a cluster or sharing a large amount of files at high speeds, while reducing packet collisions, are good reasons for the extra Gigabit Ethernet port.

Docks like this are flexible enough for attaching equipment easily, removing the need for reaching behind or below a computer. Add a Gigabit Ethernet port to newer MacBook Pros, USB 3.0 ports to older Macs or ensure compatibility with FireWire 800 peripherals. The Thunderbolt 2 Dock will save even more time when coupled with a MacBook Pro.

Review: OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock Reins In Your Peripherals With Simplicity

Final Thoughts

Save time, complete projects faster and stop fumbling with multiple devices by using a Thunderbolt 2 Dock from OWC. All of the devices that are needed are ready to go with a single Thunderbolt cable for $219.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros:

  • Brushed Metal Design
  • 12 Ports
  • Dual Thunderbolt 2 Ports
  • Ultra-HD 4K & Multiple Monitor Support
  • Two 1.5A Powered USB Ports

Cons:

  • eSATA Connection Requires Adapter

 

Disclosure: I received the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock at no cost for review. I have not been compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos are courtesy of MacSales.com.