Thun­der­bolt 2 Ex­press Dock HD

Belkin’s sec­ond-gen Thun­der­bolt dock is smaller and faster all-round

Mac Format - - RATED | KIT - Man­u­fac­turer Belkin, Ports (front) 1x USB 3.0 and 3.5mm com­bined audio in­put/out­put Ports (back) Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net and 3.5mm audio out­put, 2x USB 3.0, 2x Thun­der­bolt 2, HDMI, power port In­cludes 1m Thun­der­bolt cable and ex­ter­nal power sup­ply

Thun­der­bolt docks en­able you to con­nect mul­ti­ple de­vices by plug­ging one cable into your Mac. This sec­ond model by Belkin looks sim­i­lar to its first, but it’s more com­pact and has en­hance­ments, in­clud­ing Thun­der­bolt 2 ports (but no FireWire).

We tested trans­fer rates from an eight-disk stor­age ar­ray con­nected to a Mac, and then through the dock. They dropped by no more than 34.8MB/sec. Even if you don’t plan to buy such fast and ex­pen­sive stor­age, the dock’s Thun­der­bolt 2 ports en­able a 4K dis­play to be con­nected through it, pro­vided your Mac sup­ports the res­o­lu­tion.

Belkin’s old dock limited USB per­for­mance to about 200MB/sec, but that isn’t the case here. Our test SSD reached the same rates as older docks – but no faster, and the fastest SSDs still reached higher rates when con­nected to a Mac. The dock works with older Thun­der­bolt ports, too – mi­nus 4K support, but with­out slow­down in USB speeds. There’s one USB port and a head­phone/mic socket on the front, and a de­vice can charge through the dock even when a Mac isn’t con­nected.

How­ever, other Thun­der­bolt 2 docks have been an­nounced, so it might be worth wait­ing to see what’s on of­fer. Alan Stone­bridge

Big per­for­mance im­prove­ments over the old model, but still lack­ing some fi­nesse for use with a Mac­Book. A cheap so­lu­tion for ac­tiv­ity and sleep track­ing, but next-gen wear­ables are im­mi­nent.

The Flash of­fers ac­tiv­ity track­ing and has a de­cent app.

To con­nect two dis­plays (if your Mac sup­ports it), one will need a

Thun­der­bolt con­nec­tion.

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