The 10 Best Thunderbolt Docks
This wiki has been updated 7 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Capable of transmitting up to 40 gigabits per second, as well as up to 100 watts of power, Thunderbolt 3 is an increasingly popular standard for linking high-end laptops and peripherals, such as monitors and external storage. If you've got more than a couple of devices that need connecting, consider one of these docks, most of which are also compatible with Thunderbolt 2 using the right adapter. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best thunderbolt dock on Amazon.
April 30, 2019:
Thunderbolt 3 is one of the most powerful standards to come out of the popularization of USB-C. When searching for the equipment you need in order take advantage of it, keep in mind that Thunderbolt 1 and 2 utilized the mini DisplayPort plug, which is on its way to becoming obsolete, but slowly; it's still used in a number of useful devices like ultraportables and slightly older MacBooks. One good thing is that most Thunderbolt 3 docks work with Thunderbolt 2 devices, albeit with reduced functionality. You'll simply need to get your hands on the right adapter first, and that way you'll be prepared should you decide to upgrade to a Thunderbolt 3-enabled computer. If you're intent on utilizing the older standard, the Akitio Thunder2 is one of the most reliable and offers 2 eSATA ports, which you won't find on newer devices.
If you're in the market for the newest and fastest, though, you're in luck, as there are plenty to choose from. The Cable Matters and Sonnet Echo are similar, though the former can charge at 60 watts maximum and the latter at 87. The Corsair Elgato is a bit costly, but it has 3 type C pass-throughs, so it's ideal if you're fully invested in the new connector's ecosystem. The Akitio Thunder3 is even more expensive, but it's suitable for power users thanks to its high-end Ethernet specs and its CFast 2.0 slot. As such, video professionals may find it very useful.
The Glyph doesn't offer the widest port selection, but it's the only one to integrate a high-speed SSD, making it a worthwhile choice if you can afford it. Similarly, the Kensington is another pricey one, plus it's designed to work exclusively with generations 4 through 6 of the Surface Pro. But if you're a professional who needs to maximize desk space and productivity, it's definitely worth a look.
CalDigit's Mini is useful if you are concerned with powering your laptop while it's plugged in, though it's mostly geared toward video transmission, and only has one or two type A ports. CalDigit's TS3, on the other hand, is one of the most full-featured options on the market, and is lauded by many as the most reliable.
Finally, HP's newest release is the only one we could find yet that uses Intel's very latest Thunderbolt 3 controller. Aside from an increase in reliability and speed consistency, the new chipset can revert to using the standard USB 3.1 Gen 2 profile, making this dock an interesting choice if you aren't yet a part of the Thunderbolt 3 family, but plan to be soon. There's also a surprisingly high-quality Bang and Olufsen speaker that mates right to the top, although it is sold separately and costs about $100.