Apple experienced a modify of heart just after its introduction of USB-C with the 2015 12-inch MacBook: the organization has not place only a solitary peripheral port on any laptop it is produced since. (And it discontinued the USB 3.1-only MacBook, also.) Some Apple silicon MacBook Pro styles even present dedicated online video and charging (MagSafe 3) ports!
But what do you do when you have, for instance, an M1 MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Professional that do not have MagSafe? With two Thunderbolt 4/USB4 jacks on every single product, you will need a single for ability around USB-C, leaving 1 no cost. You can decide for a USB-C dock that’s USB 3.x/4 only or that supports Thunderbolt 3. In either scenario, a dock commonly adds numerous 10 Gbps or quicker USB 3.x/4 jacks, HDMI, and passthrough energy, releasing up the other USB-C slot on your pc.
Till very last 12 months, if you wished to include many Thunderbolt 3 or 4 gadgets, nevertheless, you were being trapped. An growing variety of external SSDs and other storage products count on Thunderbolt 3 or 4. And you might have Thunderbolt 2 legacy devices that can perform by using a Thunderbolt 3 adapter—but only when plugged into a Thunderbolt port.
It was unattainable to invest in a dock or hub with extra USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3/4 support. That adjusted with the introduction of Thunderbolt 4 hubs and docks, which depend on an optional element of Thunderbolt 3 designed obligatory in edition 4: enabling external Thunderbolt ports. (Any version of macOS 12 Monterey will do. If you’re making use of Massive Sur, you may will need at minimum 11.1 or 11.4, dependent on the dock or hub.)
A few companies have unveiled exterior hubs and docks that healthy the monthly bill. The the very least-high-priced option is the OWC Thunderbolt Hub ($159), reviewed in April 2021, which gives four Thunderbolt 3/4 jacks and one 10 Gbps USB 3.2 Variety-A port. Simply because one particular port connects by cable to your computer, you web 3 Thunderbolt 3/4 ports on the hub.
At the other conclusion of the spectrum is CalDigit’s mega-dock, the $400 Thunderbolt Station 4 sporting 18 ports of all sorts, like a few Thunderbolt 3/4 jacks. We reviewed this device in April 2022.
Though hundreds of other USB-C docks might match section of the invoice, if you want much more Thunderbolt ports than you can uncover on your Mac, make confident the dock you purchase spells out that it offers complete Thunderbolt 4 exterior help. Examine out Macworld’s Thunderbolt and USB-C information to docking stations for facts on technical specs and the very best docks you can discover.
This Mac 911 post is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Jim.
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