Belkin updated the hardware and price of its upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock, the company announced during the 2012 Computex Taipei Show Monday. The yet-to-be-released Thunderbolt dock will now feature USB 3.0 and an audio-in port, an upgrade from the USB 2.0 model Belkin displayed during CES and Macworld | iWorld.
Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock ($399)
The Thunderbolt Express Dock has now been revised three times since its initial unveiling at the 2011 Intel Developer Forum in September 2011. The initial design was revised for CES and Macworld | iWorld in January 2012 and brought a dedicated HDMI video out port along with audio out, gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, and three USB 2.0 ports. The device also featured two Thunderbolt ports, one for connecting the computer and another for attaching additional Thunderbolt devices.
The latest revision removes the HDMI port, upgrades the USB ports to USB 3.0, and adds an audio-in port. With the removal of the HDMI port, Belkin will now include a Mini DisplayPort adapter with the product, so that users can still attach a display via the second Thunderbolt port. All the other features remain the same.
While USB 3.0 will be useful to many Mac users, the new feature comes with an added cost. The originally-priced $299 Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock will now cost $399 when it is released in September.
Matrox DS1 Thunderbolt Docking Station ($249)
Video equipment maker Matrox announced its own Thunderbolt dock Monday, the DS1 Thunderbolt Docking Station. The $249 device features gigabit Ethernet, a single USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, audio in and out, and a DVI display connection. Unlike Belkin’s product, it does not include FireWire 800 or an additional Thunderbolt port.