If you are looking to get a little more out of the peripherals hooked up to your Mac, hardware manufacturer Belkin may just have the solution for you. Announced in a press release this morning (seen after the break), Belkin is showing off new upgrades to its Thunderbolt Express Dock even before it hits store shelves. The new upgrade brings three USB 3.0 ports and ditches the aging USB 2.0 ports that were shown off in the version at this year’s CES. An eSATA port was also included to bring a significant $100 price hike on the updated version, making it $399.
Overall, the Thunderbolt Express Dock features 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 FireWire 800 port, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port, 1 eSATA port, 1 3.5mm-out port, 1 3.5mm-in port, 2 Thunderbolt ports (1 upstream, 1 downstream for daisy-chaining up to six additional Thunderbolt devices), and a MiniDP to HDMI Adapter. Additionally, Belkin announced a $44.99 Thunderbolt cable that is 3-feet long and can daisy chain up to six devices. Yesterday, Matrox announced a Thunderbolt dock priced at $249. While it does not have as many ports, it is a lot cheaper and looks more retro.
Perhaps most important: Belkin also offers another Thunderbolt port, so you can daisy chain up-to six more overpriced Thunderbolt parts to your rig. The Dock launches in September, while the cable launches in July.
In other Thunderbolt news, Drobo teased new Thunderbolt-powered arrays that are set to be shown off at this year’s Computex. With Thunderbolt, Drobo said it has the “potential to provide a 10x increase in performance.”
TAIPEI – June 4, 2012- Belkin today announced new upgrades to its upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock, as well as a new Thunderbolt cable for both Mac and PC users. Belkin’s new Thunderbolt offerings will be on display at the Intel Exhibition Showcase, Booth M410, at Computex, June 5-9, 2012.
The Thunderbolt Express Dock is a first-of-its-kind docking solution for both PC and Mac users that enables instant access to up to nine desktop peripherals with one cable, and provides an easy transition from a desktop workstation to a mobile device. Upgrades to the latest version of the dock include the addition of three USB 3.0 ports, instead of USB 2.0 ports, as well as an eSata port.
Both the dock and Belkin’s new one-meter Thunderbolt cable take advantage of Thunderbolt’s 10 gigabits-per-second, bidirectional speeds, and enable users to transfer full HD movies in 30 seconds and view online content at Gigabit Ethernet speeds. They also allow for daisy-chaining of up to six additional Thunderbolt enabled products and support high-resolution displays.
“As more hardware companies announce plans to incorporate Intel’s Thunderbolt technology into their products, we aim to create quality accessories that take advantage of Thunderbolt’s blazing fast speeds and other benefits,” said Martin Avilla, general manager of Belkin’s core business unit. “Over the past few months, we have really listened to our end users and created a one-meter cable and refined the dock to make it an even better desktop solution, which we believe will make Belkin a go-to provider for Thunderbolt accessories when they launch in the summer and fall.”
“Thunderbolt delivers unparalleled performance, flexibility, and simplicity to personal computing,” said Jason Ziller, Intel’s director of Thunderbolt marketing. “Products like Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock and cable help highlight what Thunderbolt makes possible.”
The Belkin Thunderbolt Cable will be available in July 2012 at select retailers worldwide and on Belkin.com. The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock will be available worldwide in September 2012.
Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock (F4U055) – $399.99
Instant access to up to 9 desktop devices with one cable
Cable-clutter-free design for a cleaner workstation
Compatible with both Mac and PC
Connectors: 3 USB 3.0 ports
1 FireWire 800 port
1 Gigabit Ethernet port
1 eSata port
1 3.5mm-out port
1 3.5mm-in port
2 Thunderbolt ports (1 upstream, 1 downstream for daisy-chaining up to 6 additional Thunderbolt devices)
Includes MiniDP to HDMI Adapter
Belkin Thunderbolt™ Cable (F2CD031-1M) – $44.99
Convenient 3ft/1m length
Video/Data transfer rates of up to 10Gbps bi-directionally
Dual channel design
Provides up to 10 Watts of power
Daisy-chaining capabilities of up to six devices