The new MacBook and MacBook Pros have gone all-in on USB-C. Which means that if you’re looking to use any of your older devices, you’ll probably need a dock or some dongles.
Something like OWC’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which expands on the USB-C ports Apple offers with a whopping 13-port smorgasbord: five USB 3.1 ports (two of which can also charge devices), an SD card reader, analog audio, optical audio, FireWire 800, mini DisplayPort, and two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports — one of which you’ll likely need to connect the dock to your laptop.
The dock also includes a separate AC power supply, instead of powering off of the laptop, making it possible for it to supply charging for your computer. OWC isn’t saying what kind of wattage the dock supplies, however, and Apple’s new MacBook Pros do draw some serious power in the form of 61W for the 13-inch and 87W for the 15-inch, respectively.
Given the requirement of a power cord, it’s not the sort of thing that you’d throw in your bag for quickly reading an SD card or using an old USB flash drive on the go. But between the wide port selection and built-in charging, it does seems like it’d be great to just leave at a desk, letting you access charging, external monitors, sound, and USB ports at work simply by plugging in a single USB-C cable.
The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock is available to preorder for $279, which definitely isn’t cheap. And as Apple recently learned with its own attempt to sell dongles for legacy devices and subsequent price cut, users seem to be loath to pay a premium for the privilege of being able to use their existing hardware with their new computers.
OWC intends to ship the Thunderbolt 3 dock in February 2017. And like Apple’s new MacBook Pros, it does come in both silver or space gray.