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89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2013
Style Name: Without Cable
I bought this directly from Cal Digit as it wasn't up on Amazon yet.

Connectivity-wise it's great. I have it hooked up to a new Macbook Pro 13 (late 2013) with a external monitor over HDMI (also tried with mini-displayport to HDMI connector), a USB mouse, an Android Phone (USB), headphones, and an external USB HDD. All work great and I can just unplug the one Thunderbolt cable and power cord and go mobile. It's awesome.

BUT.. when's it's idle there's a really annoying high pitched noise coming from the station. As long as there is a thunderbolt cable plugged in and idle (no computer connected or computer is asleep) the sound is there.

I emailed their support department and they say it's due to the power requirements of the thunderbolt spec and there's nothing they can do. They suggest unplugging the station when not in use. I was pretty disappointed with this answer. It's poor power supply design (or more likely layout on the circuit board) and is fixable, although with new hardware.

I hope they make a new revision to address this then it's a perfect product in my eyes.

Is anyone else running into this issue? By their response, I would assume other units experience this too.

I need it and am headed out of the country so I'll deal with the noise for the sake of the convenience the dock provides.
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2013
Style Name: Without CableVerified Purchase
I received this dock yesterday. So far it is working out very well. I tried it out with both 2011 Macbook Air, and 2012 iMac with a Drobo Mini and Drobo 5D daisy-chained to it and see no lag in transfer speeds.

The device is solid. It's a bit heavier than I expected it to be, but very portable. There are rubber feet on the bottom of the dock to keep the dock from scratching my desk surface. The device does get warm when it is turned on, but by no means does it get hot to the point that I worry about it overheating.

The USB 3 ports work well. I read previous reviews that state that it takes 15 - 20 seconds to recognize USB devices, but I found that they connect instantly. And, All 3 USB ports will read/write simultaneously. The USB ports will charge my iPhone 5s, but not a Retina iPad mini, although the computer will recognize the Retina iPad mini and sync it when it is connected to this dock. The dock will recognize both iPhone and iPad connected at the same time, but only the iPhone will charge. I wish there were 2 USB ports on the front of the device, rather than just one.

The HDMI port is plug and play. My external monitor connected instantly, with a full 1080p resolution.

The audio out jack works great too. I have not yet tested the audio in jack or the ethernet jack.

I like that this product has a sleek look and has a small footprint on my desk. However, I am not a big fan of the power brick that came with it. I think I would rather a unit with a built in power supply, even though it would double the size of the unit sitting on my desk.

I also read a review stating that there was a high-pitched humming noise coming from the device. I tried to listen to this device with my computer in sleep mode, awake mode, with devices plugged in, and without devices plugged in. I have not heard any noise coming from the dock at all. It's completely silent.

Overall, I think this is probably the best quality thunderbolt dock on the market today. At $50 - $100 less than other Thunderbolt docks on the market today, it's also the best priced dock available. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is thinking about purchasing a thunderbolt dock.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2013
Style Name: Without Cable
This is nearly the perfect dock for me. HDMI, GigE and USB work great, haven't had any issues in 2 weeks of fairly heavy use. My two complaint are:

1. The buzzing when in sleep mode that others have noted. What is odd is that it's not present when fully powered, and is only present when power saving is enabled.

2. (* see update 3 *) While this dock claims to be 'tablet' compatible and has 'bus power' it will not charge an iPad mini (retina).

All else is good. Incredibly solid industrial design, and the power brick that came with mine is standard black, with about 3' of cable on either side, and is about 1"x2"x5".

*UPDATE: Another month gone and still stand by the original review. To add to point 2, the dock is not powerful enough to power my 2.0A external blu-ray drive in addition to the iPad mini already noted, but works great for HDD, keyboard/mouse, monitor and ethernet.

*UPDATE 2: Couple more months and still going string. Thanks CalDigit for the note that the iPad charges slowly even though it says it isn't. If you could fix the buzzing noise, and add an option to overpower the USB power bus so external disk drives could work, that would be great. I've actually got a power switch I'm planning to splice in to the power cord so I can easily flip the power off when I'm not using it so the buzz goes away.

*UDATE 3: CalDigit has a driver download that allows super drives to work and iPads to charge at 1A, though it still doesn't work for my 2A external blue-ray drive sadly. "The Thunderbolt Station now supports charging iOS devices such as iPad and iPhone. It also supports Apple Keyboard and SuperDrive. A driver installation is required to enable this function in OS X 10.9.2 or later."
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2013
Style Name: Without Cable
I bought one of these when they came out, mainly because it brings USB3 to any thunderbolt-equipped Mac.

After using it for a week, I can say it's definitely worth the price. I have a hard drive, GigE, an HDMI monitor, and a USB hub hooked up to it, and they all work fine. The USB stuff (keyboard, mouse) takes about 20-30 seconds to come online.

One caveat is that you can only have one non-thunderbolt monitor hooked up to the dock. What that means is you can only use one thunderbolt-to-DVI/VGA adapter or an HDMI monitor at a time. Presumably multiple thunderbolt monitors would work. Support said that USB-based monitor dongles would work too.

I didn't test the audio.

For $200, this dock is a great buy. When I plug my MBP in I only plug in three cables now instead of 5, which is very convenient - and the cable clutter around my desk is less. What more do you want in a dock?
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2013
Style Name: Without Cable
Used with a 2012 Macbook Air with OSX Mavericks. This dock worked great out of the box, just plug it in and go. Gigabit ethernet worked too, without any driver installation or fussing. For the audio out, you might need to go into your Mac's settings and switch the selected audio output device to the dock (on my Mac, the dock's headphone port is enabled by selecting "USB audio CODEC").

A note of caution about cables. Because mini displayport and Thunderbolt share the same port geometry, it is important that you get a cable that is advertised as a Thunderbolt cable, not a minidisplayport cable, to attach the dock to your Mac. MiniDP cables are dirt cheap; TB cables are very pricey. MiniDP cables will not work to connect the Mac to the dock. Likewise, if you use another dock or a cradle for your Mac that attaches to the Thunderbolt port on the Mac, ensure that it supports TB, as some just support minidisplayport.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: Without Cable
This product's chief rival is a similar (and now less expensive) dock from Belkin. Initially this one was the low price leader in the space but Belkin has since lowered its prices below the selling point of this one.

It is identical in almost every way to the Belkin as far as performance goes. It has the same flaws and advantages. But what it does have over the Belkin is an HDMI port for display output. This important because it leaves the dock's thunderbolt connector free for other devices. On the Belkin that Thunderbolt port will be used by a display adapter if using it with an external monitor. The HDMI port will support up to a 1920x1080 display, however, so anything above and beyond that resolution will require use of that extra Thunderbolt port.

Everything else is about the same, right down to the USB performance. Like the Belkin I noticed the USB 3.0 speed with an SSD drive connected writes at about 40 megabytes per second less than it does when directly connected to the computer. Read speeds have about a 5 megabyte per second penalty. It's still plenty fast but interesting that both devices suffer from the same slight performance hit.

Audio quality is also about the same as the Belkin. It's not bad but clarity is much nicer out of the Mac's internal headphone connector.

The device lacks a Firewire 800 port (something the Belkin does have).

Of the two I'd probably go with the CalDigit at this point primarily for the HDMI capabilities. The device does not come with a Thunderbolt cable (about a $30 addition) so make note of that when comparing it to other products.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2014
Style Name: Without Cable
Caldigit Thunderbolt Dock Station
In my previous review, dated March 7, 2014, on the Caldigit Thunderbolt Dock Station, I spoke of my disappointment in the fact it could not power/support my Apple IPad Air and Superdrive. Well, Caldigit came through and FIXED that problem with an available download of a new driver: Here are excerpts from my email with Mr. Jackson Hsu, Customer Relations of Caldigit Inc:

March 16, 2014: "Late last week, we released a new driver which enabled USB 3.0 port to provide more power to support SuperDrive and charge IPad."

March 17, 2014: "With the download of the new driver running on 10.9.2, the Thunderbolt Station would be able to charge iOS devices (IPad, IPhone) and also power SuperDrive."

Well, on March 16, 2014, I went to their website "[...] and easily downloaded the new driver to my MacBook Pro Retina 13" with no drama. Now my Apple IPad and Superdrive are connected into the Caldigit Thunderbolt Dock Station instead of my laptop. The only peripheral cables connected to my laptop are the power cable for the laptop and the thunderbolt cable from the dock station to my computer.

In conclusion, Caldigit represents its product well in looks and operability. I am now very pleased with my dock station and elated its 3.0 USBs are true peripherals for all things electronics (well, at the very least the dock is now compatible with my Apple IPad Air and Superdrive are). Caldigit came through and I am grateful for Mr. Hsu's excellent customer service; clear communication, great listener, and willingness to understand my question; and to give honest answers. He gives me confidence in the company's product. You made a difference to this happy customer. Five stars hands-down...

Mar 6, 2014
The Caldigit Thunderbolt Dock Station does not power/support my IPad Air and Apple Superdrive. As a newby to Apple devices, I wanted a clutter free work station. So I researched several dock stations and choose the Caldigit because of the two thunderbolt ports and three 3.0 USB ports.I purchased this docking station directly from Caldigit Inc., and received it on March 4, 2014. True to form, this docking station is compact, aluminum, and good looking. The next two days I did a trail run connecting my Macbook Pro, IPad Air, IPhone 5S, Apple Superdrive, and LaCie Rugged Hardrive to this docking station. First day, I wasn't sure if I correctly connected all my devices because the only two devices not registering power/support were the IPad Air and Apple Super Drive. The next two days revealed why...

In my research, the Apple store Trainers/Techs surmised that the 3.0 USB ports in the Caldigit Thunderbolt dock could not provide the adequate power/support required by the IPad Air and Apple Superdrive. I also posed this dilemma to my computer engineer friend and he concurred with Apple stores assessment. Due to the power requirement of the IPad Air and Apple Superdrive most (if not all) hubs do not have the capacity to power these devices. Comes down to supply and demand; power supply and wires...

See following for more info:
[...]
[...]

In conclusion, Caldigit represents its product well in looks and operability. However, in my situation, I am disappointed that hubs labeled thunderbolt docks with 3.0 USB are not true peripherals for all things electronic. In defense of the good docks out there, my naivety let me to believe docks can power/support my IPad Air and Apple Superdrive. Overall, I am glad to keep the Caldigit as my first introduction to the world of THUNDERBOLT and 3.0 USB hubs. I would recommend this product, however, I will from hereon, thoroughly research the supply and demand requirements of my electronic devices versus the power/support of peripherals. I give this Caldigit Thunderbolt dock 4 stars for good looks, operability, and honest answers from the Caldigit people.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2014
Style Name: Without CableVerified Purchase
As a music producer, I tried every Thunderbolt Hub on the market in order to connect all of my audio peripherals and storage devices. Sadly, I continuously ran into transfer and speed issues–the culprit being the lack of UASP. The CalDigit Thunderbolt Station addresses this problem and as a result, nothing is bottlenecked or slowed down as a result of having different devices of different speeds/specs plugged into the station. The result is a fully functioning, aesthetically pleasing hub.

I don't hear the high pitched noise some complain about and have encountered not a single issue yet. For the price, you get your money's worth, especially if your field or hobby demands a consistent, high quality connection.

Basically, this is the best Thunderbolt hub available on the market.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2014
Style Name: With 0.5 meter Thunderbolt Cable
I bought this from CalDigit hoping to be able to have two external (non-thunderbolt) monitors on my haswell 2013 macbook air.

I finally got it through my thick head that I needed an additional thunderbolt device to run the second monitor. So I bought the lacie esata station.

Then CalDigit clarified that the thunderbolt station needs to be the first on the chain. So I've got MacBook->CalDigit->Lacie via thunderbolt. The second Lacie Thunderbolt connects via minidisplay -> dual-link DVI (stealing power from one of the CalDigit usb ports) to my old 30" HP LP3065 (2560x1600). I have a cheap Acer 1920x1080 monitor connected to the CalDigit through an HDMI->DVI cable (I really don't like the monitor but it was really cheap).

Imagine my surprise when I was also able to use the built-in display on the Air! I guess Haswell allows three displays.

So I'm quite happy. I may spring for an Apple Thunderbolt display, then I wouldn't need the Lacie device but I'm not sure if the Air will run that plus the HP plus the internal display. I also will probably buy a better HDMI monitor.

The only complaint is the high-pitched whistle when the Air goes to sleep. I've got it set to stay on all the time.

-- Larry
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: Without CableVerified Purchase
I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro (USB 2.0 only; no 3.0) that I carry with me often.

When I return to my office, I put my laptop on a raised stand and plug in an external keyboard and Logitech Marble Trackpad. I also like to keep my three backup, bus-powered hard drives connected via a USB hub with individual power switches (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007X75MXS/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1); this allows me to leave my three bus-powered drives always plugged in to the USB hub, but not turned on except when I am ready to use them (makes backing up easier and reduces wear and tear on the drives).

In addition, I plug in my external speakers to the Mac's audio out jack.

That's how things were BEFORE I got the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station. WITH it, I get three USB ports, so my USB backup drives, etc., run much faster. Coolest of all, I can dispense with plugging in a USB hub and the external speakers. Instead, I just plug all those peripherals into the Thunderbolt Station. When I put the laptop on its stand, I plug in the one Thunderbolt cable, and I'm set to go!

In addition, to my pleasant surprise, the Thunderbolt Station allows me to nest USB hubs in nearly all cases. I have a different USB hub plugged into each of the Thunderbolt Station's USB 3.0 ports, giving me a total of 18 USB 3.0 ports! So far, all my peripherals work fine plugged into one of these hubs, which are, in turn, plugged into the Thunderbolt Station. Occasionally, my iPhone 5 fails to connect to the computer that way, so I just plug it directly into one of my laptop's (now unused) USB ports.

I find I am also able to record audio with my MicPort Pro interface plugged into one of the piggybacked hubs, too.

I am delighted with this product! It makes it much more convenient to come and go with my laptop, and gives me boosted performance, as well.
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