Kensington announced a Thunderbolt 4/USB4 dock with all the IO you’d need for your Apple Silicon Mac Mini, MacBook Pro or Windows laptop.
The latest Kensington SD5700T USB docking station comes loaded with a total of 11 ports including 4 x Thunderbolt 4, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen2 ports and an SD card reader on the front. In addition, this dock also supports a single 8K display at 30 Hz, or dual 4K/60Hz screens. Furthermore, 90W power delivery is also supported.
Kensington SD5700T Dock at a Glance:
- Supports Dual 4K displays or 1 x 8K display
- 90W Power Delivery
- 4 x Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 ports
- Supports Thunderbolt 3
- SD card reader slot on the front
- Gigabit Ethernet port
- Pre-order at Amazon or B&H Photo
Thunderbolt 4 Dock for Apple Silicon-powered Mac Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro
The amount of I/O Kensington engineers and designers were able to fit in to the SD5700T USB dock is certainly impressive and will be of interest to many video creators planning to use the new ARM-based (M1 chip) MacBook Air, MacBookPro, or the latest Mac Mini.
And the good news is that older MacBook Pro or Mac with Thunderbolt 3 (or equivalent Windows laptop) you can still use this dock – that’s the beauty of the Thunderbolt connection, as it shares the USB-C type.
Of course, this docking station has universal support and can be used with Thunderbolt 4 compatible Windows laptops, which are not many at the moment, but will become more prevalent in the near future as USB4/T4 adoption increases.
What’s the difference – USB 4, Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3?
Thunderbolt 4 is kind of a big deal, even though some may argue it’s just another marketing term for USB 4 or T3. The need for a high-powered video, data, and audio connection has never been greater than it is today as laptops and tablets continue to evolve and replace (most) desktops for everything from daily use to productivity and even hardcore pro usage.
And although there are technically differences between USB 4, Thunderbolt 3 and 4, they are negligible when you consider the big picture. All three standards use the same USB-C type connector, but most (of not all) USB 4 devices at the moment (and there aren’t many) top out at 20Gbps transfer speeds (due to insufficient PCIe memory lanes), even though they theoretically support up to 40Gpbs, same as Thunderbolt 3 and now 4. In addition, USB4 also ditches the USB-A and all other non USB-C connections making it much easier for all of us.
Thunderbolt 4 is as fast as Thunderbolt 3, max speeds of 40Gps, but in order for a device to be certified as T4, it needs to support wake from sleep and also adhere to higher minimum speed requirements compared to USB4, which has a minimum of 20Gbps, with 40Gpbs support being optional. In order for a device to be Thunderbolt 4 “certified” it also needs to have Intel VT-d DMA protection against direct memory access attacks.
Compatible Laptops and Macs
Universally compatible with Thunderbolt 4 and T3 Macs running BigSur and Windows 10 laptops with USB4 or T3/T4 connections.
According to Kensington, their new SD5700T dock is the the first device to brings such universal support across the board.
Supported laptops and Macs:
- Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3 Macs running MacOS 11 BigSur
- Windows 10 laptops with Thunderbolt 4, 3 and USB4 connections.
Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4K Dock Specs/Features
- Connection Technology: Thunderbolt 4
- Additional Screen Outputs: 2
- Dual 4K/60Hz screen support or 1 x 8K/30Hz
- Thunderbolt 4 ports: 4
- Maximum Resolution: 8K
- Power Delivery:
- supports USB-C PD 3.0 (90W laptop charging)
- Number of USB Ports: 4
- USB Fast Charging: Yes
- Card Reader: SD Card Slot (UHS-II, SD 4.0)
- USB-A Ports:
- 1 x USB 2.0 (front) with 5V/1.5A fast-charging,
- 3 x USB 3.2 Gen2 (back) supporting 5V/0.9A
- Audio: 1 x 3.5mm Combo Microphone & Headphone Port (front)
- Data Transfer Speeds:
- Supports up to 40Gbps data transfer speed
- Ethernet Speed: 1000, 100, 10 Mb/s
- Intel VT-d DMA protection blocks peripheral devices from unauthorized access to system memory.
- Warranty: 3 years
Pricing and Availability
Expect a varying MSRP for this dock, however Kensington have listed the SD5700T dock for about $319.99 USD.
Availability is also a bit sketchy at the moment, even though B&H Photo/Video have it listed as in stock, but their price is a few dollars higher.
You can also pre-order it from Amazon via this affiliate link here.