OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review - Portable, powerful, and premium

With so many of us working from home nowadays, it can be tricky to find a dock that connects everything you use - especially if you’re using a work-issued Apple laptop.

There are plenty of options out there, and while OWC’s isn’t the cheapest, it offers a lot of bang (and utility) for your buck.

With a low-profile design, just the right number of ports, and its own power supply, it’s an ideal starting point for your desk setup.

owc thunderbolt 3 dock
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Low-profile design

Sure, you’re not likely to be looking for anything too flashy when it comes to sitting a dock on your desk, but the Thunderbolt 3 Dock still has a nice, premium look.

The exterior is made from a single piece of aluminium, which just about matches the Space Grey colour of a MacBook Pro. The only LED to be found is directly beneath the front panel, meaning it’s just visible without drawing focus.

The front has microSD and SD card slots, a headphone jack, and a USB-C port that offers high-speed USB and a high-powered port for convenient device charging.

On the back, you’ll find another four USB ports (including one high-powered one), an S/PDIF audio slot, a pair of Thunderbolt 3 port (one of which can power your laptop), and a DisplayPort. There’s also an Ethernet port for more stable connections.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
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Improving pro workflows

In my day to day work, I spend a lot of time writing (as you can imagine), so during our review process I had a mouse and keyboard plugged into ports on the rear of the dock, the laptop plugged into the powered Thunderbolt port, and a USB-C to HDMI cable connecting to an external monitor.

As a fan of the occasional audio editing, though, I was also able to hook up a small audio interface via the high-powered rear USB port. Doing so meant I could switch it on as and when I needed it, thanks to the power provided by the dock itself. It’s a small thing, sure, but considering the number of us working from home, having everything easily accessible is nothing short of a godsend - especially since it’s possible without cluttering the desk.

In fact, the only minor foible I could find with the OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock is entirely subjective - I’d have preferred an HDMI port as opposed to a DisplayPort spot (although arguably this issue is diminished if you want to “daisy-chain” multiple screens together through Thunderbolt 3).

One note, though - if you’re planning to have your laptop sit alongside the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, the included cable is more than long enough. If like me, you prefer to hide the machine out of sight, you may want to opt for a longer (Thunderbolt-compatible) cable.

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The Verdict - Is It Worth Buying?

I can honestly say that using the OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock has saved me no end of time plugging and unplugging things from my MacBook - while also having the side-effect of breathing life into pieces of tech I’d not used in a while.

If you’re looking for a dependable dock with plenty of ports and the ability to charge your laptop, look no further.

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