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.
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.
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.
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.