January 9, 2012

CES 2012: First Looks

Belkin Thunderbolt Dock

Christian Zibreg, writing for 9 to 5 Mac, previews a slick docking solution for newer, Thunderbolt-equipped Mac portables:

If CES announcements are an indication, 2012 will be the year Thunderbolt technology picks up significant steam as 2011 saw a limited uptake stemming from exclusive industry support by early adopter Apple, which rolled out Thunderbolt across its MacBook Air, iMac and Mac mini range.

First up, Belkin is out with a Thunderbolt-enabled dock that allows your Macbook Air to connect to a wide range of peripherals using just one Thunderbolt cable. Akin to its IDF prototype device, the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock provides a selection of ports that mirror the new 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display.

According to Belkin, which previewed the device at CES 2012 yesterday, it will feature a Gigabit Ethernet port, a FireWire 800 port, one HDMI port, 3.5mm audio port, three USB 2.0 ports and two Thunderbolt ports, one upstream and one downstream. If it only came with USB3.0, it would be a must-have. The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock will be available in September 2012 for $299.

Pricey, but intriguing. Plug all your peripherals into this Apple-like brushed aluminum dock, then connect a single Thunderbolt cable to your laptop when you desire desktop use. Your desk remains clutter-free.