CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3 Plus

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CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3 Plus (TS3 Plus) dock analysis

The CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3 Plus (TS3 Plus) is a longer name for a small box, alternatively, it’s a tethered dock that boasts a lot of ports and connections.

It choices two superior 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-C ports (one at 5Gbps and the other Gen2 port at 10Gbps), five old-style USB-A (3.1) ports, a DisplayPort 1.2, an SD Card Reader, Digital Optical Audio (S/PDIF), Analog Audio In (Stereo) and Analog Audio Out (Stereo), plus a Gigabit Ethernet port.

This is necessarily probably the most ports we’ve spotted on a similar USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 dock. What no HDMI? See later for CalDIgit’s reasoning for DisplayPort over HDMI.

It will almost definitely worth at up to 87W so may be very absolute best for Apple’s 15in MacBook Skilled, and ranks as our #1 easiest docking station for the MacBook Skilled – rising a very simple dock that you’ll be able to connect your pc to and from in seconds, and have a fully functioning desktop-like arrange ready for movement while you arrive once more on the base. No doubt, why not acquire two? One for the home and one for the place of work.

(Caldigit simply in recent years up-to-the-minute the dock’s firmware to take it from 85W to 87W, along with beef up fortify for USB-C shows.)

CalDigit TS3 Plus ports

CalDigit TS3 Plus value

The Thunderbolt Station 3 Plus dock costs £264.99 in the UK and $309.99 in America, direct from Caldigit, and is also available from Amazon UK ($229 at the time of writing) and To run dual displays it is important to add an extra adapter, and CalDigit sells a DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 adapter for £24.99 or $19.99. A USB-C to HDMI or DisplayPort adapter is generally underneath £20/$20.

Apple has now begun selling the TS3 even more cost-effective at merely £229.95 or $249.95 in America or $399.99 in Australia.

MacBook Skilled house owners will probably be glad that the TS3 Plus is available in each Silver or Space Gray.

What’s the adaptation between USB-C and Thunderbolt 3?

Quick take note of Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. On account of they appear the an identical, it’s easy to forget that there is a difference. The two are interchangeable alternatively Thunderbolt 3 has 40Gbps bandwidth and USB-C has 10Gbps. This becomes very important when you want to connect a dual display in your MacBook Skilled.

A Thunderbolt 3 pc (like most recent MacBooks) can use a USB-C dock, alternatively, it is going to lose its bandwidth receive advantages. Then again a USB-C pc (similar to the older 12in MacBook) may not artwork with a Thunderbolt 3 dock, like this one.

There are, on the other hand, newer docks on the market that artwork with every T3 at the entire 40Gbps tempo and USB-C at 5Gbps. The ones include one, the USB-C Skilled Dock, from the maker of the TS3 Plus.

Connecting dual displays to a MacBook

Thunderbolt 3 docks and USB-C docks are every ready to operating two shows by way of a dock. USB-C docks can display on the maximum solution of 4K (30Hz). With 40Gbps bandwidth, Thunderbolt 3 docks are ready to dual 4K (60Hz) displays, which is more healthy for gaming and the usage of Apple’s Skilled apps.

The TS3 Plus, for instance, does require an adapter to connect the second monitor because it absolute best has one video port (DisplayPort) built-in.

To attach the second monitor, you need to connect a USB-C Video Adapter to the spare Thunderbolt 3 port on the TS3 Plus.

Apple throws in an extra complication, which is not the fault of dock manufacturers. Slower USB-C docks on Mac are ready to rising absolute best dual “Mirrored” displays fairly than the additional useful “Extended” displays were two shows combine to create a far larger computer screen.

It’s because the macOS doesn’t serve as MST (Multi Flow into Supply), this means that those dual extended displays are not conceivable by the use of USB-C on Mac, absolute best House home windows.

However, Thunderbolt’s 3 docks can artwork with dual extended displays because of they are the usage of the newer, quicker generation.

We did get two (extended) displays to run off the USB-C Stone dock (thru Henge Docks), alternatively, it required a second adapter plugged into the pc. The CalDigit TS3 Plus required adapters to the dock (for HDMI) alternatively sought after merely the only Thunderbolt 3 connection to the pc. Then again you’ll have to use the Thunderbolt 3 cable, not a USB-C one although they appear similar.

Here is a video about connecting two shows to the TS3 Plus.

CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3 Plus

Why no HDMI on the TS3 Plus? CalDigit uses DisplayPort (DP) over HDMI because of DP is native to the Thunderbolt design. The Thunderbolt generation is in line with the PCIe and DisplayPort generation. Therefore, it is more straightforward to put in force DP on a Thunderbolt instrument.

Moreover, DisplayPort is further versatile than HDMI, because of – with use of an adapter – you’ll be able to convert to any monitor you want akin to HDMI, DVI or VGA. Stylish mid- to high-end shows now include every HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity. For shows with the most efficient HDMI, you need so to upload a “DisplayPort to HDMI” adapter. For additional details, see our services as at the variation between DisplayPort and HDMI.

The TS3 Plus choices an all-aluminum body that’s greater for heat dissipation.

CalDigit moreover sells a non-Thunderbolt USB-C Dock, which can worth at 60W (compared to the TS3 Plus at 85W) so it’s a lot much less suitable for the 15in MacBook Skilled or other higher-power USB-C laptops, alternatively efficient for the 12in MacBook.

Moreover, see above, the TS3 Plus can connect dual 4K 60Hz shows (Mirrored or Extended), while the USB-C Dock can connect dual 4K 30Hz shows (Mirrored absolute best) when the usage of merely the one-cable connection to the pc.


It’s small alternatively full of ports, and being a Thunderbolt 3 instrument this dock is further tricky and success than a more effective USB-C dock. You are able to connect two displays to a MacBook Skilled in Extended mode with just one cable going into the pc, which may also be charged at 87W.

Whilst you’re looking for a more-than-able multi-port dock in your MacBook, the CalDigit TS3 Plus seems to be like arduous to conquer.




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