The Thunderbolt Dock, a great solution for laptop expansion, enables the addition of USB, SD card reader, 3.5mm audio, HDMI, and other connectivity options through a single high-speed 40Gbps connection, instantly providing 10 additional connection ports for use. Previously, the Thunderbolt Dock required an external power supply, making it less convenient to transport. Now, OWC introduces the “Thunderbolt Go Dock,” which features an integrated transformer capable of charging a laptop at 90W, while also offering various I/O expansions, including a Thunderbolt Hub function. This makes the portable dock an ideal choice for mobile workers seeking a more convenient solution to carry with them.
Connection Interface: Thunderbolt 4 Type-C
- Front SD 4.0 UHS-II card reader, 3.5mm headphone/microphone, USB 2.0, USB-C 3.2 10Gb/s
- Rear Thunderbolt 4 Type-C (90W), 2 x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, HDMI 2.1, 2.5GbE RJ-45, 2 x USB-A 3.2 10Gb/s, AC In
Display Support: Thunderbolt 4 8K60Hz / 4K120Hz (DisplayPort 1.4)
Controller: Thunderbolt Goshen Ridge (JHL8440), USB Cypress/HX3PD, Ethernet RTL8156B, SD GL-3232S
Transformer: Built-in Transformer +24V, 5A, 120W
System Support: macOS 11.x or above, Windows 10, 11 or above Dimensions
(LxWxH): 24.1 x 9.2 x 3.6cm
The more portable OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock compared with previous Docks
The latest addition to the lineup, the OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock, expands OWC’s Thunderbolt Dock offerings to a total of four distinct products. In terms of basic positioning, the “Thunderbolt Go Dock” is an 11-port portable expansion with an integrated transformer and TB HUB, while the “Thunderbolt Pro Dock” caters to AVB professional audio-visual users with a CF/SD card reader and 10-port 10GbE extension.
The “Thunderbolt 3 Dock” is a general-purpose workspace expansion offering up to 14 ports, and the “Thunderbolt Dock” is designed for expanding TB connection ports, featuring an 11-port expansion, although its positioning is somewhat similar to the Thunderbolt Go Dock. The blue-marked connection ports in the table are primarily for connecting to the laptop, and size, weight, and US dollar pricing are provided for reference.
Moreover, the Thunderbolt HUB functionality mentioned earlier refers to the Multi-Port Accessory Architecture connection method introduced by Thunderbolt 4. This differs from the previous Daisy Chain connection mode of Thunderbolt 3, hence the term Thunderbolt HUB.
Transformer built in! OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock Unboxing / 11 Ports, SD Card Reader, TB 4 Expansion, HDMI, 2.5GbE
The most significant distinction between the new OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock and its predecessors is the inclusion of a “built-in 120W transformer.” This difference is evident in the weight comparison provided earlier. The Thunderbolt Go Dock weighs 949g (similar in size), but older models using an external transformer are lighter. However, when carrying those models, you also need to bring along the dedicated transformer; without it, the Dock is inoperable.
To address this issue, OWC introduced the Thunderbolt Go Dock, featuring a similar size and an integrated 120W transformer. This means that when connected to a laptop using a Thunderbolt 4 Type C cable, it can also supply 90W of charging power for the laptop. Furthermore, it provides 2 Thunderbolt 4 Type C (HUB) expansions, allowing for additional Thunderbolt device connections for the laptop.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock offers a total of 11 port expansions, including an SD 4.0 UHS-II card reader, 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack, USB 2.0, USB 3.2 10Gb/s, HDMI, 2.5GbE, and more. The AC input utilizes an 8-pin power supply line connection. In the past, transporting a Thunderbolt Dock meant accounting for the size and weight of an extra transformer. Now, with the Thunderbolt Go Dock weighing 949g in a comparable volume, it is much more convenient to carry.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock, featuring an integrated transformer, is more convenient to transport since you only need to carry the power cord, Dock, and Thunderbolt Type C cable. Another perspective is that you’re bringing along a 90W Thunderbolt 4 Type C charger, offering up to 11 ports of expansion.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock features a sleek silver aluminum alloy design with cooling grooves on the surface and square openings on the sides to improve the overall passive cooling effect of the Dock. The primary reason for this design is that, after the integration of the transformer, the primary heat source while the Dock is in operation comes from the transformer components. Therefore, the Dock’s aluminum shell is used for passive heat dissipation.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock’s Thunderbolt 4 Type C main port is located on the right side of the Dock and is marked with a lightning symbol and a laptop icon to differentiate it from the general Thunderbolt 4 HUB port. This Thunderbolt 4 Type C port supports 90W charging power supply, enabling direct laptop charging.
Apart from the front heat dissipation holes, the Dock offers a range of connectivity options, including an SD 4.0 UHS-II card reader, 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack, and USB 2.0 to USB-C 3.2 10Gb/s ports.
At the back of the Dock, there are 2 Thunderbolt 4 Type C ports that support up to 15W expansion functions, along with an HDMI 2.1 port, 2.5GbE RJ-45 port, and 2 USB-A 3.2 10Gb/s ports. The Dock’s power input AC In uses an 8-pin power cord and meets the transformer specification of full voltage 100~240V, 50~60Hz, 1.5A. This means it can be used in various regions, including Taiwan’s 110V and foreign 100V or 220V power supplies.
One interesting feature of the Thunderbolt Go Dock is that it conceals the power indicator light and the Thunderbolt connection indicator light at the bottom of the Dock. These indicator lights will illuminate when the power supply and laptop are connected, providing a subtle yet effective indication of the Dock’s status.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock’s primary accessories include a 72cm Thunderbolt 4 Type C cable and an 8-pin power cable that measures approximately 180cm in length.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock comes equipped with an SD 4.0 UHS-II card reader, catering to mainstream photography and sports camera card reading requirements. When combined with OWC ATLAS ULTRA and ATLAS PRO memory cards, it delivers a high-speed photo and video transmission experience.
Dual screens, SD card reader, 2.5GbE and TB4 HUB can be expanded with just this one
With up to 11 ports, the Thunderbolt Go Dock expands connectivity options to include Thunderbolt 4 40Gbpss high-speed transmission and USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps, allowing for easy connection of high-speed external SSDs, SD card backup and data transfer, and 2.5GbE wired networking for high-speed data transmission in work environments.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock also supports up to 2 external 4K screen outputs, enabling users to easily expand their laptop’s screen output through the Thunderbolt 4 Type C (DisplayPort 1.4) and HDMI 2.1 ports.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock’s 2.5GbE wired network utilizes the Realtek RTL8156B network chip, which is automatically recognized by Mac systems. However, Windows and Linux systems require the download and installation of drivers for plug and play compatibility, allowing laptops to connect to high-speed wired intranet transmissions in work environments.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock’s SD card reader features a GL-3232S control chip and has been tested with OWC ATLAS ULTRA memory cards. It achieves an SD card transfer performance of 251 MB/s for reading and 241 MB/s for writing, as verified by the AJA System Test.
The primary chip of the Thunderbolt Go Dock is the Intel Goshen Ridge (JHL8440). It utilizes the USB Cypress/HX3PD control chip to expand USB, LAN, SD card, and other connections. During testing, the Thunderbolt Go Dock successfully expanded two 4K external screen outputs for a MacBook Air via the Thunderbolt 4 Type C (DisplayPort 1.4) and HDMI 2.1 ports.
The OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock is an excellent laptop adapter and portable expansion Dock for mobile workers. It includes a built-in transformer that provides 90W of laptop charging power and boasts up to 11 port expansion capabilities, including Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2, SD 4.0 UHS-II, HDMI 2.1, and 3.5mm headphone/microphone connections.
However, it’s worth noting that the Thunderbolt Go Dock’s built-in transformer design employs a fanless passive heat dissipation design. The high-quality aluminum alloy casing dissipates heat for internal components, causing the Dock’s casing to slightly heat up when in use, much like a general transformer. Therefore, it’s important to ensure adequate ventilation when using it.
The Thunderbolt Go Dock is priced at $11,550 in Taiwan, offering a Thunderbolt 4 HUB, 11-port expansion capability, and a 90W laptop charging function with a built-in transformer. It could easily be considered the most robust Thunderbolt expansion laptop transformer on the market.
If this article is helpful for you, please share this article with your friends on social media. Thank you!
This article is based on the personality of the reviews. You are responsible for fact-checking if the contents are not facts or accurate.
Title: Whisk me away! OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock unboxed / integrated 90W power supply for charging, TB4, SD, and 2.5GbE expansion capabilities