February 12th, 2020 by Adam Armstrong
The Plugable TBT3-UDV Thunderbolt 3 docking station, like most of the new Thunderbolt 3 docks hitting the market, takes a new ultra-thin notebook and gives users all of the connectivity they need along with an Ethernet port for faster connection. The new dock can deliver up to 60W of power to a laptop as well, eliminating the need to have a power cord on the desk.
With the TBT3-UDV users have the ability to add up to two 4K displays, through either a Thunderbolt 3 and/or DisplayPort (or through a DisplayPort to HDMI converter, also included). Users will be able to leverage the full potential of their notebook’s workflow through Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps transfer speed (depending on the specific notebook being utilized). Users can leverage 10Gbps peer-to-peer networking through direct connections of the Thunderbolt 3 ports as well. At the same time users are driving additional displays, they still have the ability to leverage more USB ports for other peripherals. In addition, the TBT3-UDV has an integrated 1Gbps i210 Intel network adapter Gigabit Ethernet port for faster network speed.
For those that would enjoy a video version of the review, we’ve posted this to YouTube:
The Plugable TBT3-UDV works with both Windows and Mac devices and can be picked up today for $230.
Plugable TBT3-UDV specifications
|Power Delivery to host||Up to 60W|
|Monitor Ports||1x DisplayPort 1.4|
|USB ports||1x USB 10Gbps port with BC 1.2 charging
2x Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps ports
4x USB 5Gbps ports
|Networking||1x Gigabit Ethernet port|
|Other Ports||1x Combination (TRRS) Audio Input/Output port|
Design and Build
The Plugable TBT3-UDV is a hefty little dock that is about the size of a pocket paperback book. There is a base where users can stand the device on either end, or one can set it on its side. It all depends on the space available. The front of the device has a shiny rounded edge with a combination port for audio and a USB 3.0 port with BC 1.2 charging.
The rear of the devices has four USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports (one 15W and one 60W for charging devices such as notebooks), a DisplayPort, and the power in port.
The Plugable TBT3-UDV is a nice-looking dock that allows users to add more ports to their devices, be it ultra-thin notebooks or compact computers/thin clients. The dock has a Gigabit Ethernet port added faster network connectivity to devices that lack networking ports. The TBT3-UDV can deliver up to 60W of power, powering most notebooks through a Thunderbolt 3 port. Users also have the ability to add up to two 4K monitors.
As with most docks, they are designed to enable technology (add peripherals where one normally couldn’t) versus being able to deliver performance themselves. Performance is more dependent on the device that the dock is connected to and the network speeds coming into it. For an example of how one can leverage it: we took a Lenovo X1 E2 (review coming soon) and ran one Thunderbolt 3 cord to the dock. Through this one cord we were able to power the notebook, connect to the internet through Ethernet, and push out 4K to two Dell Monitors. It was simple to setup and only had to mess with the monitor for a minute to get it up and running.
Whether one is looking to add monitors, faster connectivity, or more ports, the Plugable TBT3-UDV is a nice addition for only $230.
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