Filled with quick data-transfer ports and beneficiant video choices, this Thunderbolt 4 dock affords a lot if you would like as much as 4 exterior 4K shows at 60Hz however lacks powered USB and TB4 downsteam ports.
This Thunderbolt 4 docking station from Satechi is aimed toward customers who need a number of exterior shows and essentially the most choices.
Home windows laptops can connect with as much as 4 screens utilizing the built-in DisplayPort and HDMI ports. MacBooks are restricted to 2 shows, however you possibly can select between the video ports as you need.
The design is versatile, because the dock can both lie horizontal or sit up vertically within the included stand. It’s increased than the squatly compact Caldigit TS4 however is shorter than most horizontal docks now we have examined.
We like the ability button, which is a rarity on docking stations regardless of the recommendation being to not preserve a laptop computer battery charged on a regular basis. An influence button means you may give that battery a relaxation not less than in a single day.
Specs and options
One upstream Thunderbolt 4 port (40Gbps, 96W)
2x HDMI 2.1 video ports
2x DisplayPort 1.4 video ports
Three USB-A ports (10Gbps, 5.5W)
Two USB-A ports (5Gbps, 5.5W)
One USB-A ports (480Mbps, 7.5W)
One USB-C port (10Gbps, 7.5W)
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
UHS-II SD card reader (320MBps)
UHS-II MicroSD card reader (320MBps)
3.5mm combo audio jack (entrance)
135W energy provide
It’s all about shows
The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Professional Dock is massive on shows—with 4 built-in video ports—and USB-A, however shyer on Thunderbolt 4 and USB-C ports.
In truth, it’s alone in all of the Thunderbolt 4 docks that we’ve examined in having no downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports in any respect.
Thunderbolt 4 (TB4) docks have one upstream connection to the host (normally a laptop computer) and as much as three downstream ports for different units (TB4, TB3 or USB-C). Some TB4 docks surrender a downstream port or two to incorporate one or two video ports, within the information that almost all customers will find yourself utilizing not less than certainly one of them to attach an exterior show or two.
Having a devoted video port means you received’t want a particular adapter to attach the TB4 port to your monitor, though Thunderbolt to a USB-C monitor is ok.
The Satechi Professional Dock goes all the way in which and affords two of every premium DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1 ports, permitting for as much as 4 exterior shows. If all these shows are HDMI, you’ll nonetheless want a few adapters, after all.
Each HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1,4 are top-end video applied sciences, and are massive enhancements over docks that provide simply HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2. You’ll get extra screens at increased resolutions with these two video requirements.
A single related show will be as much as 8K (7680-x-4320) at 30Hz—make sure that the cable helps 8K, too. Two 4K shows can run at 60Hz.
Certainly, all 4 shows will be at 4K 60Hz in case you are connecting a Home windows laptop.
Macs are sadly restricted to only two exterior shows except you put in DisplayLink software program drivers.
Home windows helps Multi-Stream Transport (MST), which permits for as much as 4 screens in prolonged mode. The macOS helps Single Stream Transport (SST) so can output video in prolonged mode to only two screens however it will possibly mirror the opposite two—that’s, present the identical display screen because the laptop computer.
As a result of there are docks extra suited to 2 exterior shows, we don’t advocate the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Professional Dock for Mac customers. It’s definitely a versatile resolution, giving Mac customers the selection between HDMI and DisplayPort, however two of the ports will lie vacant, and we’d want one or two extra Thunderbolt 4 ports as an alternative.
For Home windows customers, the assist for as much as 4 shows makes this dock a compelling resolution, particularly with its different speedy USB, SD and Ethernet ports.
Thunderbolt and USB weak point
Whereas the video ports are top-notch, the unfold of USB and Thunderbolt is weaker.
Initially, the dearth of any Thunderbolt 4 docks means you possibly can’t even join a Thunderbolt 4 hub to make up for the absence of 40Gbps connections.
10Gbps information switch would possibly properly be all you require, and the Multimedia Professional Dock has 4 of those, however three of them are old-school USB-A. There’s only one 10Gbps Sort-C port, which appears a little bit quaint.
should you need extra Thunderbolt ports, learn our roundup of one of the best Thunderbolt 4 hubs and docking stations.
Because the dock is principally providing nice direct video choices, we shouldn’t get too hung up on USB and Thunderbolt, however the lack of Sort-C ports is a compromise that ought to be acknowledged.
Charging to the laptop computer is spectacular at 96W, which is sufficient for even giant laptops.
However solely the front-mounted USB A (2.0) port and the again’s USB-C port may give sufficient energy to a related gadget apart from the laptop computer. And each are restricted to 7.5W, which is ok for charging a cellphone and holding a drive going however not a lot else.
If there was a Thunderbolt port, you’d get not less than 15W from the dock, however a lot of the included USB ports are restricted to a reasonably feeble 5.5W.
You possibly can’t use the dock to fast-charge a cellphone, both. To be honest, if you wish to cost your cellphone, overlook about utilizing the dock and select a devoted USB-C charger or USB-C cellphone charger.
The dock comes with a 135W energy provide, so there’s not less than some extra energy there even when the laptop computer is sucking up almost 100W of it. Nevertheless, the dock itself would require possibly 25W, so a extra beefy energy provide could be required if Satechi was to make the ports extra device-charge pleasant.
For final device-charging energy, you possibly can’t beat Caldigit’s TS4 that ships with a 230W energy provide and a full vary of USB ports that may cost at as much as 20W.
The dearth of charging ports solely impacts related drives that want to attract energy from the dock, so if this isn’t an necessary issue for you, then this charging limitation ought to deflect you from the Satechi Multimedia Professional Dock that has different advantages that would outweigh this.
The most recent technology of Thunderbolt 4 docking stations is trying forward past the present wired community entry dominance of Gigabit Ethernet.
The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Professional Dock—just like the latest Sonnet Echo 20, Plugable Thunderbolt 4 & USB4 Quad Show Docking Station and Caldigit TS4—boasts a 2.5Gb Ethernet port, which when related to a supported community can supply as much as 2.5x the information switch efficiency.
The primary level right here is that you just’ll nonetheless get Gigabit Ethernet speeds except you’re in a 2.5Gb or 10Gb community, and people aren’t too widespread proper now nevertheless it’s appreciated skilled future-proofing and totally backwards appropriate.
As soon as the protect of photographers, reminiscence playing cards at the moment are a really inexpensive manner of including respectable capability storage to your laptop computer/dock setup.
Producers cost lots to put in a high-capacity SSD of their laptops, so shopping for transportable storage is a good way of saving cash and increasing the performance of your system.
A 512GB MicroSD card will be discovered for round $75/£75, though reminiscence card pricing is kind of unstable.
Satechi has included the quickest UHS-II variations of each SD and MicroSD reminiscence card readers, the place some docks have simply the bigger SD variant and generally at UHS-I. UHS-II is thrice sooner (312MBps) than UHS-I (104MBps).
Having each codecs is useful in case you are typically swapping out each sizes of card however having simply SD is ok, as widespread adapters ensure MicroSD match SD readers.
In addition to being smaller, MicroSD is usually cheaper on the increased capacities.
The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Professional Dock prices $349.99, which is cheaper than the $399.99 Caldigit TS4 and near the Kensington’s SD5700T ($369.99).
On the time of writing, it isn’t obtainable exterior the US, however worldwide variations are deliberate.
Nevertheless, it’s not proper to check these docks. The Satechi TB4 dock is aimed toward a distinct market: Home windows professionals who want three or 4 screens, somewhat than these after a number of Thunderbolt ports.
The TS4 does have one DisplayPort so works properly with single—or, utilizing one of many TB4 ports, a second 4K show—however if you would like extra screens, the Satechi Multimedia Professional Dock is a extra versatile resolution.
If you would like downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports, this isn’t the dock for you, as a result of the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Professional Dock is an answer for contemporary Home windows-based professionals who require a many-monitor setup. Its assist of 4 4K shows at 60Hz is spectacular, and with 4 top-end video ports you possibly can join instantly with out adapters.