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There Are Benefits A Laptop Gets From OWCs 14 Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock

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Portability VS Peripherals

The whole purpose of a laptop is to add portability to convenience — a laptop having both screen and keyboard combined as one (with a trackpad replacing the mouse). Eliminating all the additions means you can just pick up the laptop and take it pretty much anywhere you want (obviously it runs on a battery and not AC). But as laptops replace desktop computers for many people, those who want to use it indoors find it woefully lacking in the connectivity needed. Sitting at a desk (or standing) means you can use a large monitor, external storage drives and other peripherals that lend themselves to improving performance. But the makers of laptops seem to have gotten it into their heads that thinner and lighter is more important than having built-in connections, and so an easy plugging in of a peripheral becomes a hardship involving dongles and work arounds. So that’s where a docking station comes in: it provides what the laptop no longer has or has in very short supply. What dock is a good choice for your Windows or Mac laptop? Why OWC’s 14 Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock of course.

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Thunderbolt 3 Is Fast

Before anything else it’s necessary to understand that Thunderbolt 3 is a data transfer technology which, like USB that came before it, connects between the laptop and devices — for example, an external hard drive. T3 has to be built into a device to be used — it can’t be added later or upgraded through software because it is made along with the hardware. The advantage of T3 is its speed — as an example it can transfer data between a hard drive and a connected laptop at very high speeds. It can also enable a high definition display to be seen, once connected. So as can be seen, this makes T3 ideal for quick movement of very large files or being connected to a 4K high definition display. You also need to have a specialized cable to use with it and it’s not cheap — no problem here though because OWC supplies such a cable for connecting between the dock and the laptop.

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Front And Back

So the 14 port Thunderbolt 3 dock is placed next to the laptop and the included cable connects the two. Now’s the time to connect peripherals to the dock, which can stay connected since they’re not going anywhere. And yes the dock is connected to the wall outlet for power — it’s not draining the laptop’s battery at all. In fact the dock provides 85 watts of power for keeping the laptop powered up.

Since the dock features connections on both the front and back, it makes sense that those on the front are going to be plugged in and out as needed, unlike those on the back which are for those peripherals that stay in place (like a display). Those front facing ports handle mobile devices (phones) as well as SD solid-state memory cards and headphones/microphones. So there’s a USB-C port (USB 3.1 Gen2) along with a USB-A (USB 3.1 Gen1) and a SD card reader slot, along with a microSD card reader slot (no fumbling for SD adapters in other words). There’s also a 3.5mm analog audio jack for connecting headphones for private listening, and this also doubles for plugging in a microphone.

Those ports on the back expect to be connected and left alone — there’s two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports along with a Mini DisplayPort 2.1. Four USB-A (SB 3.1 Gen 1) ports are also found there, as is Gigabit Ethernet connection for a wired Internet experience (physically being attached to the router always making for a more stable, high-speed connection versus the vagaries of Wi-Fi. Finally, there is an S/PDIF digital audio output jack — for connecting to audio speakers with more capabilities than just standard stereo.

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The 14 Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock isn’t made of flimsy plastic or a composite material that looks sturdy but isn’t — OWC chose to make it from a single piece of aluminum for a clean, polished and professional use. Yes it’s a bit heavier as a result, but the durability more than makes up for it not weighing less than a can of soup. The retail is $294.75 (silver or space gray) and more information can be found by going to https://www.owcdigital.com/products/thunderbolt-3-dock-14-port