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Imagine if your MacBook could have 14 ports? And you can use them all simultaneously for charging, external display, audio input/output, data transfer, and more. Seems like a dream, right? Well, with OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, you get that!
But does this sleek OWC dock work as smoothly as it claims? Let’s find out as I test it and share my in-depth, hands-on review with you guys.OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock: An overview
The Thunderbolt 3 Dock sets out to inject more convenience, speed, power, and functionality into your workflow with just a single cable.
That’s right, just a single cable to connect and seamlessly access displays, other peripherals, mobile devices, and more to a Thunderbolt 3-equipped Mac or Windows laptop.
The rectangular brick-like dock boats 14 ports strewn across the front and back.
PortsNo.USB 3.1 Gen 11 – front, 4 – backUSB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type C)1 – frontAnalog Audio In/Out1 – frontmicroSD slot1 – frontSD Card1 – frontGigabit Ethernet1 – backThunderbolt 3 Ports2 – backMini DisplayPort1 – backOptical Audio Out1 – backTotal14OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock: Power you need OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock: Speed and use
While the power quotient is impressive, a dock should also bring in great speed. And the specs of the Thunderbolt 3 Dock did not disappoint me at all.
10Gb/s: Two rear-facing USB-C ports
8Gb/s: Front-facing USB-C port
5Gb/s: Five rear-facing USB-A ports
1000Mb/s connection: Rear-facing Gigabit Ethernet
So, whether you want to charge your phone, transfer data from an external SSD, connect a printer or other peripherals, you’ll get optimal speed from the Thunderbolt 3 Dock.OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock: Design
To be honest, I am pretty conflicted about the design of the Thunderbolt 3 Dock. I love that it employs optimal port configuration to ensure a comfortable and clutter-free experience for most users.
For instance, you’ll probably need to insert and eject SD cards or headphones repetitively; so, the audio and media card ports are placed in the front for quick and hassle-free usage.
But on the other hand, the aluminum body frame is quite chunky and will demand some real estate on your desk. And the piano gloss finish on the top is a fingerprint and dirt magnet.
Moreover, it doesn’t work without the charger, a bulkier and heavier addition to the equation. All things considered, the dock is not a portable accessory.
However, I must say that the weight and four rubber feet on the bottom make it slip-proof. So, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
The missing component
Most external displays today come with either an HDMI port or DisplayPort. Although I love the inclusion of a Mini DisplayPort and the perks it offers, an HDMI port is missing.
That means you’ll have to purchase additional adapters or converters.Is the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock worth docking? Our Verdict
In terms of usage, OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock worked like a charm. Everything from power to speed was as promised. However, the size and weight of the dock are surely off-putting.
I feel the glass top could have an LED display, or the indicator light could be on top or at the front instead of the bottom. There is some scope for improvement in the design department.
Who is it for?
After using the Thunderbolt 3 Dock for a while, I felt that it is designed for iMac or Mac Pro users. Those who have proper workstation setups and have a bunch of peripherals attached all the time.
Everything from the weight to speed works in their favor here. And it could be a worthy investment for professionals like music producers, video editors, graphic designers, or gamers.
Colors: Silver and Space Gray
Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
Buy it from OWC
Video: OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock review
A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.
You're reading Owc Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review: Unleash The Power Of 14 Ports
Favors legacy USB-A ports, but with USB-C optionsCons
Only one display port: Thunderbolt
You’ll likely need to buy additional cables
Occasional connection issues
Smartphone charging port is mediocreOur Verdict
Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock was likely designed with the Mac market in mind, but this compact premium Thunderbolt dock offers quite a lot. Rivals may deliver more value, however.Best Prices Today: Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock
A few Thunderbolt docks trace their lineage to the Mac world, where direct Thunderbolt display connections are more common than the HDMI or DisplayPort ports of the Windows ecosystem. Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock falls into this category, with three upstream Thunderbolt 4 connections in addition to a handful of USB ports.
This might be a problem for a Windows laptop, as Thunderbolt displays are somewhat rare and generally more expensive. Without one, you’ll need to match the ports on your monitor with an intermediary cable. That means purchasing an additional USB-C (Thunderbolt) to HDMI cable or two, which will cost an extra $20 or so per cable.
Either way, you’ll likely be tacking a few extra dollars on top of the cost of Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock, a choice which other docks don’t force upon you.
Further reading: See our roundup of the best Thunderbolt docks to learn about competing products.
Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock measures 7.5 inches long by 3.5 inches deep, with no vertical stand or mounting option. A 135W power brick delivers power to the dock, which then passes 96W of power to your laptop via a 31-inch Thunderbolt 4 cord that ships inside the box.
We’ve never run into a situation where a dock has overheated. Satechi’s dock didn’t break that trend, and the dock’s aluminum and plastic chassis dissipated heat just fine. There’s a small LED indicating when the device is powered on (white for power, yellow for powered and connected), but no power button.
The front of the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock, which scrimps a bit in terms of charging and SD card access.
Mark Hachman / IDG
Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock mounts a UHS-II SD card reader on the front of the dock, without a microSD option. Next to it is a single USB 2.0 5Gbps port, with BC 1.2 charging, which can deliver up to 7.5W of power. Unfortunately, the dock passed only 3.8W, which will charge a smartphone slowly. (On the other hand, you can always plug your phone into a free Thunderbolt 4 port on the rear of the dock, which transferred a hefty 12.2W, enough to fast-charge a smartphone.) The front of the Satechi Dock also includes a headphone jack, plus the USB-C port for the cable connection to your laptop.
Two Kensington security-lock ports are mounted on the side of the dock. On the rear, Satechi includes three 10Gbps USB-A ports, none of which deliver any power at all. There’s also a gigabit Ethernet port, the three upstream Thunderbolt 4 ports, and the power connector.
We chose to test the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock using a direct Thunderbolt connection to one 4K display, and an intermediary cable to another 4K display. Both took a few seconds to establish a connection, but did so. (We tried connecting to a third 1440p display using the third port, just to check, but the dock wouldn’t establish a connection, which is fine.) We consider establishing the two 4K connections, however, to be the standard.
You’ll have a few USB-A ports on the back of the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock to choose from, as well as three Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Mark Hachman / IDG
In our tests, we streamed 4K60 video from both online and offline sources, with very few dropped frames, including video played back from an external hard drive. We saw a few hiccups when playing back video from Netflix, and video streamed from Amazon Prime played back in a lower resolution than expected. After further tests, including a speed test that measured the performance of the dock’s Ethernet port, we concluded that it was the ISP, not the dock, at fault.
We did find, however, that this Satechi dock will occasionally disconnect, randomly, perhaps twice a day. We also experienced the same thing with a second, different Satechi dock, so perhaps it’s something with the internal design. It’s an irritating annoyance, though not catastrophic: The attached displays simply disconnected for a second or so, then reconnected. Nothing else seemed to change.
What we’ve come to find in our tests of both the best Thunderbolt docks and best USB-C hubs and dongles is that manufacturers aren’t afraid to mix and match ports and features. At press time, Plugable’s 5-in-1 Thunderbolt Hub was our pick for the best Thunderbolt hub—but it offers a lot less (for a lot less money) than the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock does.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more for additional features (and cables), Satechi’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock is a decent pick. Otherwise, you’ll find slightly more affordable options in our dock roundup, with dedicated display ports that should match your existing monitor.
Many Linux users have a set of applications – browser, file manager, image viewer – that they’re loyal to. In most cases, these applications correspond to the default setup of a Linux distribution. If you’re a KDE user, you’ve probably heard of Konqueror. It’s a powerful application that has been a part of KDE for years, but it’s often unfairly neglected in favor of newer apps. Did you know you can use Konqueror not only as a file manager, but also as a web browser, PDF viewer and document editor?
If this sounds interesting, you can install Konqueror from the repositories of Ubuntu, Debian, Arch and other distributions, or from the source. Note that you’ll have to install many packages as Konqueror’s dependencies if you don’t already have KDE on your system. I recommend you also install a package called “konq-plugins” which contains browser extensions.Using Konqueror as a Web Browser
The UserAgent Changer extension can modify Konqueror’s identification – it can “pretend” to be a different browser. The “Web Browsing” section in the Configure Konqueror dialog lets you enable Do Not Track headers as a part of browser identification. The only essential thing that Konqueror lacks is private browsing, but other features make up for it.
Split View is one such feature. Accessed via the Window menu or with keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+Shift+L to split vertically, Ctrl+Shift+T horizontally), Split View divides the active tab into as many small frames as you want. You can open new links in separate frames to preview multiple websites at the same time.File Management and Beyond
Speaking of file opening, Konqueror can handle several filetypes – you can use it to open PDF files, edit text documents, preview and even convert between basic image formats (JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, BMP). It can also display Linux info and man pages in a nice, readable format; just type man:/[name] into the address bar.
Konqueror’s versatility is made possible by KParts, a KDE component framework that’s used to manage file types or embed applications into one another. Technically, any KDE application that supports KParts can be embedded into Konqueror, meaning that Konqueror can “take over” its functionality. This is how Konqueror works as a file manager – it embeds Dolphin and offers all its features. Users switching from Dolphin will surely appreciate this.
Konqueror’s power derives from the convenience and seamless integration of features that would otherwise require opening several applications. True, you need to have Okular, Dolphin and other apps installed if you want to use Konqueror as anything other than a browser, so some people might consider this embedding as “cheating” or even “useless.” On the other hand, it’s extremely practical when working with multiple files since you can view them all in one window or quickly switch between tabs. Konqueror can act as a container for other apps and eliminate clutter from your workflow, and you can always go back to using it as a lighweight web browser.
Ivana Isadora Devcic
Ivana Isadora is a freelance writer, translator and copyeditor fluent in English, Croatian and Swedish. She’s a Linux user & KDE fan interested in startups, productivity and personal branding. Find out how to connect with Ivana here.
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In a computer system, a port provides an interface to connect a peripheral device to the computer system. Thus, ports in the computer hardware are the jacks or sockets through which the peripheral devices are attached to the computer system. These ports are standardized for each purpose. There are several types of ports available in the computer system such as USB ports, Ethernet ports, display ports, serial ports, parallel ports, etc. Through these ports, we connect different hardware devices such as monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. to the computer.
Read through this article to find out more about Serial ports and Parallel ports and how they are different from each otherWhat are Serial Ports?
Serial Ports provide an interface to connect serial lines to prepare a serial communication. Serial ports are the types of computer ports through which the data bits are transmitted as a single stream of binary 0s and 1s in the form of electric signals. Serial ports provide only a single transmission path that can be a single wire, a pair of wires, or a single channel in case of wireless communication.
Serial ports are the oldest communication interfaces that are mainly used to connect printers and modem to the computer system. But in modern computers, serial ports are used to connect modern devices like flat-screen monitors, security cameras, GPS devices, etc. Serial ports are sometimes also called COM Ports (or Communication Ports).
A serial port uses a DB-9 connector, a 9-pin D-Shaped Connector which connects to the transmission line. A serial port provides serial communication using one line and thus has no dependency on other wire’s speed and its length can be extended as per the need.What are Parallel Ports?
A parallel port is another type of computer port to connect a peripheral device to the computer system. As its name implies, a parallel port can transmit multiple bits of data all together at the same time. Therefore, in the case of parallel ports, the rate of data transmission is relatively high as compared to series ports because these transmit data without any hold-up.
Parallel ports are mainly used to connect those computer peripheral devices that require high bandwidth. The most common examples of such devices are printers, monitors, projectors, etc.
Parallel ports provide an interface to connect multiple lines to prepare a parallel communication to send large data at a time. Parallel ports are used in connecting printers, hard-drives, CD-drives, etc. All line’s speed should be the same to avoid error and cross-talk issues. To avoid such issues, the wires are kept small in length. A parallel port uses a D-25 connector, a 25 pin D-Shaped connector that connects to the transmission wires.Difference between Serial Ports and Parallel Ports
The following table highlights the important differences between Serial Ports and Parallel Ports −
Parameter Serial Ports Parallel Ports
Definition A series port is one that transmits one data at a time in a single stream of 0s and 1s. A parallel port is one that transmits multiple data bits at a time.
Purpose Serial Port is used for serial data transmission. Parallel Port is used for parallel data transmission.
Transmission Speed Transmission speed of a serial port is slow as compared to a parallel port. Transmission speed of a parallel port is quiet high as compared to a serial port.
No. of Data Bits A serial port can transmit one bit at a time through a single wire. A parallel port can transmit a set of data bits (like 8-bits, 16-bits) at the same time through separate wires.
Bandwidth Serial ports are used to connect those peripheral devices that require low bandwidth. Parallel ports are used to connect those devices that require relatively high bandwidth.
Connector A serial port uses DB-9 connector, a 9 pin D-Shaped Connector which connects to the transmission line. A parallel port uses D-25 connector, a 25 pin D-Shaped connector which connects to the transmission wires.
Redundancy Bottom-Up model is better suited as it ensures minimum data redundancy and focus is on reusability. Top-down model has high ratio of redundancy as the size of project increases.
No. of Wires Wire connections to serial port are quiet less as compared to parallel port. No. of wires that are connected to parallel port are quiet high as compared to serial port.
Capability A serial port is able to transmit a single stream of data at a time. A parallel port is able to transmit multiple data streams at a time.
Data Sending Mechanism A serial port sends data bit by bit after sending a bit at a time. A parallel port sends data by sending multiple bits in parallel fashion.
Port Type A serial port uses Male ports. A parallel port uses Female ports.
Applications Modems, security cameras, device controllers use serial ports. Printers, Hard Drives, CD drives use parallel ports.Conclusion
In a computer system, several types of ports are available to connect different types of peripheral devices. Serial ports and Parallel ports are the most commonly used computer ports. The most significant difference between serial ports and parallel ports is that a serial port transmits one data bit at a time, whereas a parallel port transmits multiple data bits at a time. Due to this, the speed of data transmission through a parallel port is higher than that of a serial port.
Omaker’s Power Bank 5200mAh is a no-frills emergency charger that could provide up to two full fast charges for your phone. It’s a nice size to fit in a pocket, and it feels reasonably tough.
Power banks come in all sizes and capacities, and this Omaker Power Bank 5200mAh hits the sweet middle ground, small and light enough to carry in a pocket, with sufficient capacity to offer your phone at least one and possibly two full charges. Read our Omaker Power Bank 5200mAh emergency charger review. Also see: Best power banks 2023.
Unlike the larger 10,000mAh Omaker S-X5 power bank we’ve reviewed previously, this smaller 5200mAh model is the perfect size for your pocket, just 46x25x100mm and 118g.
A soft carry case is provided, but the soft-touch rubber casing doesn’t feel as though it needs much in the way of protection. We like the design, a smooth almost pebble-like block of grey or yellow coloured plastic with two sheets of black rubber that wrap around the front and back, creating a groove at each side that makes the Omaker power bank easy to grip. We reviewed the yellow version, but suspect the grey may look a little more premium. Also see: Best MiFi 2023.
There’s just one output on the Omaker Power Bank 5200mAh, but it’s a fast one, rated at 10.5W. This will charge your phone twice as fast as some phone chargers, and it’s powerful enough to charge a tablet too. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life.
If there’s enough power in the bank, that is – rated at 5200mAh and allowing for around 30 percent loss through voltage conversion and heat generated, you can expect about 3640mAh to be available to your devices. How many times that will charge your phone depends on the capacity of its own battery – it might charge an iPhone twice, but many Android phones just one and a half times.
Once the power bank’s charge is depleted, there’s a 5W Micro-USB input for refilling it. As is standard with power banks, no charger is provided in the box, but you can use the one that came with your phone or tablet. It could take up to six hours to completely fill the battery. Also see: How to charge your phone or tablet faster.
Although we can’t expect otherwise at a great-value £14.99 from Amazon, there’s nothing here in the way of fancy high-end features such as passthrough charging and auto-on/off, which does mean you’ll need to keep an eye on the Omaker Power Bank for when it’s finished charging your device to ensure no charge is wasted. (You’ll need to press the button on the Omaker’s side to begin charging, while a double-press will activate the handy built-in torch.)
How much capacity remains is instantly visible by a row of four LEDs that glow blue when the power bank is in use. Each light represents 25 percent of the battery. Also see: Best desktop chargers 2023.
Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.Specs Omaker Power Bank 5200mAh: Specs
5200mAh power bank
1x 5W Micro-USB input
1x 10.5W USB output
soft carry case
status indicator: 4 LEDs
passthrough charging: no
3 Best Sata Power Cable For SSD & HDD
All HDD and SSD have a data connector and a power connector. The old PATA drives had a 4 pin power connector that spawned from the power source.
The SATA driver has a different power connector (wafer-type), that looks like the SATA data connector, but it’s much wider. So when you’re buying a power cable for your drive make sure you’re not buying a data cable instead.
The power cable is essential, so we found the best selection of SATA power cables to help you make an informed decision.What are the best SATA power cables for SSD & HDD?
Powers two Serial ATA HDD, SSD, optical drives, DVD burners, and PCI cards to a single connection
Cost-effective 2-pack cable
8-inch cable harness
Stable connection with connector latches
Can be shorter than 8 inches
Whether you’re installing a new DVD writer, HDD, or SDD, Benfei 15 Pin SATA Power Y-Splitter will be a perfect choice. The connectors have latches to secure the connection and the 8-inch long harness can power 2 drives from the same SATA input.
That’s because it’s a Y splitter perfectly adjusted in length to reach two drive bays with the same cable. With two SATA 15 pin female connectors and one SATA 15 pin male, the cable is constructed with flexible 18 AWG conductors for professional performance. This applies of course when connecting two SATA hard drives to a power supply.
It supports 3.3V, 5V, and 12V power voltages between SATA I, II, and SATA III drives and power supply connections without any degradation of performance.
This is a 2 pack cable so you will be able to power 4 SATA devices while offering compatibility with the most popular SATA equipped devices such as the Apricorn Velocity Solo x2 Extreme Performance SSD Upgrade Kit or the Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical Drive.
2 pack connectors
6-Inch/ 15cm SATA 15 pin male to 2xSATA 15 pin female extension cable
Upgrades your PC for faster SATA hard drives/ optical drives
Extend the length for your SATA power cable
Can be too short for some setups
If you’re working with a Micro ATX or Mini ATX case, you can’t afford to use long cables, so the Zheino SATA Power Splitter Cable with work as a charm in tight spaces because of the useful 6-inch length.
Moreover, as this is a splitter cable, so a single cable will be able to power two drives at the same time. It’s a sturdy, braided cable that will ensure the best performance possible over an extended period of time.
The pack comes with two splitter cables so you will be able to power up to 4 SSDs, HDDs, or optical drives. One cable has one male 15 pin connector and two 15 pin female connectors.
Of course, you can use these cables if you want to extend an existing SATA power cable to have the Y splitter that you needed on your PC.
Good length – 15.7 in (400 mm)
4x SATA power cable splitter
Eliminates the cost of having to upgrade the power supply
Easy to use and install
Quality control issues
The SATA power splitter cable extends the limit of the number of SATA devices that can be installed in the system, based on the PSU power connections that you already have. You won’t have to pay a lot more to upgrade the power supply to host additional SATA drives.
PYO4SATA features a SATA male power connector that mates with a single computer power supply connector and breaks out into four SATA female power connectors. And the 15.7 in (400 mm) lenght will allow you to reach any drive in any corner of the PC case.
The cable is very sturdy but it’s also extremely flexible so it’s perfect to work with in tight spaces. The only downside is that none of the connectors have latches to secure them. However, they come as a tight fit so you shouldn’t have problems with that.
We trully hope that you found the best SATA power cable in our list.
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