Plugable’s New Thunderbolt 3™ Docking Station Now Shipping

Today Plugable is proud to announce the availability of the latest addition to our growing line of Thunderbolt™ 3 products, our Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station for Apple Macbook Pro 2016 and Dell Thunderbolt 3 Systems.

The dock supports a single DisplayPort or HDMI Display (with included adapter). The dock does not charge the host computer. It does power itself and attached downstream USB devices.

The first in our series of Thunderbolt 3 docking stations, when connected to a compatible macOS or Windows Thunderbolt 3 system the TBT3-UD1-83 provides the ability to connect a single 4K display via its DisplayPort++ output (passive DisplayPort to HDMI adapter included for HDMI displays). This connection functions as a direct line to the host system’s internal graphics adapter and provides for the same level of performance as a direct connection.

The TBT3-UD1-83 also provides a wired Intel gigabit Ethernet connection using an i210 chipset, analog audio input and outputs, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C port and one ‘downstream’ Thunderbolt 3 port that can be used to daisy chain up to five additional Thunderbolt 3 devices or provide for a 10Gbps network connection to another Thunderbolt 3 host using an additional Thunderbolt 3 cable (purchased separately).

The downstream Thunderbolt 3 port can alternatively be used to attach a second 4K display using a USB-C video adapter, such as our USBC-DP cable, USBC-HDMI adapter (purchased separately).

Plugable TBT3-UD1-83 Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station

Watch Our Video Demo

A few important notes: Our TBT3-UD1-83 docking station does not provide the ability to charge the host system. Those who require the ability to charge should wait for our upcoming TBT3-UDV docking station (more information on that upcoming product here) which does allow up to 60W of power to charge the host system.

All manufacturers can design their Thunderbolt 3 systems differently, and certain design decisions can affect compatibility with our dock and/or its ability to support two external displays. We have found that the Apple MacBook Pro late 2016 systems with Thunderbolt 3 and all Dell Windows Thunderbolt 3 systems work well with our dock and can support two displays, and we will be maintaining a compatibility list for other host system manufacturers on our product page.

Dell systems will require the most up to date system BIOS and Thunderbolt 3 NVM firmware to ensure things work as expected (the required NVM version number can vary depending on the host system) while Apple systems perform these updates automatically.

In certain cases 4K monitors connected to the dock may be limited to 4K@30Hz refresh rates, please see the FAQ section of our product page for more information.

Plugable was founded on the concept of turning the PC ‘inside out’ by providing USB docking stations to add functionality, and we are proud to offer our first docking station product that takes full advantage of the 40Gps bandwidth provided by Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology. Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.

And just for those that have subscribed to our new posts (subscription form in sidebar) or come to to check us out, we have a limited number of docks available at 20% off (savings of almost $40 USD). Request your code here.

7 comments on “Plugable’s New Thunderbolt 3™ Docking Station Now Shipping”

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      USB-C is a great method for providing power, but the power requirements of the unit (72 watts in total) made the DC port the better option for this product.

  1. thammons Reply

    I have the 4-TB3-port 1916 MBP. And with this dock, I’ll still be short of TB3 powered ports. Why did you include only two?

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Our Thunderbolt 3 dock only requires one available Thunderbolt 3 port to connect the unit to the host system. The second Thunderbolt 3 port is for a down-stream Thunderbolt 3 device or a second video output using a USB-C to video adapter or cable like our USB-C to DisplayPort cable ->

  2. joevt Reply

    Intel’s Thunderbolt chips have either 1 or 2 ports. Additional ports would require additional chips, each costing more money and taking more space and more power? Are there other technical reasons for not having more ports? More chips also require a larger PCIe switch chip, or additional switch chips that would slightly increase latency? I suppose more ports wouldn’t allow more displays since they would be restricted to the display capabilities of the port from the computer. I guess I’m wondering how the cost changes for each additional port added?

    My question is, why do current Thunderbolt 3 docks choose to add USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 gen 1 ports (5 Gb/s) when there exists USB 3.1 gen 2 chips? These could be provided by a USB 3.1 gen 2 chip, or a Thunderbolt 3 chip in USB only mode. Maybe the problem is that these chips only add up to two USB ports, so you would need more chips? The audio is provided by a USB codec? That would take one port of a USB chip.

    • Bob Boerner Bob Boerner Reply

      Thanks for sharing the press release. That is great news, and we look forward to Thunderbolt 3 systems becoming more widely available!

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