Belkin Express Dock HD 2


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Belkin Express Dock HD 2 Hardware Review

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Overview:

I can’t really go into a whole lot of pros about this device, as it does really just about everything you would expect a dock to do. It’s a very elegant and eye appealing solution for any mac and some PC users. It allows you to take all that clutter on your desktop and make it so you don’t see 100 wires coming out of your Mac book or PC.

Supports:

  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • headphone/microphone
  • 3x USB 3.0  port
  • 2x Thunderbolt 2 ports
  • 4k HDMI port.

If you use a Thunderbolt 2-equipped MacBook Pro with Retina Display, Mac Pro, or Mac mini, or you’re planning for a future with Thunderbolt 2, check out Belkin’s latest expansion dock

Design:

The Belkin Express Dock HD is made out of a shiny piece of aluminum designed to match the finish of your Mac and Thunderbolt Display. On the back of the device you’ll find most of the ports – Ethernet, headphone, two USB 3.0 ports, the two Thunderbolt 2 ports, the HDMI port and a power connection. On the front are two ports – 1x USB 3.0 and a 1x microphone/headphone port.

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I couldn’t find a definitive answer or example of how many monitors this dock can support at once. Apple’s site says three 4k monitors at once while others say they could only get at most, two 4k monitors, and that was through one thunderbolt port and one hdmi port.

The Belkin dock also does not allow you to charge your laptop. And with that fact that this dock is 300.00 I would greatly expect to be able to charge my laptop off of this dock. And as another reviewer stated. “Remember, the Belkin HD was meant to reduce the number of cables going to the laptop”

I really don’t fully consider this a dock as I do a half-dock. Yes this does exhibit dock features and functions though it misses a few key jacks to fully make it a true dock. First is you’re not really docking your laptop, your plugging in a USB cable. I can’t charge my laptop off of this, and the price of this compared to other true docks such as a dell e-port plus is a huge difference. Price to port comparison is also not all the great.

And one nice little feature to end of the design portion of this review – Belkin includes a 1M (3 foot) Thunderbolt cable with the dock.

Functionality:

The device is very much plug-and-play; you just plug things into the proper ports, and everything is taken care of. Some simple testing of file transfer speeds to my external USB 3.0 drive showed absolutely no drop in throughput.

Likewise, the external monitor came up immediately when connected to the HDMI port. There were no issues, even when unplugging the HDMI cable and plugging it back in shortly thereafter. It was just like plugging an HDMI cable right into the MacBook Pro. The Ethernet port also worked with no extra driver required. When plugged into the Express Dock HD, the Ethernet port immediately showed up as another network adapter.

Conclusion:

I know my cons kind of outweighed my pros but don’t let that discourage you. This is a great device that is expertly built and is virtually plug and play. It’s light, very easy to move or carry around, and it can greatly help organize your desktop.

This is definitely marketed more for a Mac user more than it is a PC user, also just FYI it doesn’t support the raspberry pi. I had to try and see if I could get it to work.I would recommend this to a Mac user though I wouldn’t to a windows or Linux based user.

Thank you


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