CalDigit has been making high quality external storage solutions for over 10 years, and we decided to create a new product that utilized our expertise in this area. The result of which was the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station.
The CalDigit Thunderbolt Station is a small and portable Thunderbolt expansion dock that connects extra peripheral devices to your computer via a single Thunderbolt cable.
As laptops are getting thinner, they are losing many of their connectivity options in order to make them even more portable. This results in a lack of versatility for connecting multiple devices to your laptop. The power of Thunderbolt makes it as simple as connecting one cable to your computer in order to add a whole host of new connectivity options.
The Thunderbolt Station is built from aluminum, and is made with the same attention to detail that has made CalDigit the company of choice for the content creation industry.
Featuring 3 x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, dual Thunderbolt ports, Audio In & Out, the Thunderbolt Station adds a new level of flexibility to your ultra slim laptop.
CalDigit’s products are renowned for their versatility, and the Thunderbolt Station is no exception. Firstly, let’s talk about the monitor configurations possible with the Thunderbolt Station.
The Thunderbolt Station uses the HDMI 1.4 spec that supports dual stream 3D, extended support for color spaces, and much more. The Thunderbolt Station’s HDMI output also supports HDCP movie playback. This means that you can play content such as iTunes movies on your monitor or TV.
One of the most asked questions about the Thunderbolt Station is if multiple monitors can be connected. The answer to that question is that you can connect up to an extra 2 monitors to your Mac. However, some 2011 Macs with Thunderbolt are only capable of working with 1 Thunderbolt monitor. To check if your Mac is capable of daisy chaining more than 1 monitor please visit Apple’s support site: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5219#dispnum
These are the dual monitor configurations that are possible with the Thunderbolt Station:
- Two Thunderbolt monitors
- One Thunderbolt monitor & one HDMI monitor
- One Thunderbolt monitor & one DVI monitor (Requires a HDMI to DVI cable)
For more specific information please visit the Thunderbolt Station FAQ.
The second most frequently asked question about the Thunderbolt Station is about the USB 3.0 ports. Other devices on the market have issues charging and bus powering USB devices. The CalDigit Thunderbolt Station’s USB 3.0 ports generate enough power to charge your USB devices such as iPhones and iPads.
They can also bus power devices. See the image below of the CalDigit AV Pro USB 3.0 hard drive bus powered via the Thunderbolt Station.
The USB 3.0 ports also support the latest USB 3.0 protocol called UASP. UASP stands for USB Attached SCSI Protocol, and means that the USB 3.0 interface can support multiple commands at the same time for increased performance.
The inclusion of USB 3.0 ports on the Thunderbolt Station is ideal for people who have a Thunderbolt equipped Mac that does not feature USB 3.0 ports. The Thunderbolt Station would allow you to add the flexibility of using the wide variety of USB 3.0 devices that are available on the market.
Other USB 3.0 features include hot-plugging devices, wake-on-USB 3.0, and backwards compatibility with USB 2.0.
The Ethernet port on the Thunderbolt Station is ideal for situations where no WiFi access is available, or if you have an unstable WiFi connection. It also features a wake-on-LAN function.
AUDIO IN & OUT
If you’re someone who records voice-overs or podcasts, the audio in function of the Thunderbolt Station is great for connecting a microphone to your laptop. The audio out function is ideal for connecting external speakers for clear audio playback.