• 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Very disappointing!!!

    • Written by from MIAMI BEACH

    I waited for this hub to be released for so long, I am returning it. I am very disappointed for these reasons:
    USB doesn't give power to devices, so Apple's USB Super Drive won't work with it. It won't charge iPods, iPads or iPhones...
    My external Thunderbolt HD that I use for Time Machine has to be ejected before I put my Mac to stand by, or I get a warning when bringing my mac back from stand by saying that HD was not ejected properly and data may have being lost (This warning doesn't happen when HD is plugged direct to my Mac).
    Also, every time I turn on and off or put my Mac to stand by and back, the speakers make a very loud noise, very annoying...
    Sorry Belkin, I can't recommend it, you need to bring this dock back to your engineers.

    635 of 695 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Unfinshed non functional product - Avoid

    • Written by from LONDON

    I bought the Thunderbolt express dock whilst on a business trip in the USA so wouldn't be able to test every aspect of it until I got home to the UK. I thought I'd at least I'd try plugging in an item that many Macbook Pro users would own into the dock, a USB superdrive. This dock can't even power the superdrive despite having a large dead rat laptop style power supply. Why would Belkin release a product which is unable to support a peripheral that is commonly used and sold with Macbook Pro computers?

    I am also disappointed that Apple would not test the products they choose to stock for simple use cases such as this and refuse to stock them until they met at least a baseline level of functionality.

    I'm going to return the item before I leave the US and wait for another product to be released by another manufacturer, as I've been bitten by gambling on after market product fixes which never arrive and expect better from Apple and Belkin than this rubbish.

    473 of 535 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Not well thought out at all.

    • Written by from Stratford-upon-Avon

    It's going back. The USB ports don't provide enough power at all - DVD drive won't even spin up enough to even mount & USB hard disk struggles to maintain enough power to spin. Resulting hard disk write speeds of 3.5MB/s.

    And all this from a device that has a Power Brick the size of an actual house brick. Really disappointed.

    196 of 214 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Won't mount Vantec NexStar dual bay hard drive

    • Written by from Edmonton

    I ordered the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Doc as soon as I saw it available in Canada and already have it. This is an awesome idea. Apple came out with a Thunderbolt Firmware update 1.2 today very soon after. This firmware update is causing various issues (see Apple Support for details - search for Thunderbolt Firmware update 1.2). The dock is very cool and seems to work with my FIrewire 800 Lacie Drive, my WD USB 2 drive, but not my VanTec NexStar Dual Bay USB 3 device. It doesn't even appear on the desktop when I plug it into the Thunderbolt Express Dock. I am not sure if this is a Thunderbolt issue or a NexStar issue.

    151 of 187 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    love it!

    • Written by from Reigoldswil

    I love this dock! all ports working fine and fast. The USB and Firewire ports ARE powered! I tried a Firewire 2.5" drive and a USB 3 2.5" drive, they're working fine!
    Unfortunally the superdrive doesn't work. But I'll try to fix this with a USB Y cable.
    And you CAN charge an iPhone with the dock! I tried it with an iPhone 5 and it worked like a USB port on your Mac. There's just the fact that the dock have to be connected to a Mac computer, else it doesn't turn on and doesn't give power to USB devices.
    I can really recommend this product! It looks also very nice!

    72 of 78 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Flawed.

    • Written by from Linsengericht

    USB3 reliability -> bad
    - Kernel panics with specific devices attached.
    - Kernel panics with specific USB drivers installed (eg. nomachine NX remote desktop)

    USB3/general performance -> bad
    - Capped to 2.5Gb/s. Throughput 90MB/s max. Forget SSDs.
    - Even with only mouse/keyboard/printer attached, when turning on the printer during runtime, mouse began to stutter, audio dropped out. I had to reconnect the dock ever so often to get it back to work.

    Audio interface -> bad
    - Will send static pop to your speakers, not only when you startup/shutdown your system but anytime it suspends/resumes. Apart from being very annoying, might also destroy your speakers if you forget to turn the volume down.

    Even though it's slow, it still runs really hot -> nice for roasting bread

    I'm probably lucky I didn't have the opportunity to test firewire.
    For me it was like a 300 € device for mainly passing through ethernet and display port (which admittedly worked well with a 1440p display).

    Bottomline.
    Recommended for users who are either not demanding or want to roast bread while saving the time of plugging exactly one TB cable (as anything but display port and ethernet was flawed)

    Sending it back as I have a toaster already.

    65 of 67 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    This thing ROCKS!

    • Written by from Eagleville

    Don't get me wrong, I love Apple -- their design is out of this world. But at the end of the day, there just aren't enough ports/connectivity options to get my projects done. This dock is awesome because I no longer have to use my thunderbolt port to feed an external monitor - rather, I can use the port to support all of my video editing equipment and external drives. It doesn't hurt that the unit looks great as well. LIKE.

    53 of 61 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Works great to offload lots of clutter

    • Written by from Cincinnati

    I read the other reviews here, which essentially complained at the fact that the USB from this deice is not producing enough power. Fair enough. The power supply is big, as mentioned, but I have it hidden under the desk.

    My application for this includes an external powered USB hub with attached LaCie USB hadr drive and other "stuff", use of the GigE connection as well as mini displayport.

    In this config I have had zero issues. The dock has cleaned up my desk beautifully and I am very happy with it.

    50 of 57 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Lack of power in USB ports. External drives have issues

    • Written by from Austell

    I own a Seagate GoFlex Desk USB3.0 hard drive that I connected to one of the USB3.0 ports on this dock. The dock is connected via thunderbolt to my 2011 iMac running Mountain Lion. When I first installed it, I noticed weird behavior with the hard drive not immediately getting detected when I plugged it into the dock. I have read other reviews for this product on Apple store that said the ports do not provide enough power for peripherals like the Superdrive. However, I didn't anticipate the issue would lead to me losing my data! The hard drive wouldn't come back up after waking the mac up from sleep. My applications would throw up errors that they cannot find the directory… And finally Disk Utility threw an error and said that I should just try to recover whatever data I can.
    So consider yourself warned that you probably don't want to plug in external hard drives into this dock.

    41 of 44 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Just use thunderbolt

    • Written by from Portland

    Honestly i thought this product was too good to be true and it turns out it is.

    a) About half of the USB 3.0 peripherals i own only connect at 480 even though they show as USB 3.0.
    b) Cannot boot off USB 3.0
    c) Throughput is very slow
    d) Cannot attach a USB 3.0 hub to it (Mac OS X limitation)
    e) Most USB 3.0 Flash disks that are rated at 160MB/sec + that connect at full USB 3.0 are benchmarking at like 10-15MB/sec.
    f) Only device i've had success with is a Porche Design by Lacie. Still... Only benchmarks at 80MB/sec
    g) Doesn't even have an eSATA port. Come on.. how hard would this have been ?
    h) Technical support is pathetic. Most answers are "That's a limitation"

    If you want fast portable storage, buy a thunderbolt SSD drive... seriously... if you're willing to spend the money on this dock, then just spend the couple extra dollars and buy a thunderbolt disk.

    I would have paid $500 for this, even without eSATA, if it ACTUALLY worked how it should. For anyone that's wondering yes i have all the latest firmwares and 10.8.4 and a core i7 iMac with 32GB RAM.

    39 of 42 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    It's been a long time coming

    • Written by from Fort Lee

    The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock is something a lot of us have been waiting for since Apple settled on Thunderbolt technology as their primary high speed connection. A little over a year ago, I switched from my trusty old iMac, which had USB, Firewire and Ethernet ports, to a MacBook Air, which only has USB and Thunderbolt. Since then, I've been using Wi-Fi for my internet service (I tried the Apple USB to Ethernet converter, but the connection was slower than my Wi-Fi). I also plug in a monitor whenever I'm at my desk with an Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter that plugs into the Air's Thunderbolt port and I pick up audio for my speakers from the headphone jack. Forget about FireWire. I've been using USB to connect to my back-up drives.

    Installing Belkin's new dock turned out to be an amazing leap forward in more ways than one. First, instead of having to connect and disconnect three wires every time I move my MacBook, I now only have one (plus the Mac's power adapter when needed). Second, I now have Ethernet back and have found that my internet download speed has almost doubled! And third, I am now able to connect my back-up drive via Firewire 800, which blows the socks off USB. So kudos to Belkin for coming out with this clever problem solver!

    One hook-up point to note: if you are using the dock with a monitor, it seems to matter which Thunderbolt port you plug it into. I achieved best results with the monitor plugged into the one on the left (when looking at the back of the dock).

    Of course, there are a few things that could be improved on the next rev of this product: 1) Since there are only two Thunderbolt ports on the dock, and one of them is used to connect to the MacBook, that only leaves one free, which my monitor is utilizing. It would be nice to have one more Thunderbolt port; 2) I still have too many USB devices to depend only on the 3 ports on the dock, so I'm forced to use a USB hub. Another couple of ports, especially one on top or the front, would be handy; 3) it would be great if the dock had some sort of optical audio or multi-channel output (it only has stereo analog audio, from what I can tell); 4) The dock should come with the required Thunderbolt cable; it's a hassle to order it separately and it's not the kind of cable you're likely to have lying around if you forgot to order one.

    In summary, even though it could have a few more connectivity options and should really come with the necessary cable to make it work, I still give the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock 5 stars. It's a real problem solver that's well-built and does what it claims to do -- and then some!

    40 of 44 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great dock but has limitations

    • Written by from New York

    I bought this so I didn't have to connect and disconnect my peripherals every time I left my desk. Now there is only one cable to connect which works great for cable management.

    As other users have pointed out, this dock doesn't charge some iDevices namely iPhones and iPads. Not sure if this is a design limited on the dock or can be fixed with a firmware release. It does however power up my USB based hard drives with no issues.

    As for the SuperDrive not working, that's an Apple firmware limitation. If you plug the SuperDrive into any Mac that has built-in optical drive (or a non-Mac), it won't work either. As the dock isn't actually part of the computer, it doesn't work.

    Overall it's an excellent product and looks great complementing my Mac; however as it does not charge my iDevices and it doesn't come with a Thunderbolt cable, I can only rate it 4-stars.

    40 of 47 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Very disappointing

    • Written by from CEDAR PARK

    Read the specifications !!!
    *Maximum data transfer of up to 2.5 Gbit/s.
    Thunderbolt supports two 10GB/s channels
    This product can't be used to daisy chain two (non Apple Cinema) monitors via Thunderbolt, it does not have the data bandwidth to support 2 screens, Ethernet and USB....
    In addition it is very unstable, only 1 out of 3 connections work with two monitors work, very often my MacBook Pro just crashes completely when connected to this product with two external monitors.
    The few times it worked with two external monitors, the Ethernet connection was slowed down to 1MBps.
    This product is not ready ...very disappointing!

    31 of 33 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    A tip and mixed review

    • Written by from Wattana

    I bought the dock directly from the Belkin US site.
    Running 10.83 I had almost full functionality. The USB 3.0 connection was not consistent. It would not mount more than 2 devices (USB 3.0 Drives) and would intermittently cause a drive to be disconnect rapidly. This was a mounted disk and required disk repair.

    Their support page stated:

    "Which Operating Systems Does the Thunderbolt™ Express Dock Require?

    The Thunderbolt™ Express Dock requires Thunderbolt™ enabled Mac computers with an operating system of 10.8.4 or higher."

    So I updated to 10.84 and lost audio and usb functionality. Back to 10.83 and 85% usability.

    32 of 36 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Barely functional and not worth the cost

    • Written by from Ankeny

    I purchased this to use with a 2012 MacBook Air. I connected a 1920x1080 DVI display, analog speakers, Gigabit Ethernet, USB keyboard and USB mouse. Under exactly the right conditions the dock was functional, but there were simply too many problems to justify the cost.

    The power supply brick is huge, and the cord between the brick and the dock is too short. I wanted to keep the dock hidden under my desk, but the power cord and brick combo really limited my options.

    Each time my display went to sleep or woke up, the connected speakers made a loud pop. The display I had connected to the dock wouldn't stay asleep either. It kept cycling power save mode on and off, and I got the loud pop each time it cycled.

    When I had the dock connected to my Air, I ran in clamshell mode using only the display, keyboard, and mouse attached to the dock. My Air always had to be connected to power when I disconnected the dock in this configuration. If I disconnected the laptop power first, the external screen went off, but the laptop screen wouldn't turn on when I opened the lid. I had to force the laptop off each time I disconnected the dock and the laptop power in the wrong order.

    While I could make the dock work, there were just too many glitches and limitations to justify the cost. I shouldn't need a checklist to put a docked laptop to sleep or to undock it.

    26 of 27 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    USB Ports not powered

    • Written by from Washington

    As I'm sure you've read, the USB ports do not provide enough power to even run an Apple Superdrive, as soon as you plug it in, you get an error that there is not enough power, and to plug your device directly into the computer. The entire reason I purchased this device was to be able to quickly plug one cable in when I got to work, that would connect my external monitor, network cable, sound, external HD, and superdrive. As it stands, I have to unmount the HD, plug the Superdrive in directly, the sound pops, and because they removed the HDMI port in the latest "revamp" I have to plug in my 2nd monitor directly. So it now becomes a $300 dock for sound and networking. No thanks. Sending it back.

    48 of 71 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Works great with external drives, scanner and printer

    • Written by from Reno

    I'm using this for a G-Tech Raid 0 (thunderbolt) 4TB drive, OWC firewire 800, iX500 Scanner USB 3 connected via a Belkin hub attached to the dock and Dymo Label printer USB.

    Everything is working as expected, the two drives stop spinning during sleep mode and awaken with no error messages.

    OSX 10.8.3, Thunderbolt firmware 1.2 mid 2011 iMac i7 3.4

    27 of 32 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Worst Product Ever Produced By Belkin

    • Written by from Houston

    This product doesn't work under the bootcamped (Windows 7.0) side of the Mac regardless of what version of the Mac OS you're running. I bought this product and to my dismay, I had to upgrade my Mac OS to even get the Mac side to recognize the USB 3.0 devices. When I tried the Windows Bootcamped side, it wouldn't work even after I upgraded to the most recent version of the Windows Bootcamp drivers from Apple. I simply put can't believe that Belkin would produce a product that is so limiting that you can't even run it bootcamped. I'm returning this product today.

    Apple has made the thunderbolt a complete fiasco since nobody has caught onto the product and they haven't taken the time to make a thunderbolt to USB 3.0 port that works in any reasonable fashion.

    25 of 30 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Disappointing equipment

    • Written by from anchorage

    The Thunderbolt Express Dock is disappointing, particularly because it does not power Apple USB Superdrive or Mac. Nearly anything that gets plugged into one of the Express Dock Ports must have its own power supply separate from the dock! Really? It certainly does not help with the clutter of cables or the organization... Very disappointed and had I known, I would have saved myself the extra expense and bought a simple USB hub.

    22 of 25 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Usb 3.0 speeds are very slow

    • Written by from Toronto

    I was hoping this dock would help connect a usb 3 external lacie hard drive. The drive has several ports such as firewire 800 , esata and usb 3....i was hoping this express dock would allow me to take advatage of usb 3 which is supposed to be faster than firewire 800. After doing many tests the usb 3 transfers only around 50 to 60 mega bytes a second while the firewire is showing faster at 60 to 80 mega bytes per second... Not sure what the issue is but it seems as though the express dock cant handle usb 3 as it advertises.... Dear apple please address this issue...

    23 of 27 people found this useful