The Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Dock has all the ports you could need

Thunderbolt 4 is hereIt is also the first fully functional Thunderbolt 4 docking station. Kensington’s SD5700T includes a whopping 11 ports, 90W of power delivery, and transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps. It provides either a single 8K output at 30 Hz or a 4K output at 60 Hz.

Make no mistake: this is a luxurious pier. It is listed for $ 289.99, Kensington. But if you’re the type of person who uses a neat office setup with multiple monitors and peripherals, and you have the money to spend, this could be a good choice.

If you look at the latest versions of the Thunderbolt 4 laptop, you might notice that some of them have … separate port options. This equates to the cycle as laptops get thinner. The Dell XPS 13It, for example, only has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one audio jack, and a microSD card reader. (And it will sometimes need the charger to occupy one of these ports.) If you decide to purchase one of the XPS 13 models (which is a good choice – they are great), and want to use an external monitor port, peripherals like a mouse and keyboard, or an Ethernet connection, you will need a dock of sort of thing.

That doesn’t mean you need the SD5700T – Thunderbolt 4 ports will still support the cheaper Thunderbolt 3 dock if you already have one. But I think the SD5700T is worth the pay if you need more connectivity and the value of Thunderbolt 4 functionality. It basically packs a complete home office setup in one ultra-portable box.

The dock is also compatible with Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks running macOS Big Sur. It worked fine with my MacBook Pro 2019.

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Three USB-A ports, three USB-C ports, and one Power and Ethernet port.

Besides the aforementioned MacBook Pro that supports Thunderbolt 3, I have been using the SD5700T with the Acer Swift 5 with Thunderbolt 4 as well. I’m a person who often needs to connect more mice, cameras, drives, headphones, and other things than my laptops allow, so my workspace is often covered in a clutter of dongles and docks. The SD5700T offers a lot more connectivity than sinks this size I’ve used in the past, and it has made my life a lot easier.

With a single Thunderbolt cable (included), Kensington 5D5700T owners can access the following:

  • Four Thunderbolt 4 ports (with 40Gbps transfer speeds and dual 4K video output)
  • Four USB-A ports (5V / 1.5A charging port at the front and three Gen 2 @ 10Gbps ports at the back)
  • One Gigabit Ethernet port
  • One audio jack
  • One UHS-II SD 4.0 Card Reader
  • 90W power delivery (regardless of the number of connected devices)

Obviously, the use cases vary, but I really can’t think of anything else the vast majority of people would need. And remember, that’s not all you get – plugging the dock into one port frees up the other ports on a laptop that might be busy with a charger, display adapters, and other peripherals.

Kensington SD5700T from the front, on the windowsill.

USB-A Port, USB-C Port, Audio Jack, SD Card Reader, Power Button.

The SD5700T required no experience whatsoever to set up: I plugged the dock into the wall, plugged all the possibilities and terminals, turned it on, and then connected it to the laptop. And that was – it worked.

Whatever I’ve plugged in works fine. I didn’t encounter any bugs or performance issues. The only thing I would like to see is a way to separate the entire dock with one click. Currently, you have to take out each connected device individually before disconnecting a laptop from the SD5700T, which can be a pain if you have a bunch of things connected. There are third-party apps that can achieve this, but some companies like pirate Provide improved ejection tools for their piers.

Final note: It’s not a bad looking pavement. It’s got a beautiful, glossy, yet non-irritating finish – nothing that stands out on your desk or catches the eye in the office. At 0.96lbs (0.435kg) and 7.68 x 2.95 x 1.18in (195 x 75 x 30mm), it’s also easy to carry if you need to move your work space. You can put it in a handbag or backpack without any problem (although the 180W brick is a bit heavy).

Could you Pre-order the Kensington SD5700T nowShipping will take place in the second week of January.

Photo by Monica Chen / The Verge

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