Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock review


Thunderbolt 4 is the brand new connector on the town, and a raft of hubs and docks are turning into to be had to supply multiples of the super-fast port by means of one simple connection on your laptop.

The Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock is a neat and compact hub with an impressive laptop computer charger integrated.

Anker has referred to as its answer a Mini Dock, the place others have labelled their equivalent merchandise as Hubs.

There’s no proper or unsuitable label. All of the so-called “hubs” are truly “mini docks”, and in many ways, Anker has the extra correct description.

Anker Thunderbolt 4 mini dock ports

Specifications and contours

The Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock options 4 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 ports – certainly one of which is needed to connect with your laptop.

Anker is a charging specialist, and the mini dock’s 85W upstream laptop computer charging is spectacular. Best the a lot more pricey Sonnettech Echo 11 Thunderbolt 4 Dock beats it at 90W. Different hubs differently equivalent in specs to the Anker Mini Dock max out at 60W.

The Anker’s different 3 TB4 ports can fee hooked up gadgets at 15W each and every, however there’s a catch as the full exterior energy provide is relatively low at 100W.

That signifies that in case you are charging a laptop computer at 85W, the utmost left to concurrently fee different hooked up gadgets is 15W – so it’s conceivable that handiest one of the vital different 3 TB4 ports can also be absolutely powering its instrument.

Actually, you will be the usage of all 3 of the to be had ports handiest infrequently and the 85W energy on your laptop computer shall be an important to you. However a better wattage exterior energy provide would were preferred. The Caldigit Thunderbolt 4 Part Hub, for instance, boasts a 150W provide to energy its different 3 TB4 and 4 10Gbps USB-A ports.

Excluding energy, the 3 to be had TB4 ports can be utilized for all kinds of connection probabilities.

The most obvious alternatives are for quick SSDs that may make the most of the 40Gbps bandwidth to supply a super-speedy data-transfer price.

It lives as much as its mini dock standing by means of additionally providing you the danger to attach as much as two exterior presentations.

Those may just connect without delay if the displays characteristic a USB-C port. In the event that they don’t, you’ll want an adapter for both HDMI or DisplayPort. Those adapters aren’t integrated, despite the fact that it does send with a 2.3ft Thunderbolt 4 cable to connect with your laptop computer or pill.

The Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports improve connecting a unmarried observe in as much as 8K at 30Hz, or to twin presentations each and every in as much as 4K at 60Hz.

Apple’s newest M1-based MacBooks helps just a unmarried show. Intel-based Macs are advantageous with two.

Maximum, however now not all, TB4 hubs come with an old-school however fast USB-A port at 10Gbps, and the Anker mini dock has one at its entrance.

At the again, along side the 3 TB4 ports and gear slot is a at hand on/off button. Anker contains this kind of on its better PowerExpand Thunderbolt 3 dock, and we adore the power to show the hub/dock off on the finish of the day. Leaving a laptop computer plugged in will in the end degrade its battery.

Anker Thunderbolt 4 mini dock

Design and construct

Compact (124-x-72-24mm) and light-weight (224g) it may well be, however issue within the exterior energy provide and the Anker Mini Dock isn’t too transportable – from an in-the-pocket viewpoint.

Its case is corrugated aluminium, and it seems excellent subsequent to even the best-looking laptop computer.

Along the USB-A port at the entrance is the laptop-connecting TB4 port. We might have most popular this on the again because it’s much less obvious there – could also be swapped for the Energy button.

Worth

At $199 or £199 the Anker Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock is priced on the most sensible finish in comparison to equivalent TB4 hubs. The Caldigit Part Hub has the similar value in the United Kingdom (despite the fact that, at $229, is costlier in america) however boasts 3 extra 10Gbps USB-A ports. The Anker wins on laptop computer charging, however the Caldigit aces it on overall energy provide.

The OWC Thunderbolt Hub is less expensive at $189/£139 and is flippantly matched on the whole lot except for for the 85W energy and on/off button.

Verdict

The Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock beats different equivalent Thunderbolt 4 hubs with its 85W laptop-charging energy (in comparison to 60W somewhere else). That mentioned, its overall 100W exterior energy provide feels a bit mild given the prospective 67.5W energy drain if all of the ports required charging concurrently.

We additionally love the Energy button that additional units it aside from the pack.

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