OWC Thunderbolt Hub review- add multiple USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 ports


OWC’s Thunderbolt Hub hides its modernity with its modest identify. The Thunderbolt in query is the most recent Thunderbolt 4, and could also be USB4 qualified and backwards suitable with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.

All the ones connection requirements use the similar handily reversible port however at other speeds.

Whilst USB-C is generally both 5Gbps or 10Gbps, Thunderbolt 3 and 4 are rated at a fast 40Gbps. For extra at the variations and compatibilities of USB-C and Thunderbolt types, learn our detailed explainer on Thunderbolt 4 vs Thunderbolt 3 vs USB-C.

This Thunderbolt 4 dock works with all of them and will paintings to the quickest spec of any instrument hooked up to it.

OWC Thunderbolt Hub Thunderbolt 4 and USB ports

Specifications and options

Some other advantage of Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 is the facility for docks and hubs to boast as much as 4 such ports – two times as many as was once conceivable with Thunderbolt 3 – because of the hub the use of the most recent Goshenridge chipset.

And the OWC Thunderbolt Hub has 4 T4/USB4 ports – considered one of which connects for your pc or pill.

As an advantage, there’s additionally an old-school USB-A port, at a racy 10Gbps (and 7.5W energy). For those who require extra USB-A ports, take a look at the pricier Caldigit Thunderbolt 4 Part Hub that boasts 4, additionally at 10Gbps.

The OWC hub’s energy provide is rated at 110W, with 60W reserved to fee the hooked up laptop. Each and every T4 port may give 15W of energy. Technically, the hub stocks energy so will dynamically push the facility the place it’s wanted, prioritizing bus-powered drives. So, there is usually a state of affairs the place the 60W of energy supply is decreased to stay bus-powered drives going, however with 110W, this will have to be sufficient to stay the entirety going.

Notice that Apple has at all times used the highest specifications of Thunderbolt 3 however Home windows producers didn’t at all times meet the similar requirements. Home windows customers will subsequently wish to test that their PC is suitable with Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 for it to make use of a T4 hub. A Thunderbolt 3 Home windows PC may paintings however isn’t assured – even supposing it could paintings as a USB-C hub in Home windows.

It’s now not a completely fledged docking station however with a couple of adapters might be used as one. OWC has a Thunderbolt 4 dock within the works, and we’ll assessment that once it’s delivery.

(*4*)

You’ll be able to use the Hub to attach garage akin to speedy SSDs and different equipment, and additionally as much as two 4K presentations at 60Hz – or one 5K/6K/8K. Notice that more recent M1-processor Macs are restricted to only one exterior show. Intel Macs and Home windows laptops can attach to 2.

Thunderbolt 4 docks are on their method (and in our take a look at lab), however sooner than then check out our roundup of the very best USB-C and Thunderbolt docks

One of the most very best issues about Thunderbolt 4 is its skill to sensible daisy chain multiple T4 gadgets. In the past, the chain might be damaged by way of doing away with any however the ultimate instrument within the chain. T4, alternatively, creates unbiased “tree branches” to attach multiple Thunderbolt, USB4, and USB-C bus-powered gadgets.

Additionally at the again, there’s a Kensington Nano slot for anti-theft cabling.

A nil.8m Thunderbolt 4 cable is integrated within the field.

OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub cables

Design and construct

The OWC Thunderbolt Hub is compact in spite of all its ports and weighs 250g. As such it’s a bit heavier than opponents such because the Caldigit Thunderbolt 4 Part Hub and Plugable Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 Hub.

The ability provide will almost certainly rule it out as a conveyable shuttle instrument, even supposing this is smaller and lighter than Caldigit’s mighty 150W energy brick.

The ability provide port is of course behind the hub, and we’d have most popular the pc T4 connection to be hidden away there, too. Nevertheless it’s on the entrance, which makes it more straightforward to disconnect however rather less neat in look at the table.

The USB-A port could also be at the entrance.

Value

To be had most effective direct from OWC at the present time, the Thunderbolt Hub is quite priced at $179 or €157 (about £139; UK shoppers should purchase from the OWC EU Retailer however will nonetheless get it with a UK plug).

That is reasonably slightly inexpensive than Caldigit’s Part Hub, which is $229 or £199, however does boast 3 extra USB-A ports.

Verdict

USB-C and Thunderbolt customers had been difficult a hub or dock with extra T4 ports, and the OWC Thunderbolt Hub delivers with an additional USB-A port thrown in for excellent measure.

The associated fee is the bottom we’ve noticed for this sort of newest Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 hubs.

It may not be a complete docking station however it’s the resolution to these praying for a multi-Thunderbolt connector.

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