OWC’s Thunderbolt 3 docking station offers several unique features

“OWC has made a name for itself with high quality accessories and upgrades for your Mac,” Andrew O’Hara writes for iDownloadBlog. “Their vision of the Thunderbolt 3 docking station is well thought out, making it one of the few to offer an SD card reader, Firewire 800, and a headset jack.”

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock is a docking station that works over the updated Thunderbolt 3 spec to offer everything you need through a single cable. The idea is you can sit down at your desk, plug in the dock, and have access to a card reader, a monitor, any additional hard drives, and ethernet,” O’Hara writes. “It is a much better workflow than plugging in several different things and purchasing a variety of different adapters.”

“If you have one of the new MacBook Pros, it can provide up to 60 watts of power through the same cable. That means you can tuck your Apple charger in your bag, and save it for on the go. Unfortunately that means it will do full speed for the smaller machines, but can’t do the full 87 watts of the 15″ MacBook Pro,” O’Hara writes. “With more and more options for a great Thunderbolt 3 dock, it is harder for companies to differentiate themselves. Somehow, OWC managed several unique features that we don’t see a lot in other models. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock has just started shipping, and you are able to pick up your own in space grey or silver right now from Amazon for $299.”

Much more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: For those whose MacBook does double duty on the desktop, a quality docking station is key!


  1. I have one of their older Thunderbolt 2 Docks for my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) and love it. I have an external monitor, ethernet, 128 GB thumb drive for Parallels (occasional use of Windows 8.1), and a pair of OWC’s USB Drive Docks for use as a RAID 5 drive for some ongoing data processing. That still leaves a a couple USB and FW ports open when needed. Nice performance, very reliable and convenient.

  2. In actuality there are some very odd choices made by OWC. We waited nearly a year at our company to get or hands on this thing. We finally get them, while there are a couple of nice features, BUT overall it is quite poorly executed. Starting with the baffling choice of adding FIREWIRE 800!?! How about an hdmi port??? How about 3 thunderbolt 3 ports?

    Every morning, I connect the dock to my 2017 13” TB Pro and wait for the screens to finally light up, then when for rendering to catch up. The I attempt to get to any internal network resource, nope. Have to unplug and replug the Ethernet cable EVERY time. It’s like a horrid, long, slow dance to get to work. The device claims two 4k monitors, but only has w thunderbolt 3 ports, so if you want to monitors, hope that they daisy chain, or else it’s now also having to go from a one cable $300 ‘solution’, to now having to use power cord as well. (Not a huge deal if it was maybe a $150 device.)

    I am sure this is great for people who believe these ports should be on the laptop…(if you use FireWire 800 and consider yourself a pro, you may want to reconsider calling yourself pro. If it’s an external drive, it is too old and untrustworthy. You should be running a SAN or NAS at the very least) but the dock is mostly a fail for offices. I am still waiting on a decently designed dock for these beautiful laptops. Apple was far ahead of the game on USB C, perhaps a bit too far ahead.

    I love OWC for almost all products, but this one is still half baked.

    1. I don’t understand many of your complaints.

      OWC offers a more comprehensive bunch of ports than just about any other Thunderbolt 3 dock. Adding even more will only make the unit bigger and more expensive, which will push prospective users to cheaper docks. Tradeoffs OWC made were very good in my opinion.

      I still use Firewire 800 for several legacy external drives. They are still useful — they are faster than cloud services and they just work. I don’t know why you think you need to go on a pro label tantrum. One could just as easily criticize you for not being a pro because you only have a 13″ screen on your laptop.

      Apple gives you 1 to 3 additional USB-C/TB3 ports and you can daisy chain devices on those ports, so OWC would not have added any value for you to have extras. It’s not like the 13″ MBP is a graphics powerhouse anyway. It’s beginning to sound like Apple in its quest for paper thin laptops will force you to use external GPUs to drive serious desktop monitors from laptops in the near future.

      HDMI is a horrible & expensive connection and I am glad that it was not offered in this box. There is zero reason to send audio signals to a video display.

      Not sure what the deal is with your issues on startup, but please do tell us what you find out. Could it be that the issue is Apple’s fault, given that it has a CEO who has publicly stated that he doesn’t understand why everyone can’t just use iPads? The idiots running the show in Cupertino don’t know what Ethernet is anymore, I doubt they put much effort even thinking about making docks work quickly. This is a team that cares more about connector size and chassis thickness than total system performance in a Pro device, you see.

      OWC customer service will help you, they are awesome. I don’t know if I can say the same about Apple anymore. Fewer and fewer people in Apple stores have deep knowledge of Macs. And without question, the 2016 MacBook Pro is a half baked device that prioritizes fashion over substance.

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