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OWC USB-C Mini Travel Dock for Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C Macs such as 2016/2017 MacBook Pro, 2017 iMac 5K

2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro users now have a solution for reducing the number of dongles to carry to just one device for common needs in the about $50 OWC USB-C Mini Travel Dock.

  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Standard-A) Ports
  • USB-C Auxiliary Power Port (up to 60W)
  • SD Card Reader (UHS-II)
  • HDMI 2.0 Port Supports 4K display resolution – up to 4096 x 2160 at 30Hz
  • Available in 4 colors
  • 2 Year OWC Limited Warranty
  • Any type C power adapter up to 100 watts can be connected to the Mini Travel Dock.

Fitting easily into a small purse or back or moderate-size pocket, the OWC USB-C Travel Dock solves two key needs that I have when working in the field: USB-A port support (for a backup drive), and an SD card slot (for downloading image). Although I am still using a 2015 MacBook Pro, when I ultimately move to newer model, this will be a critical accessory.

See also OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock and OWC USB-C Dock for Apple MacBook.

OWC USB-C Mini Travel Dock

Greg H writes:

Love OWC products, and have been buying from them for years. You won’t get anything but praise from me for them.

But I did want to share an alternative dock option that is sleeker and more portable: https://www.hypershop.com/collections/usb-type-c/products/hyperdrive-hub-for-usb-c-macbook-pro-13-and-15-2016-2017

I have the single port and double port versions for both my laptops. They work exceedingly well. Just another choice.

MPG: at first it looks like a nice product, but according to my sources it is not a certified Thunderbolt 3 product for Thunderbolt 3 pass-through. Certifying Thunderbolt is an expensive and time consuming process for any conforming product; it is a condition of licensing Thunderbolt.

First issue I see is a dubious claim on 100 watt power pass through. One can try, I suppose. But with no certification, one might have no joy if really intending to use it.

The key issue I see is no strain relief—direct attachment could damage the ports on the MacBook Pro if any torque is applied (such as a modest bump downards or upwards), as well as a too-wide form factor for use in some situations. I'd rather see some cable arrangement for strain relief, rather than a make-pretty direct-attach. If sitting at a desk is always the use case, then AC power is available, and the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock is a far more robust solution. When I have traveled over the years, I never worked at a desk, although that will change now with my photography adventure van. But in prior use, I'm pretty sure I'd damage my ports quickly by inadvertant pressure; even just inserting regular USB plugs weakened the ports and made them sloppy over time.

To which Greg responds:

You hit the nail on the head. Strain relief anywhere but a desk is, I think, the #1 issue. I have used the dock primarily at my hotel desk when traveling. Sometimes on a airplane tray, but I try not to work in planes any more. I don’t take it in the field.

In effect, it is just a super portable dock that takes up as little space and weight as possible. Here at home, I use mostly iMacs, and will be adding the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock [just ordered], for when the new iMac Pro arrives this December. I don’t see these little plug-in docks as effective for an iMac, though, because in an odd way, they are “too big” to just hang off the back. I plan to finally cave and add the NEC, but I want to wait and see just how good—or bad—the display is on the iMac.

MPG:

See also:


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