New Matrox DS1 Dock For Macbooks Uses Thunderbolt

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 3, 2012 - 11:08 PM |
Tagged: computex, thunderbolt, Matrox, macbook, dock, apple

Matrox has recently launched a new Thunderbolt dock aimed at adding desktop peripherals to Apple Macbooks and Ultrabooks. The dock connects via a single Thunderbolt cable (it does require a separate power source as well) and provides one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a DVI video output, audio in/out jacks, and a Gigabit LAN port. It will be available for purchase in September with an MSRP of $249 USD.

Matrox has released a new laptop dock called the Matrox DS1 that is designed to pair with Thunderbolt-equipped notebooks and provide several additional connectivity options. The aluminum chassis is reminiscent of a slimmer WD My Book drive because of the book like shape. The front of the DS1 dock is a Thunderbolt input and status LED. On the back of the dock is a DVI output, three USB ports (one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0), microphone input, headphone output, and a Gigabit LAN port. To the far right is a DC power input which means that the dock is a bit less portable than I would like but it is not clear how big of a “wall wart” it will come with.

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The company has stated that the aluminum case should protect the dock in just about every use case, and the additional IO certainly adds much needed connectivity to Ultrabooks where available ports are at a premium. Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for Matrox, Alberto Cieri, has been quoted by Apple Insider in stating “The new Matrox DS1 docking station easily enables the creation of an ergonomic workspace and brings much-needed expandability for printers, scanners, storage, smartphones, optical drives, cameras, flash drives, and other peripherals.”

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The Matrox DS1 will be shown off at Computex 2012 this week in Taipei, Taiwan at Intel’s booth (M0410 in the Nangang Exhibition Hall). After that, it will be shown off at WWDC in San Fransico and Infocomm in Las Vegas on June 12th and June 13th to June 15th respectively. In September of this year it will be available for purchase with an MSRP of $249 USD.

Situations like this are where Thunderbolt really shines, and I would not be surprised to see companies outfitting employees with Ultrabooks for mobile use and a larger monitor and peripherals for in-office use (eschewing a separate desktop machine altogether). The price, especially considering Thunderbolt cables themselves are expensive is going to be the most limiting factor for docks like these despite their usefulness.

Editor's Note: Although Tim didn't mention it, one kind of interesting drawback is that this device does NOT include a Thunderbolt pass through, basically preventing users from taking advantage of the daisy-chain capability TB can offer via a single port / connections on the laptop or computer.

June 4, 2012 | 01:16 AM - Posted by Jeff (not verified)

No Thunderbolt pass through makes this less useful.

June 4, 2012 | 01:21 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah, that is a good point, especially since this is 250 bucks. It's just an option though, I know that there are some docks coming out this year that do have pass-through capability but I'm guessing that's going to add even more to the cost.

June 4, 2012 | 01:53 AM - Posted by Arb1 (not verified)

Well 250$ is way to much for what you get. Thunderbolt atm is way to costly for most people to even consider using.

June 4, 2012 | 02:51 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah, but all thunderbolt devices are expensive, this is pretty cheap relative to the other docks. I definitely don't see home users adopting TB stuff until it comes down in price, USB 3.0 is much cheaper and is what home users will use. People with corporate expense accounts on the other hand.. ;)

June 4, 2012 | 07:03 AM - Posted by troopertj (not verified)

It will be interstesting to see if some manufacturer builds an x16 pcie slot into one or maybe a new TB graphics accelerator interface (highly doubtfull).

June 4, 2012 | 07:59 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Well there is that MSI Thunderbolt dock but it's really only for lower power PCIe discreet cards.

June 4, 2012 | 02:55 PM - Posted by genomad (not verified)

No Optical audio out, and no firewire == deal breaker

June 5, 2012 | 12:11 AM - Posted by Mark Harry (not verified)

This won't be relevant for 2 years. I just went from usb 2 to 3 for an external hard drive. It was like going from a cow grazing in a pasture to a lightening bolt, pun intended. This stuff just isn't worth this kind of money.

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