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Matrox DS1 Thunderbolt dock review

Thunderbolt lives up to its promise with new ways to expand your Mac

Our Verdict

For

  • Adds USB3 to Thunderbolt Macs
  • Adds extra ports and new ones

Against

  • Costly to add one USB3 port
  • No Thunderbolt pass-through

Thunderbolt is exciting for its bandwidth and the versatility of how it carries data. The latter allows a port to morph into another kind, as with Apple's FireWire and Ethernet adaptors. That same flexibility allows the Matrox DS1 to add a variety of extra ports in one box.

It's designed for MacBooks, so the Thunderbolt port is at the front, with rear cables to downstream devices. It works best with short Thunderbolt cables, but it's awkward with desktop Macs and small desks.

Sitting alongside it is a USB3 port, which 2011 Macs lack. Its speed is limited to 2.5Gbps, not the 5Gbps of which the standard is capable. (But since lots of devices can't take advantage of that peak speed anyway, it's currently something of a moot point.)

More demanding devices might indicate only that USB3 is required, leaving you in the dark about whether they'll perform optimally with the DS1.

On the back are two USB2 ports, analogue audio input and output minijacks, Gigabit Ethernet, and, depending on the version, a singlelink DVI or an HDMI port. Matrox says FireWire is omitted because it's niche nowadays.

Even without it, the DS1 is a desirable yet costly way to make light work of reconnecting multiple devices.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDocking Station
Total Number of USB Ports3
DVI OutYes
Connectivity TechnologyWired
Brand NameMatrox
Device SupportedNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Height32 mm
Width201 mm
Depth91 mm
Compatibility
  • Apple (Thunderbolt enabled) MacBook Air
  • Apple (Thunderbolt enabled) MacBook Pro
  • Apple (Thunderbolt enabled) iMac
  • Apple (Thunderbolt enabled) Mac Mini
ManufacturerMatrox
Product ModelDS1
Product NameDS1 Docking Station
Manufacturer Part NumberDS1/DVI
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.matrox.com
Marketing Information

Today's MacBooks are powerful enough for most corporate users but their cumbersome connectivity makes them inconvenient, and their small screens and keyboards make them uncomfortable to use in the office all day.

The new Matrox DS1 docking station changes everything!

Package Contents
  • DS1 Docking Station
  • Universal power supply with international socket adapters
Host InterfaceThunderbolt
Weight (Approximate)484 g