Even though Apple first introduced Thunderbolt 2 nearly a year ago, we haven’t seen much supporting it in the way of peripherals, outside of a hard drive here and there. That isn’t going to stop Belkin, though, updating its desktop Thunderbolt dock for people who need support for the new version.
The new dock will be called the Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD, adding the number “2” and the initialism “HD” to the package, as well as a single HDMI port, which we suspect gives it that HD aspect mentioned in the name.
Aside for that HDMI port, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 2.0 ports here, making it possible to daisy chain if needed, as well as three USB 3.0 ports, one of which is now in a more convenient front location, with the body still in brushed aluminium.
Gigabit Ethernet is also included, as are two headphone ports, with one of the front and one on the back, which sounds like there’s one for speakers and another for headphones and microphone, useful if you plan on using the Thunderbolt dock as an external sound card.
Support for Thunderbolt 2 is also the obvious inclusion, backwards compatible with version 1.0, and providing 20Gbps bandwidth, twice what Thunderbolt 1 can do.
“Belkin’s Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD delivers maximum transfer speeds for creating and editing, and is an exceptionally high performing product that creates a more efficient work environment,” said Aaron Shooter, Product Manager at Belkin Australia and New Zealand.
“The all-in-one solution takes full advantage of the Thunderbolt technology and creates endless possibilities for a consumer’s setup.”
We’re told the new Thunderbolt Dock is PC compatible as well, but it’s worth knowing that Thunderbolt is a rarity on PCs, and this will not bring Thunderbolt to a PC. Rather, you’ll need a Thunderbolt port spare to make this work.
At least Belkin has drivers for Thunderbolt-equipped PCs, so that’s something, and regardless of what you own, Belkin is including a Thunderbolt cable in the box, addressing one of our chief complaints from the last iteration.
Pricing, however, remains the same, and Belkin has let us know that its Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD should be landing in select stockists and Apple stores for $349.95.