Price (RRP): $359
The ATEN UH7230 Thunderbolt 3 Multiport Dock is its first foray into the world of Thunderbolt 3 docks.
Not surprisingly, the ATEN UH7230 does everything that the leading players like Belkin, Kensington and OWC et al. do.
I am not saying that to disparage the ATEN UH7230 in any way – Standards for Thunderbolt 3 for Mac and PC means at a minimum –
- One Display Port
- One Thunderbolt 3 downstream port for a monitor (and daisy-chaining to other monitors)
- One Thunderbolt 3 upstream with PD 85W to MacBook or Windows laptop
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 2 x USB-A
- 1 x USB-C
- 3.5mm AV in and AV out
All wrapped up in a 22m x 8 x 2.5cm brushed aluminium enclosure. In fact, all these Thunderbolt 3 docks use a similar reference design as the others and same Liteon 20V/8.5A (170W) power brick that is heavier than the dock!
We set out to see what sets the ATEN UH7230 from the pack.
ATEN UH7230 Thunderbolt 3 Multiport Dock with Power Charging
Australian Website here
Price: $359 and from computer supply stores.
Warranty: 2 years
Note: This is a lower cost than its competition for no downside.
While I like all brands, ATEN has a special place for me as I have been using its KVM products since day one in 1979. That is not to imply any bias but to say that for 40 years every ATEN product I have used (and that is lots) has delivered what it promised – functionality, longevity and trouble-free service. You can read our review on its 4 port USB-C sharing switch here.
Perhaps the main difference is that this firmware supports host devices using either Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) or USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps or earlier standards). The latter reduces the functionality to match the bandwidth. For more to help understand Thunderbolt 3, USB-C and everything read our guide here.
External monitor support – 1 x 5K, 2 x 4K or 1080p
The DisplayPort will handle [email protected] (4096×2160).
You can also daisy chain up to five Thunderbolt 3 devices from this port, so we are guessing it is a 20Gbps implementation.
Now, to some degree, 5K and dual monitor support are reliant on your host device. We tested on recent MacBook 13 and Windows (Lenovo Yoga 930 and HP x360 Spectre), and these Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps ports support the laptop screen and two monitors.
Unfortunately, the Huawei MateBook X Pro only supports one external monitor. Like many earlier Thunderbolt 3 implementations, it is only 20Gbps.
Thunderbolt 3 (whether 40/20/10Gbps) must share that bandwidth with all the devices it connects to.
For example, the 2x USB-A and 1 x USB-C are 3.1 Gen 1 and deliver a maximum of 5Gbps and 5V/2.4A each – enough for most USB peripherals and iPhones. So 15Gbps (of the 40Gbps) is allocated to these
We attached a Samsung T5 SSD (SATA 6) via the USB-C port, and it reached 400MBps (maximum theoretical rate 450Mbps). Changing it to the USB-A port also achieved the same rate – excellent.
We attached a Samsung X3 external Thunderbolt SSD, and it achieved 2,700MBps sequential read. When directly connected, it was 3000MBps. The total theoretical speed is 5000MBps, and the dock was driving two screens so its allocating 5Gbps (from the 40).
Summary: No speed significant degradation in connecting USB or Thunderbolt 3 devices to the dock.
GadgetGuy’s take – ATEN UH7230 is terrific value and does it all
Having tested so many Thunderbolt and USB-C docks this it is the equal or better of all tested. And it supports USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 ports.
At $359 it is keenly priced.
But one of the significant advantages is that it frees up your laptop power adaptor and makes it easy to pack and run! It is also terrific for hot-desking laptops with USB-C 3.1 gen 1 or Thunderbolt 3.
Who buys it?
- Anyone with a Mac or PC, Thunderbolt 3 laptop – mandatory
- If you want dual external monitors
- Hot-desk and work share spaces – simple one cable connect