Looking for a guide price for Thunderbolt docks that might fit with that Acer S5? The Matrox DS1 thunderbolt docking station has just been announced. Breaking out a DVI port, one USB3.0, 2x USB2.0 a Gig-Ethernet port and audio interfaces, it will certainly help reduce clutter. But for $249 is it worth it?
Remember that Thunderbolt is effectively a Display Port and PCI-Express channel in one so it’s slightly different to USB3.0 docking stations like the Toshiba Dynadock USB3.0 (aff.) The screen extends straight off the device GPU in this case rather than having a DisplayLink virtual display that requires CPU load to drive it although this may not provide additional external screen capability. The Ethernet, USB and Audio ports are likely to be PCI-Express-based devices.
It’s difficult to say exactly how this will perform without having hands-on but for $249 we would have expected a bit more than just one display given that 2nd-gen Ultrabooks will support two external displays.
We’ll have a ‘desktop Ultrabook’ article for you in the next few weeks so keep a look out for that if you’re thinking of ways to simplify the hot-desking scenario.