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SONNET Echo Express 15 Thunderbolt Dock!


Luke Wheldon
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It looks absolutely awesome... but it's a bit pricey.

 

I'm wanting to add a few extra ports to how I'm working as a data wrangler (I'm primarily an Editor) and this Echo 15 looks like it may be twisting my arm. However, the price tag had me searching for other solutions. I found one other dock that had USB 3.0, eSATA, Thunderbolt & FW. That was the Akito Thunderbolt Dock (with a couple less USB 3.0) and there's not much in the price difference. If I was to chose from these two the winner would be the Sonnet for sure.

 

I thought about it and tried searching a little more... keeping in mind that I still own an Echo ExpressCard Pro, which connects via Thunderbolt. I use this mainly with an eSATA adapter. I tried to find a cheaper solution (we're all about saving money and we know it!) and I found this... the Elgato Thunderbolt Dock. It has 2 Thunderbolt ports, 3 USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet and it's less than half of the price. I know it doesn't have eSATA but... I have a question (at last, I got to the point!):

 

If I connect my Echo ExpressCard into the spare Thunderbolt port of the Elgato (thus giving me eSATA connectivity) will transfer speeds be massively different compared to the Express 15? or does adding that ExpressCard screw things up a little?

 

Overall, my suggested solution won't be a tidy little box like the Echo 15 is but it should be a cheaper alternative right?

 

Am I being naive or should I just shut up, bite the bullet and get an Echo 15?

 

 

Any help or insight would be great. Help a newbie out...

 

 

Thanks guys.

 

 

Links:

 

SONNET

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echo15prothunderboltdock.html

 

AKITO

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Akitio-Thunderbolt-Computer-Docking-Multilink/dp/B00INMUTUS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1409246154&sr=8-2&keywords=Akitio+Thunder+Dock

 

ELGATO

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Elgato-Thunderbolt-Dock-Apple-MacBook/dp/B00HWR3XGW

 

ECHO EXPRESSCARD

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sonnet-Echo-ExpressCard-Thunderbolt-Adapter/dp/B0080MQJJ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1409249810&sr=1-1&keywords=echo+expresscard

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Bite the bullet dude, you don't want unreliable kit. Nor do you want to spend 5 extra minutes per day packing something. Time is life!

I'm usually using the belkin or a three card pci chassis. But I've to say that Akito looks totally dope indeed, mostly if bus powered and actually with a good performance. I want two! Only thing missing, to me, is the ethernet. But that's rarely used by a data wrangler and an easy add on.

The sonnet looks too huge and clunky, personally.

They do, however, fluctuate a lot in performance from one to the other. Do research a lot before buying.

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Thanks, John.

 

I thought it'd have to come to that.

 

The disc drive on the top of the Echo 15 is ugly and quite unnecessary, but the fact that it fits an internal drive is handy.

 

The Akitio is beginning to creep ahead after reading reviews - http://www.macintouch.com/reviews/thunderdock/

 

The Echo 15 has been on hold for a year due to the release of Thunderbolt 2 and is supposedly set to be on sale this summer (or so they say). There are a lot of angry customers surrounding this product and obviously there are no reviews as of yet.

 

...Akitio WINS!

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Hello Folks,

 

Happy to be here.

 

Anybody find one of these expansion doohickees with more than one usable Tbolt2 port? If it has two and you use one to connect to the computer then you have not gained any. The one free replaces the one you used on the computer.

 

I am really looking for a Tbolt2 hub.

 

Thanks,

Robert A. Ober

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Hello Folks,

 

Happy to be here.

 

Anybody find one of these expansion doohickees with more than one usable Tbolt2 port? If it has two and you use one to connect to the computer then you have not gained any. The one free replaces the one you used on the computer.

 

I am really looking for a Tbolt2 hub.

 

Thanks,

Robert A. Ober

There is no such thing as a tbolt hub. At best, on the computer side a port is multiplexed resulting in two ports instead of one, although it remains a 4x PCIE lane at a physical level. The extra port on the device is meant to allow daisychaining. And, to be honest, you don't really want to daisychain two bandwidth hungry devices on the same port as the performance drops real fast.

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