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AKiTiO Thunder Dock Review - eSATA and Firewire for your MacBook Pro

AKiTiO Thunder Dock Review - eSATA and Firewire for your MacBook Pro

AKiTiO is back, adding high performance eSATA and Firewire 800 to your Thunderbolt enabled MacBook. Let's take a look.

Tyler Bernath | Feb 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm CST - 2 mins, 38 secs time to read
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: AKiTiO
VIEW GALLERY - 11 IMAGES

Just a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and purchased the late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina. With the amazingly slim format that is the MBP, it does sacrifice a few connection options. For those that enjoy using your eSATA and Firewire 800 devices, take notice: AKiTiO is aiming to please with their latest product, the Thunder Dock.

The Thunder Dock is a hub that takes the throughput of Thunderbolt and switches it, giving an additional two USB 3.0 ports, two eSATA 6Gb/s ports, and a single bus powered Firewire 800 port. In addition, the Thunder Dock has a second Thunderbolt port, allowing daisy chaining of your devices. Compatibility of the AKiTiO Thunder Dock extends to OS X 10.9+. MSRP is set at $269.99, with a one-year warranty.

AKiTiO Thunder Dock Review - eSATA and Firewire for your MacBook Pro 02 | TweakTown.com

Delivered with the AKiTiO, we have a rather large power adapter, along with reading materials, and a Thunderbolt cable.

AKiTiO Thunder Dock Review - eSATA and Firewire for your MacBook Pro 03 | TweakTown.com

The front edge of the unit houses dual Thunderbolt ports; above, there are two LEDs denoting power and connectivity.

AKiTiO Thunder Dock Review - eSATA and Firewire for your MacBook Pro 04 | TweakTown.com

Moving to the side of the enclosure, we find dual eSATA ports, and each of these are powered by separate SATA controllers.

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The back edge of the AKiTiO has dual USB 3.0 ports, along with the bus powered Firewire 800, and power connection.

AKiTiO Thunder Dock Review - eSATA and Firewire for your MacBook Pro 07 | TweakTown.com

Above, we have the results from our eSATA testing. Utilizing one of our Seagate 600 Pro SSDs, we were able to garner 301 MB/s write, and 380 MB/s read.

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Next up was the USB 3.0. Again using the Seagate 600 Pro, we were able to achieve 204 MB/s write, followed by 284 MB/s read.

AKiTiO Thunder Dock Review - eSATA and Firewire for your MacBook Pro 09 | TweakTown.com

Daisy chaining our AKiTiO Neutrino to the Thunder Dock, we found ourselves with 341 MB/s write, and 499 MB/s read.

The AKiTiO Thunder Dock is one of those devices you don't know you need, until you go to plug in an old storage device, and quickly realize your new MacBook Pro is out of ports. The build quality of the device is rather fitting of a Mac accessory, and blends quite well into the work environment. The only thing that does throw me off is the rather large power brick for the dock.

Performance of the unit was quite good via eSATA, but lacked a little in the USB 3.0 department. However, daisy chaining our Neutrino to the dock gave us great performance. AKiTiO does say that the USB 3.0 ports support UAS in their documentation, so it could be my drives that were slow, but seeing as they were SSDs coming off a fresh secure erase, I'm not completely sold on that idea. At any rate, the performance of the dock in all aspects was great; I love the idea of adding additional storage capabilities to the MBP.

MSRP of the AKiTiO Thunder Dock is set at $269.99, with a one-year warranty.

PRICING: You can find the AKiTiO Thunder Dock for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The AKiTiO Thunder Dock retails for $269.98 at Amazon.

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Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:32 pm CDT

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Tyler Bernath

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Tyler Bernath

Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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