The Bottom Line
Earlier this year, Elgato sold its well-known accessory business to Corsair in order to double down on its Eve Home lineup. This effectively makes Corsair the largest vendor in the PC Accessory market as it offers everything from power supplies, cooling, and peripherals adding in an entire lineup of streaming solutions and docks.
With Corsair taking the helm it will take some time to see how things play out. Its unknown what Corsairs vision is for the Elgato lineup, if they continue to push on and innovate with docks and streaming solutions but today, we focus on their first release, the Mini Dock. Thunderbolt 3 has unleashed an entire generation of docking solution with more connectivity options than ever before. While we have seen the peak of these designs with devices like the Akitio Thunder3 Dock Pro with tons of connectivity and 10Gbe, those that have the need for a portable travel solution need not wait any longer.
The Mini Dock has become quite popular in the last few months as several vendors have all launched their solutions around the same time. We have looked at the CalDigit solution in the past coming away impressed at the quality and price point but didn't like the idea of having to order two separate models to gain DP and HDMI functionality. Corsair takes a different route with their solution, opting to include DP 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 in one solution allowing dual 4K60 monitors then pairing that with a single USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.
Compatibility includes Windows 10 along with macOS 10.13 and later. MSRP of the Elgato Mini Dock Thunderbolt 3 comes in at $149.99 with a two-year warranty.
Product packaging is quite nice and keeps with the Apple feel Elgato has used in the past. We have subtle branding on the front and image of the device.
The back offers a legend for device ports along with requirements and compatibility.
Scope of delivery includes the Mini Dock and card that notes the availability of an app for the Elgato Dock.
As mentioned in the into, the Mini Dock offers both HDMI and DisplayPort in one device. Both ports support 4K60 while Corsair does mention this device supports refresh up to 144Hz at lower resolutions. To the right, we find the USB 3.0 port and lastly, the Gigabit Ethernet.
The Thunderbolt 3 cable is captured within the dock, perfect for traveling and something every portable dock should have.
The Elgato Thunderbolt Utility allows you to safely eject all devices connected to the dock at once.
Performance testing started with the USB 3.0 port. As you can see, we were able to get full speed out of it using an SSD, 422 MB/s read and 413 MB/s write.
Moving over to the Gigabit ethernet port, we ran the Elgato through our standard testing. Looking at the chart, we found it to be a very consistent holding 949 Mbps throughout the length of testing. For comparison, we have the Caldigit solution that did 952 Mbps.
The Mini Dock from Elgato/Corsair enjoys an amazing level of build quality. The plastics feel great and fit together perfectly, and the components used internally are top notch. That said the only downside I found was the captured Thunderbolt 3 cable being too short, for notebooks it would likely be perfect keeping the dock close by but for those that want a small for factor dock for their iMac or Desktop PC, cable length leaves the dock hanging by the port.
Performance was as expected with the Thunderbolt 3 connection. Top notch USB 3.0 performance furthered by solid gigabit ethernet. As for monitors, I was able to connect my 4K60 TV to this dock and push pixels over to it without any issues. As for the 144Hz claim, I was unable to test this right now as I don't keep a supply of gaming monitors in-house, maybe later?
In closing, I'm torn between the amazing pricing of the Caldigit at $119.99 for their Mini Dock, and the overall functionality at a slightly higher price point with this Elgato Mini Dock. That said, my gut feeling is the Elgato is my number one choice just for its flexibility and if you need two HDMI later on you can always run a DP to HDMI adapter.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: Corsair shines with the Elgato Mini Dock, its first solution since taking over the ship. Its simply the most flexible, high performance solution currently on the market.
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