Epic Thanksgiving Giveaway: MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO!

StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review

StarTech enters the Mini Dock market with two SKUs.

@TylerBernath
Published Thu, Jan 24 2019 10:00 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:57 PM CST
Rating: 77%Manufacturer: StarTech
StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review 99 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 6 IMAGES

Around mid-2018, the Mini Dock became quite popular with CalDigit, Elgato and OWC pushing out their respective solutions. At that time StarTech launched their solution as well and we finally able to get our hands-on one.

Each vendor has their own idea on how to present connectivity in their Mini Dock. With CalDigit, we had either DP or HDMI versions with USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet while Elgato decided to offer DP and HDMI in a single solution paired with USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. StarTech has opted for a similar path to CalDigit offering two SKUs, one with HDMI and the other DisplayPort.

Each of these units do have USB 3.0 and gigabit ethernet. For components, StarTech has deployed the JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller; this is a dual port 40Gbps chip paired with Intel i210 gigabit Ethernet and ASMedia1042A USB 3.0 controllers. The Parade PS176 converts the Thunderbolt DP 1.2 video signal to HDMI while the Texas Instruments TPS65983 controls the orientation detection of the TypeC connection.

Compatibility includes Windows and macOS Operating systems with a Thunderbolt 3 Port. MSRP of the StarTech Mini Dock with HDMI comes in at $182.99 while the DisplayPort version comes in at $163.99. Both have a three-year warranty.

StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review 02 | TweakTown.com

The packaging doesn't stray from the white and yellow of past StarTech boxes. We have an image of the dock on the bottom right with features listed to the left.

StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review 03 | TweakTown.com

The dock itself features a rounded corner design with captured Thunderbolt 3 cable. Ports include dual HDMI, USB 3.0 and 2.0 followed by gigabit ethernet,

StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review 04 | TweakTown.com

The bottom offers a model number and rubber feet for the dock.

StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review 05 | TweakTown.com

Testing performance of the dock, I used our M2X Enclosure with NVMe SSD. The USB 3.0 ports were able to reach 348 MB/s read, and 278 MB/s write.

StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock Review 06 | TweakTown.com

Gigabit Ethernet performance was a touch under the CalDigit solution holding steady at 949MBps.

The StarTech solution is a bit tricky, build quality is ample, and the design components included shows no corners were cut. The captured Thunderbolt 3 cable is a bit too short for my own use case but would certainly keep it close by your MacBook/NoteBook PC.

Performance is on par with competing solutions, in fact, the StarTech has nearly identical numbers to the CalDigit unit tested mid-2018. USB 3.0 performance reached 348 MB/s read. Ethernet performance was top notch, thanks to the use of the Intel i210 controller, reaching and holding 949 Mbps throughout testing. Last, we have the HDMI ports, which I can say pushed 4k60 without issue.

After all of that, the only legit downside to the StarTech is price. With the design on the unit being identical to the Caldigit HDMI model, which happens to come in at $139.99, a full $40 US cheaper than the TB3DKM2HD tested here today.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

Performance80%
Quality80%
Features75%
Value71%
Overall77%

The Bottom Line: Offering two SKUs, StarTech has the performance and connectivity options covered, albeit a bit more expensive than competing soltuions.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

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.

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles