CalDigit, for the longest time, has been one of the most significant players in the Thunderbolt / Apple storage and device market. It's a niche segment that CalDigit and LaCie control pretty easily. Outside of that, we have had several vendors going back and forth with "who has the best Thunderbolt or USB-C Dock," and today, we get a look at CalDigit's latest solution; the USB-C Pro Dock.
I will admit, over the years, I've been impressed with CalDigit solutions, including the TS3 and Mini Docks, but as times change, specific methods of connectivity give way to more flexibility. The Pro Dock aims at this market with Thunderbolt 3 and USB support both via the Type-C connector.
Hardware connectivity in this new solution echoes much of what we found on the TS3 Plus, and they include a 3.5mm headset connection, along with a few 5Gb/s USB 3.2 ports and a single 10Gb/s port. A UHS-II card reader is included along with Gigabit Ethernet and two DP 1.2 ports for connecting additional monitors. The host connection is suited for both USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, with 85W of charging capability.
OS compatibility includes both macOS 10.14 and later along with Windows 10. The MSRP of the CalDigit Dock Pro comes in at $199.99 with a two-year warranty.
The packaging is quite attractive for the Pro Dock. We find an image of the device centered.
The side of the packaging offers a full specification in multiple languages.
Unboxing, we are left with the dock in the middle, power adapter to the left, and Thunderbolt 3 cable to the right.
The front of the Pro Dock offers a single 5Gb/s USB connection next to a 10Gb/s data only USB-C. Further down, we have a UHS-II slot and headset connection.
On the backside, Gigabit ethernet starts things off with two more USB 3.2 5Gb/s connections, followed by the Thunderbolt host port and two DP 1.2 ports.
For testing, I used a 10Gb/s capable portable SSD. Testing the Pro Dock, the front-mounted data only port was able to bring in 825 MB/s read and 789 MB/s write.
Using the same portable SSD with a Type-C cable, we netted 370 MB/s read and 398 MB/s write from the USB 3.2 ports located on the front and back of the Pro Dock.
Last, we gave the UHS-II card reader a test with our SanDisk Extreme Pro. We came away with 273 Mb/s read and 181 Mb/s write.
CalDigit has done a remarkable job on the fit and finish of the Pro Dock, but it is to be expected at this point. Adding to this operation in testing was flawless - no issues with any port and everything performed as intended.
Performance testing of each port went without issue. The data only USB-C port reached the limit of our portable SSD, and the Type-A ports scattered between the front and back all performed the same in testing - 370 MB/s read and 398 MB/s write. The UHS-II port was ready for our SanDisk Extreme Pro card, taking it to 273 MB/s read, which is right at the marketing performance of the memory card.
Testing the DP 1.2 ports, I can say I was only able to test one monitor at 4K60, but both ports were able to push it without issue. The gigabit ethernet hit the typical 949Mbps wall we see with most GBe platforms.
The MSRP of this dock lays right in the middle ground just above the typical $120 price point of USB-C Docks and right below the $250-$275 MSRP of Thunderbolt 3 docks.
CalDigit has put together a rather solid platform offering connectivity like UHS-II not found on some high-end docks, like the 14-port solution from OWC, while matching it port for port the rest of the way.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula X570 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
If you only have $200 to spend and want all the high-end features of more expensive docks, the Pro Dock from CalDigit is my top choice right now.