OWC Thunderbolt Hub – Review of the OWC Thunderbolt Hub Design And Hardware

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OWC Thunderbolt Hub review is what you would be expecting below. For the first time ever. The OWC Thunderbolt Hub would let you consolidate and simplify the connectivity between all your devices with all the Thunderbolt ports you’ve always wanted. The OWC Thunderbolt Hub’s four Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports and one USD port massively expand your connection possibilities. Now, you can choose to do more, effortlessly on your Apple M1 Mac. Any Apple ‘Intel’ Mac with Thunderbolt 3, or any Thunderbolt 4 PC.

OWC Thunderbolt Hub

OWC Thunderbolt Hub Price And Availability

At the time of writing the OWC Thunderbolt Hub has been made available for pre-order at macsales.com for $149 (€166,98). However, the first production would run of this product was so popular that it sold out almost immediately. And the next batch won’t be shipping until May.

Hopefully, OWC can better balance the production output in other to demand this hub soon.

Design

Not every user needs a docking station that supports every peripheral that they ever owned connected simultaneously. But the curious choices that laptop designers can make about including ports can be very frustrating.

That’s precisely the niche that the OWC Thunderbolt Hub hopes to occupy. As it would provide means of expanding the port potential of any machine with Thunderbolt ¾ or USB-C 4.0 technology.

Currently, Apple hardware does not support the Thunderbolt 4 is only available for other PC brands. The device is not a large device, as a matter of fact, it is 11.8cm wide and 7.3cm deep. But conversely, the 5.5A PSU that gives it power is much larger than the Hub, being over 15cm long.

More Review of the OWC Thunderbolt Hub Design

At the front, the Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) connection is created to connect the computer for both data transfers and charging (up to 60W). And a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-A port with a much higher power charging.

The rear possesses three more Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports. That is enabling the Hub in other to support multiple monitors via cable adapters in other to Cascade down to Thunderbolt 3 or 4 devices. Apple even makes a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, enabling even older technology to support this hardware.

For Those not yet briefed on Thunderbolt 4, it is very similar to thunderbolt 3 but adds enhanced video and bat options. USB 4.0 compliance, Intel VT-d based DMA protection for connected storage. And up to four downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports.

In the context of the OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub, it enables the connection of one 8K display at 30Hz or two 4K displays at up to 60Hz via a thundering display or a USB C display adapter.

To get that extended Functionality requires that the host system has Thunderbolt 4 Hub. It enables the connection of one 8k display at 30Hz or two 4K displays that is up to 60Hz via a Thunderbolt display or a USB-C display adapter.

In other to get extended functionality requires that the host system has Thunderbolt 4. But the Hub would happily work with Thunderbolt 3 or USB 4.0 ports if available.

Hardware

With the Bandwidth to an external device unchanged from thunderbolt 3, that found most interesting about this design. And a potential weakness is the power distribution. The Hub is accommodated with a chunky PSU that would deliver 5.5A at 20V. Which works out to 110W in other to distribute between devices that are connected. The connection can provide up to 60W, leaving 50W that is divided between the other four ports.

All the Thunderbolt 4.0 ports can hand down 15W and the USB 3.2 Gen 2 7.5W, so there is a minor oversubscription, but not enough in other to cause a problem. A more significant issue is that many of the higher specification laptops that we have seen recently and would need 85W or 87W to charge quickly by being used, and the 60W here would not be enough to cause a problem, hopefully.

A more significant issue is that many of the higher specification laptops that we have recently need 85W or 87W to charge quickly by the used, and the user, and the 60W here is not enough. If the host system is heavily being used and being charged by the Hub, there is a possibility that the power that is stored in the battery might go down, not up.

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