Expanded Opportunities Through Thunderbolt
The IOGEAR QUANTUM Dual Mode Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro arrived in a classy 9 1/4 inches wide by 5 3/4 inches tall by 3 1/4 inches thick white and neon-green retail package. The main panel listed the neon-green QUANTUM name along the top left, the black-font IOGEAR company name along the top right, and “Dual Mode Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro” information just beneath the product name. Along the bottom edge of the cover, you will find four icons that detailed: 1. Thunderbolt. 2. Dual 4K Monitors, 3. 60W Power, 40 Gbps data transfer. The main focal point of the cover was the obliquely-angled, photo-quality image of the Quantum dock. The image provided a crisp image of the grey dock, the iogear logo, and three ports (thunderbolt, USB 3.0 port, microphone/earphone). The top panel provided a vivid color-filled desk scene of a MacBook Pro, iPad, Apple mouse, headphones, portable hard drive, and Apple Magic Trackpad 2. Even though extra colors add to the overall cost of the packaging, I felt that the panel provided the best overview of the product. Personally, I would have liked for the company to rearrange the cover/top panel images. Each of the side panels provided a front/back image of the Quantum Dock. The small images showcased the thunderbolt, USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, microphone/headphone ports on the front panel, and the Ethernet, dual USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB-A ports, dual USB C 3.1 Gen 2 expansion ports, dual Display ports, and power output. Along the bottom of the panels, you will find icons detailing the features of the device: Dual 4K output, 60W power, 40Gbps data transfer, Thunderbolt, Mac, PC compatible, 1-year limited warranty, and the www.iogear.com website address.
The rear panel provided much of the same information as the cover, listing the Quantum name along the top left, the company name along the top right, and providing a quality-sized image of the product along the center. The main difference between the rear panel and the front panel was the orientation of the image. The back panel improved upon the side panels and provided a clearer image of the rear face of the dock (Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB A 3.1, dual USB C, Dual Display ports, power input port). The features (as above), package contents(docking station/AC Power, Quickstart Guide, Warranty Card), and system requirements(Mac OS X Sierra 10.12 or later, Windows 10 or Later, Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C enabled computers or those with USB-C DP alt mode support) were listed in three languages English, French, and Spanish. Along the bottom of the panel, you will find several icons (Thunderbolt, Mac, PC Compatible, 1 Year Warranty) and a multi-lingual description of the USB-C DP Alt-Mode features (Dual Monitors up to 1080P on WIndows and dual 4096×2160 @30Hz mirrored on Mac OS, USB-C DP alt mode enabled computers will run at lower resolutions). Lastly, the lime green bottom panel provided a few product labels, warnings, SKU labels, and company information.
To access the product contents, I slipped the white-colored outer slipcover from the inner lime-green packaging and then lifted the front flap. Resting atop the cardboard cutout, you will find a white “Read Me First” panel and the IOGEAR Quick Start Guide. The warning card had a large stop sign atop the panel, a warning about possible carcinogenic chemicals, listed the www.iogear.com/registration address, provided information about updates/promos/rewards, listed information about the warranty (www.iogear.com/support/warranty), support (firstname.lastname@example.org/866-946-4327 x4862), and a QR code (www.iogear.com and www.iogear.com/support).The multilingual (English/French/Spanish) Quick Start Guide was divided into 7-8 panels. The first panel provided a packing list (GTD737 Dock, Thunderbolt 3 cable, AC power cable, quick start guide, warranty card), and System Requirements (Mac OS X Sierra 10.12 or Later, Windows 10 or Later, Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) enabled computers or those with USB-C DP alt mode support. The second panel provided a labeled ink outline diagram of the front (USB-C Thunderbolt connector to host computer, USB-A port with BC 1.2 fast charging, 3.5mm headphone port), and back (Gigabit Ethernet port, Dual USB-A ports for keyboard, mouse, or other peripherals, Dual USB-C expansion ports for peripherals (data), dual display output ports, and AC adapter input) of the iogear dock. The third panel provided the eight-step hardware installation: 1. Connect the included AC adapter to the port on the docking station 2. Connect a DisplayPort cable from docking station to the external DisplayPort Monitor. 3. Connect a second DisplayPort connection. 4. Connect USB-C peripherals (card reader or hub). 5. Connect USB-A peripherals to the USB-A ports. 6. Connect Ethernet Cable. 7. Connect headphones to 3.5mm port. 8. Turn on the main computer and connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable from laptop to rear of the thunderbolt. Interestingly, the second and fifth panels showed the host computer USB-C Thunderbolt connection on the front panel, whereas the third panel instructed you to connect It to the rear of the port. The fifth panel listed the operation of the Dock and listed the video output parameters. The last two panels detailed the Limited 1-year Warranty, contact information, and FCC compliance information.
Resting beneath the instruction manual, you will find the silver/black 11.3-ounce, 6 5/8 inches long by 3 1/8 inches wide by 1 1/16 inches thick iogear dock. Like the manual’s picture, the front of the dock had a single USB-C port, a USB-A 3.0 port, and a 3.5mm port. The back panel had the ethernet port, dual USB-A ports, dual USB-C ports, dual display ports, and the AC power input port. You will find a chrome iogear logo on the top panel, and on the bottom panel, you will find a 3/8 inches square rubberized foot aaa each of the four corners. Centralized on the lower panel, you will find the IOGEAR name, the product name, GTD737 model number, designed in California, Assembled in Thailand, and a serial number/barcode. I lifted the lower cardboard tray and found a bubble wrap-protected 27 1/2 inches long Thunderbolt 3 cable (USB-C to USB-C). Beneath the cable, you will find a two-part AC power plug. The first section was a 39-inches long Type B prong to three-prong adapter. The second section was a 5 5/8 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide by 1 3/16 inches thick AC adaptor and a 62 1/4 inches long AC adapter cord with a velcro cable management strap. I loved the design of the charging system, the type B prong with a long cable, and the AC adapter block with a long cable. Similar to the Xbox charging brick, the smaller type B wall outlet should plug into any wall outlet or surge protector without causing any need to play cord Tetris. I loved the small footprint of the device, the lower rubberized anti-slip feet, and the layout of the ports. The iogear R&D team truly created a well-thought-out product.
To test the device, I plugged it into power and used the included thunderbolt cable to power my MacBook Pro. Starting at 10:14 PM at 32% power, my MacBook Pro charged to 38% by 10:18, and was up to 58% by 10:44 pm. It continued to charge steadily and was at 80% by 11:05, and fully charged when I checked again at 11:45. I plugged a Toshiba 1TB USB drive into the front USB-A port and opened the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test App. The disk was able to read and write at just over 100 MB/s. I ejected the drive, plugged it into the posterior port, and found the same data transfer rate. I was able to plug a keyboard into the posterior USB-A port, dual display port adaptors (display to HDMI) into the posterior ports, and then plugged the cables into my dual monitor setup. For this test, I only used one of the monitors to play some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles while typing my review. I did not utilize ethernet because my Linksys Velop Mesh network provided a 5GHz connection and was not close enough to my desk to run the ethernet cable. I plugged a pair of 3.5mm earbuds into the 3.5mm port and was able to listen to Apple Music, watch the latest episode of Game Changers on Disney+, and the last episode of Season 1 of Jupiter Rising.
I was pleased with the resolution, the input/output opportunities, and the ease at which the product expanded my productivity. The simple plug-and-play device did not require an App, did not require any downloads, did not require any technical know-how, and simply worked out of the box. My favorite part of the review was the ability to sit back and watch TV/Streaming services while maintaining the ability to complete work assignments from home. I noted minimal lag from the hard drive and found the extra monitor to be quite convenient. The IOGEAR Quantum Dock should allow you to expand your capabilities and improve your productivity.