Super Charge your productivity without sacrificing desk space.
I do not think that I am the only person that harbors a love-hate relationship with dongles, especially after watching the hilarious Apple Dongle video. Even though my new MacBook Pro 15″ came with four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports and a headphone out port, I could not help but feel that the box was missing parts. As examples, you will not find a USB-A/3.0 port, a display port, VGA port, HDMI port, or Ethernet port on the latest devices. Instead, you will need to purchase a variety of USB-C adapters (USB-C to VGA, USB-C to Digital AV, USB-C to USB-A Adapter, USB-C Flash Drive, USB-C to 3.5mm), specialized USB-C cables (USB-C to 3.5mm Rockstar as an example), or USB-C hubs. As each of the above options can run anywhere from $10-70+ dollars, a USB-C hub with a variety of output ports makes more financial sense. One of my favorite companies, Kensington, may have that special device you are looking for, with the Kensington SD2400T Thunderbolt 3 Nano Dock with Power Delivery. The only negative feature I found was the lack of a cool catchy name.
The Kensington SD2400T device arrived in an 8 3/4 inches long by 4 3/4 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches tall white cardboard box. Along the top of the box, the company included a 6 1/4 inches long by 3 3/8 inches tall product sticker label. The company name was present along the top left, followed by the product model SD2400T, and then a hexalingual description of the product (English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish). Along the middle of the sticker, you will find an SKU barcode, several of the product manufacturing labels, and the multi-national addresses. The remainder of the box was devoid of markings/writing. I cut the lower tape and lifted the lid of the outer cardboard. The first thing that I noticed was a 4 1/16 inches square by 1 7/16 inches tall black box with grey Kensington logo across the cover panel, and a grey 1/16 inches wide surrounding border. I removed the brick from within the white cardboard cutout and set it aside. Hidden beneath the main layer, I found several goodies. First, I found a ziplock bag with a ten-panel instruction manual, warranty pamphlet, and FCC statement. Next, I found an individually bagged 28 inches long USB-C to USB-C. Third, I found an individually bagged 37 inches long Type B wall plug to AC adaptor. Lastly, I found an individually wrapped 5 5/8 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide by 1 3/16 inches thick power brick. The brick had an AC adaptor input port on one side that would accommodate the AC power cable noted above. On the other end, you will find a 61 inches long power plug for the Kensington Dock.
I absolutely loved the design of the power block. The company allowed the dock to have a degree of portability by adding the detachable cable. The non detachable cable had a sleek ninety-degree bend with a long neck section, which will reduce damage to the cable from bending/tugging. On the surface of the power brick, you will find the LITEON name, PA-1131-72 model number, 100-240 V/2.5A 50-60Hz input, 20V/6.75A output, and many of the standard product manufacturing labels. Before plugging in the device, I removed the thin outer plastic shell. Starting with the Kensington logo in a readable orientation, the panel facing me had a 3.5mm jack with a headphone logo, a USB-C data/power port, and a 5V/1.5A BC 1.2 USB-3.1 data/power port capable of 5Gbps data transfer. Rotating the dock clockwise ninety degrees, I found the 3/8 inches diameter power button. At first, this orientation seemed odd. My brain wanted the power button to be aligned with the Kensington name. However, along the bottom of the dock, you will find four predrilled screw holes that will accommodate a separately sold monitor mounting plate (K33959WW). In that orientation, the Kensington logo will face backward and the main ports will face upward. Rotating the device another ninety degrees, you will find the DC 20V input port, a 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB-A/USB 3.0/USB 2.0 data ports, two display port adaptors, and a thunderbolt 3 data/power port. Lastly, rotating the device another ninety degrees, you will find ports for the Microsaver 2.0 Keyed laptop lock and for the NanoSaver Keyed Laptop Lock (both sold separately).
The color scheme and design of the Kensington hub proved to be quite sexy. I loved the sleek, shimmering satin black finish, and honestly did not mind that it attracted dust and fingerprints. I appreciated the convenience of using the dock as a desktop multi-port or the option to mount the device to a wall or to the surface under your desk. I was able to use my display to HDMI cable and my display/HDMI adapter to output my MacBook Pro to my computer monitor. I was able to plug two of my 1TB portable hard drives and I was able to add, delete, modify, and move information from one place to another. Using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test 5GB transfer data size, I found the write/read speed to show 105.3 MB/s and 103.8MB/s respectively. I repeated the test with a second 1TB hard drive and found the same data each time. Changing the data size to 1GB, I found the same 105.6MB/s and 106.8 MB/s write/read data speeds. I was able to transfer a 46GB Digital file from one of the hard drives to the other in just at 10 minutes. Even though the max USB-C transfer rate is 5Gb/s (640MB/s), it is important to note that these speeds are typically not available for most commercial portable hard drives because they set a max speed of about 100 MB/s. My data support the same findings as those discussed on the Macworld “How Fast is USB 3.0 Really?” website. The ability to plug in three separate 1TB drives was quite convenient. Additionally, I loved that I could plug my USB-A options into the Kensington dock and other USB-C devices into my MacBook Pro directly. Similar to a power strip or surge protector, I loved that I gained all the port real estate at only the expense of 1 of the ports on my MacBook. Through a single USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port, I could output my screen and manage all three of the 1 TB hard drives.
I was pleased with the 135W power supply and found that my MacBook charged at a brisk pace. The 135W system was powerful enough to charge my iphone via USB-C to lightning cable and to power three USB-A Toshiba Hard Drives. As noted above, the Kensington SD2400T provides an enhanced MacBook user experience without taking up too much desk space. I loved the black box, silver/grey font, the white Kensington logo along the cover, and the layout of the ports. The device was easy to set up and required essentially no tech knowhow. Plug the power brick into a standard wall outlet, and then the adaptor end into the Kensington dock. Once the power cable is connected, press the small power button and enjoy access to the two display ports, thunderbolt 3 output port, ethernet, and dual USB-A/3.0/2.0 ports on the main side. On the opposite side, you can access the USB 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps port and a USB-C port. I liked the option to wall mount vs. table mount. I loved the portability of the charging brick and the detachable cable and the freedom/expanded capabilities offered by the Kensington dock. Although some may think this device to be on the pricier side, you will gain more function than you realize.