Picking the right Thunderbolt dock can be rather tricky. Because you’ve got to balance a bunch of different concerns. How many USB ports do you need on the dock? How many options for video throughput? What kind of resolution support? How about mobile charging feature? You might even want the docking station to be small or portable. Here, we will review the Diamond Multimedia TB3000DS Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station.
There are about a thousand different ways to make a good docking station. Understanding your own needs, present and future, is quite essential to ending up with the station most appropriate for you
Diamond Multimedia TB3000DS Thunderbolt 3 Dock
When you’re comparing the Diamond TB3000DS Thunderbolt 3 Dock to similar docking stations, you’ll probably find the Diamond Thunderbolt 3 dock actually pretty impressive.
For starters, this dock lets you connect from your PC to any other number of USB peripherals. That might include printers, external hard drives, keyboards, and mice. There’s a gigabit Ethernet port to help to move your internet signal through. You’ll also find proper audio input/output ports. And that’s before you’ve even begun to really explore the video options at your disposal.
For video, this station is equipped with a proper HDMI video output, capable of supporting as much as a 4K resolution. You can use the UBS-C interface to connect to a USB-C monitor, as well. With the use of several displays, it’s possible to mirror your screen or otherwise extend your screen in a number of different ways. Basically, the Thunderbolt 3 dock has what most people want in a docking station.
And alongside the option of expansion potential and video output functionality, this docking station is easily one of the most versatile you’ll encounter. So whether or not the TB3000DS will end up being a good station for you personally really depends on what kind of expectations you have from your own equipment.
Design & Layout
Compared to similar docking stations with similar capabilities, the TB3000DS is surprisingly thin and compact. It measures only 3.4 x 1.1 x 9 inches and weighs about a pound. In spite of being so lightweight, the TB3000DS was constructed with a fairly sturdy chassis. It’s certainly very professional-looking, which is the result of a largely sand polished aluminum body with a few finished highlights.
The combination of smaller size and generally lightweight design makes this station rather easy to position above or beneath desk spaces, on narrow counters, and so forth. But this docking station doesn’t actually come with any special mounting hardware or unique mounting opportunities. That’s actually quite typical when compared to similarly equipped stations, though.
The USB I/O
The TB3000DS provides a total of two separate Thunderbolt 3 ports. They’re positioned right next to each other, but only the right-side port can support device charging. It may not bear reminding, but the Thunderbolt 3 ports used on this device will not operate with ordinary USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 connections. Even though they look pretty much the same as any other USB-C port, you need a proper Thunderbolt 3 cable in order to connect with these ports.
In addition to those Thunderbolt ports, you’ll find the front side of the TB3000DS Thunderbolt 3 Dock offers a pair of USB 3.0 Type-A ports. Those would be ideal for flash drives, USB speakers, and USB headsets. If you’re not interested in running your audio through USB, you also have access to a 3.5mm headphone jack. Because its’ a headphone jack, it can carry both microphone and audio signals from a single port, or be used for a simple pair of PC speakers.
In addition to all of those ports, you’ll find there’s also an SD 3.0 card reader slot. True to form, this slot is capable of accommodating a wide range of different SD cards. Even though the addition of an SD card reader is a little easy to overlook, it’s a nice detail that’s just as easy to appreciate if you happen to need to pull data from SD cards.
Finally, turning to the backside of the panel, you’ll find an additional 3 USB ports. This time, you’re dealing with a total of three USB Type-A ports. These ports would probably be most useful for keyboards, mice, and similar peripherals where that don’t necessarily need to be accessed on a regular basis. Because that would leave open the ports on the front portion of the docking station to be available for devices that are recharging, data swapping, and so forth.
As mentioned earlier, the TB3000DS delivers a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports. The dock charges notebooks through the TB3 interface. However, the charge potential you can draw from these ports maxes out at 60W. For most people using an ordinary sized MacBook, notebook, tablet, or laptop, you really shouldn’t find 60W to be limiting. But if you’re running a massive gaming laptop of some kind, then you’re probably going to encounter some issues under limited circumstances.
In addition to all of its USB connections, the back panel of the TB3000DS hides away an RJ-45 and Gigabit Ethernet port. It’s ideal for connecting up with your home network through the docking station. Depending on what kind of monitor you’re using and how your devices are getting internet connectivity, having these ports can actually be essential.
To make things run a bit smoother, Diamond Multimedia included a pair of LEDs on the front side of the station. Those LEDs can let you know if data is being sent or received across the network. Not exactly the most sophisticated diagnosis mechanism, but it can help you determine whether or not your connectivity problem is occurring at the dock or otherwise. And when you’re trying to diagnose an internet connectivity problem, that can certainly save you a couple of minutes.
Who Should Choose the Diamond Multimedia TB3000DS Thunderbolt 3 Dock?
The Diamond TB3000DS Thunderbolt 3 Dock does have quite a bit to offer for people who know precisely what they’re getting into. When you look at video throughput options, you’ll find this station is basically without limits. From legacy ports on through, just about the only thing you won’t find are a couple of DisplayPort options to round things out.
The design of this dock is pretty user-friendly. It sits out in an accessible position. You’re able to interact with the ports on a regular or semi-regular basis.
When it comes to USB connections, the TB3000DS is mostly flawless. The front and back portion of the device offers numerous connection options. You’ll find plenty of spaces for keyboards, mice, webcams, and similar peripherals to connect. And when it comes to charging your stuff, you’ll find the TB3000DS delivers reasonably well, too. At least, within its 60W limit. That’s really a limit that’s going to bother very few people.
Docking stations like these can be pretty expensive. However, the TB3000DS manages to deliver on the essentials. It maintains a price tag that’s pretty much one third of its major competitors. Unless you’re someone who’s actually trying to charge some kind of enormous 19” gaming laptop, you ought to find the TB3000DS very suitable.