Thunderbolt 4 is here, as well as Kensington’s first fully powered Thunderbolt 4 docking station. The SD5700T includes a huge 11 ports, 90W power supply and transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps. It provides either one 8K output at 30 Hz or two 4K outputs at 60 Hz.
Make no mistake: This is a fashion dock. It is listed for $ 289.99 on the Kensington website. But if you’re one of those people who uses a complicated desk setup with multiple monitors and peripherals and you have money to spend, this may be a good choice.
If you look at the latest versions of the Thunderbolt 4 laptop, you̵
That doesn’t mean you need an SD5700T – the Thunderbolt 4 ports will still support a cheaper Thunderbolt 3 dock, if you already have one. But I think the SD5700T is worth throwing away if you need more connectivity and appreciate the functionality of the Thunderbolt 4. It basically packs a full home office setup in one very portable box.
The docking station is also compatible with Thunderbolt 3 MacBook, which work with macOS Big Sur. Works great with my 2019 MacBook Pro.
In addition to the aforementioned MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 activated, I used the SD5700T and the Acer Swift 5 with Thunderbolt 4 activated. I’m a person who often has to include more mice, cameras, devices, headphones and other things than my laptops allow, so it works my space is often covered with a mess of dongles and docks. The SD5700T provides much more connectivity than the docks of this size I’ve used in the past, and made my life a lot easier.
With a Thunderbolt cable (included), Kensington 5D5700T owners have access to the following:
- Four Thunderbolt 4 ports (with transfer speeds up to 40Gbps and dual 4K video output)
- Four USB-A ports (one 5V / 1.5A charging port on the front and three Gen 2 @ 10Gbps ports on the back)
- One gigabit Ethernet port
- One audio combo jack
- One UHS-II SD 4.0 card reader
- 90 W power supply (regardless of the number of connected devices)
Obviously, the uses vary, but I really can’t think of anything else that the vast majority of people would need. And remember, that’s not all you get – plugging the docking station into one port frees up the other ports on your laptop that might otherwise be occupied by a charger, monitor adapters and other peripherals.
The SD5700T didn’t require any experience to set it up: I plugged the dock into the wall, turned on all my chances and ends, turned it on, and then connected it to the laptop. And that was it – it just works.
Everything I connected worked well. I did not experience any errors or performance issues. The only thing I would like to see is a way to unhook the dock as a whole with one click. Currently, you need to remove each connected device individually before disconnecting a laptop from the SD5700T, which can cause you problems if you have a bunch of things included. There are third-party applications that can do this, but some companies, such as Corsair, provide disposal utilities optimized for their own docks.
Last observation: This is not a bad looking dock. It has a nice finish that is sleek but unobtrusive – nothing that will stand out on your desk or turn heads in the office. With 0.935 pounds (0.435 kg) and 7.68 x 2.95 x 1.18 inches (195 x 75 x 30 mm), it is also easy to carry if you need to move your workspace. You can put it in a bag or backpack without any problems (although the 180 W brick is a bit bulky).
You can order the Kensington SD5700T now and it will be delivered in the second week of January.
Photos by Monica Chin / The Verge