StarTech on Thursday announced two new Thunderbolt 3 miniature docking stations that the company made more affordable than existing 4-in-1 docks. The Mini Thunderbolt 3 Docks feature two 4Kp60-capable display outputs, a USB Type-A header, and a Gigabit Ethernet controller.

StarTech’s family of Mini Thunderbolt 3 Docks consists of two models: the TB3DKM2DP with two DisplayPort 1.2 outputs enabled by the TI TPS65983 controller and the TB3DKM2HD with two HDMI 2.0 outputs enabled by the Parade PS176 controller. In addition to display outputs, the mini docks feature one USB 3.0 connector driven by ASMedia’s ASM1042A as well as a GbE header controlled by Intel’s WGI210AT chip.

Unlike higher-end Thunderbolt 3 docking solutions from StarTech and other suppliers like OWC and Promise, the TB3DKM2-series cannot charge notebooks (which means that these laptops will need to use an extra TB3 port for charging). Furthermore, since the mini docks are based on Intel’s Alpine Ridge controllers, it's also worth noting that they only compatible with TB3 host ports and can't fall back for pure USB Type-C hosts.

A clear advantage of StarTech’s Mini Thunderbolt 3 Docks over full-fledged docking stations are their miniature sizes as well as lower prices. Their obvious disadvantages are a limited number of USB-A ports and the lack of a model featuring both DisplayPort and HDMI outputs in the lineup (both limitations are conditioned by BOM and production costs).

StarTech's Mini Thunderbolt 3 Docks at a Glance
Thunderbolt Controller Intel Alpine Ridge JHL6540
  Port 1 × TB3 connector (input)
USB Controller ASMedia ASM1042A
  Port 1 × USB 3.0 Type-A
Ethernet Controller Intel WGI210AT
  Port 1 × GbE port
Display Output Controller Texas Instruments TPS65983 Parade PS176
  Port 2 × DisplayPort 1.2
(up to 4Kp60)
2 × HDMI 2.0
(up to 4Kp60)
MSRP $164 $183
Additional Details Link Link’s Mini Thunderbolt 3 Docks will be available directly from the company as well as from leading retailers like Amazon, CDW, and other. The TB3DKM2DP mini dock with two DisplayPort 1.2 headers costs $122 from Amazon and $164 when bought directly, whereas the TB3DKM2HD with two HDMI 2.0 outputs will be available for $183 in the coming weeks when acquired from the manufacturer.

Related Reading:



View All Comments

  • fred666 - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    Still not worth it over the USB-C only (no thunderbolt) mini hubs. Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    Even though I like the USB-C hubs - like my pluggable one, Thunderbolt beats USB-C hands down - it has 4x the bandwidth. Reply
  • madLyfe - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    possible to run 2 external monitors on a macbook air(2015) from this? seriously asking for a friend :P Reply
  • WithoutWeakness - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    Apple doesn't make a MacBook Air with Thunderbolt 3 ports. Reply
  • HStewart - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    Best choice is to find Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort or HDMI like the following

    You will only need to use a single Thunderbolt port.
  • En1gma - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    it's tb3 not usb-c so no need in additional controllers for dp
    TPS65983 is just "USB Type-C and USB PD Controller, Power Switch, and High-Speed Multiplexer" and i suppose TB3DKM2HD has TPS65983 especially for "USB Type-C ... and High-Speed Multiplexer"
    PS176 is dp to hdmi converter
  • jhoff80 - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    "Furthermore, since the mini docks are based on Intel’s Alpine Ridge controllers, they are not compatible with PCs featuring USB Type-C headers."

    Seriously, when are we going to start seeing Titan Ridge hubs/docks... and more importantly monitors?
  • HStewart - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - link

    I actually purchase one of these docks and had issues with on my XPS 15 2in1 - I was hoping to have it for possible portable solution but the problem is that even though it supply my monitor via Display Port - USB port did not work

    So what I decided to is return this dock to amazon and get the Pluggable USB-C dock - I use this on my less powerful Dell XPS 13 2in1 and Samsung Tab Pro S But on my XPS 15 2in1 - currently I using a Dell TB-16 connected to LG 34U88-B along with USB ports mouse keyboard.

    I am pretty sure that I can run it along with my Samsung 4k monitor - not sure if it can handle 2 4k screen ( 15 2in1 is 4K ) and 34 UltraWide. - but over thunderbolt it could be possible.
  • cerberusss - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    For 219 US$ shipped, get a decent true powered Thunderbolt 3 dock:

    Not shilling, just a customer who is amazed that someone can bring a dock to market with that price.
  • benedict - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    The lack of headphones jack makes all those hubs useless. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now