Tags Gigabit Ethernet

OWC’s upcoming MacBook USB-C desktop dock provides 10 ports in one color-matched unit

owc-macbook-desktop-dock

The 12-inch MacBook is the ultimate portable Mac, but that single USB-C port feels a lot less convenient when you want to connect to a bunch of devices at home or in the office. We covered a $79 portable hub yesterday, and now OWC has announced its $129 desktop model, available for pre-order today for delivery in October.

Available in silver, space gray and gold, to match your MacBook, the OWC USB-C Dock provides a total of 10 ports in a unit designed to remain on your desk, allowing you to instantly connect and disconnect via a single USB-C cable … 

Unlike the Hub+, the OWC dock provides Gigabit Ethernet and audio in/out, as well as built-in HDMI, supporting 4K displays.

  • 4 USB 3 Type-A ports
  • 1 USB 3 Type-C port
  • SD card reader
  • HDMI with 4K display support
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Audio in and out ports

OWC claims 11 ports, but includes the connection to the MacBook.

The dock comes with an 80w power supply capable of charging your MacBook as well as all attached USB devices.


Filed under: Mac Tagged: 12-inch MacBook, docking station, Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, MacBook, OWC, OWC USB-C Dock, Secure Digital, Universal Serial Bus, USB-C, USB-C Dock, USB-C hub

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Photo

Ben Lovejoy

June 9th

Apple

Mac

Review: Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter solves the WiFi dead zone problem for the 12-inch MacBook

Kanex USB-C to Ethernet

Adapters for adding thicker ports are nothing new for Apple’s modern line of notebooks. Even the high-end Retina MacBook Pro decidedly excludes a direct Ethernet connection, and Apple’s MacBook Air and new ultrathin 12-inch MacBook are especially too thin for a wired connection to the Internet without relying on an adapter in the middle.

While modern WiFi is fine for most everyday situations, even Apple acknowledges that a wired connection is necessary in some instances. To remedy this, it sells a $29 USB Ethernet Adapter and a faster $29 Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter. The 12-inch MacBook has neither port, however, additionally requiring Apple’s $19 USB-C to USB Adapter to work with the slower adapter.

Fortunately with USB-C being a new industry standard, accessory makers like Kanex are ready with solutions like the $29.95 USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter made for the new 12-inch MacBook and other USB-C computers…

Key Details:

  • Adds gigabit Ethernet to Apple’s 12-inch MacBook
  • Useful for WiFi dead zones
  • Plug-and-play compatibility, no setup required
  • Cable length measures 11.5 inches
  • Available in white like Apple adapters
  • Also works with Google Chromebook Pixel

Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter 8

At first glance you may mistake Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter for some sort of mystical Lightning to Ethernet adapter for iPhones and iPads, but at its core it’s a USB 3.0 dongle with a super thin connector end met with a rather thick brickish end with an Ethernet port.

This is absolutely the first time my MacBook has been connected to a wired Internet connection since it shipped in April. That seems crazy but it’s handy to have a way to connect directly on occassion. Busy work days when streaming a spotty Apple live stream, when on the phone with technical support with my Internet service provider, and if I need to connect to another machine over the Ethernet line to name a few.

Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet

Kanex’s USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet adapter looks very similar to Apple’s own adapters, although the plastic shell is a shade closer to gray than Apple’s bright white cables and adapters; my first thought is that this might combat discoloring over time. The RJ45 end of the adapter is a bit bulkier than Apple’s standard USB adapters, measuring 1.25-inches wide by 2.5-inches long by 0.25 inches thick.

Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter 6 Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter 7

The overall length of Kanex’s USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet adapter measures 11.5-inches in total. In comparison, Apple’s USB Ethernet Adapter measures 8-inches long, or 12.75-inches long when attached to Apple’s USB-C to USB Adapter. The length of your data cable is what’s most important when connecting directly to a router or modem, but Kanex’s adapter lets the RJ45 end hang freely from the USB-C end with flexibility.

Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter 5

While most of the adapter resembles the USB-C Charge Cable bundled with the new MacBook, the RJ45 end of it makes it obvious why the ultra thin notebook doesn’t include an Ethernet port: it’s much thicker than even the thickest part of the entire MacBook. The thickness is comparable to two iPhone 6s stacked.

Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter 3 Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter 2

Not apparent until you see it in action, Kanex’s USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter hides two status indicator lights inside — something you won’t find in either of Apple’s USB Ethernet adapters. Both indicator lights glow soft green when connected. One presumably shows connection in general as it remains solid when connected, although it remained green when I removed the Ethernet cable between the modem and the router. The other indicator light pulses at various speeds based on data transfer speeds. A mostly idle machine shows a slower flash while opening multiple Safari tabs creates a constant flash until all the pages have loaded.

Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Kanex’s USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet works entirely as expected with the only surprise being the green status indicator lights. If flashing lights are too distracting and un-Apple for you, you can pay the premium and buy separate USB-C to USB and USB to Ethernet Adapters, but Kanex’s solution is one of the first available and provides a gigabit ethernet port for the same price that Apple sells its Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

If you’re looking to add access to an RJ45 port on your new MacBook for frequent or occasional use, especially during conference season (and for quickly downloading new software betas), Kanex’s solution is a fine one for a reasonable price. The biggest issue comes when you need to use both ethernet and power, as the MacBook features only one port; a hub-style adapter like Anker revealed this week would be ideal in this instance, although it may be reaching edge-case territory.

Manufacturer:
Kanex
MSRP:
$29.95
Compatibility:
12-inch MacBook

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 12-inch MacBook, 12-inch MacBook accessories, Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, internet, MacBook, MacBook accessories, MacBook Ethernet, MacBook Gigabit Ethernet, USB-C, USB-C adapter, Wi-Fi, wifi

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Photo

Zac Hall

May 23rd

Apple

Mac

Review: $90 Kanex SimpleDock is a beautiful USB 3/Gigabit Ethernet Mac dock, without expensive Thunderbolt

kanex-simpledock

We’ve reviewed a fair bit of Thunderbolt Docks for Mac here and one thing remains constant: The starting prices range well over $200 (Belkin’s can be had for half price $150) and that’s before you buy an expensive $30 Thunderbolt cable. The question is: Do you really need Thunderbolt to have a quality/usable dock for your MacBook? Can you get almost all of what you need just from USB 3?

Kanex sent me their $90 USB 3 SimpleDock a few months ago and I’ve put it through its paces ever since.  The first thing you’ll notice out of the box is that it is made extremely well, looks very ‘Apple’ and is substantial in weight. It doesn’t move when you plug in devices because of that weight and a rubberized bottom. On top, all you’ll see is a space that coincidentally fits an iPhone perfectly with a charger cable hole through the bottom. Around back, you’ll find 3 USB 3 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port as well as a 10W high powered ‘Charge-only’ port.

simpledock_top_wired

So you are getting 3 products in one here: An iOS device quick charger, a USB3->Gigabit Ethernet adapter and 3 port USB 3 hub. The question is: Is the SimpleDock worth the $90?

Taking the 3 things the $90 SimpleDock does by itself, probably not. You can get a pretty amazing 5 port USB charger for $25. Add a nice 4 port USB 3 hub for $30. Then add Apple’s premium Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter for $28 and you have some beer money left over.

But we’re talking about the whole package here. Kanex went out of the way to make a premium product that looks and feels pretty amazing next to a MacBook. It also moves the wires around the back and keeps things organized. Can you put a price on keeping your desk organized and uncluttered? Probably. But for me it comes in way over the $90 Kanex is charging.

IMG_0813 IMG_0814 IMG_0815

In my use, the SimpleDock works as advertized. The Gigabit Ethernet adapter requires a driver install and the USB 3 dock cable could have been a little longer in my estimation.  Other than that, what you see is what you get. The 10W port was able to charge both iPhone and iPad air as quick as native chargers and GigEthernet speeds were on par with other adapters.

As far as featureset, I would have appreciated AUX audio input and output port. Slightly more expensive USB docks often contain this feature while others offer Displaylink monitor adapters. My experience with Displaylink has been poor but an audio port would allow me not to have to plug in my speakers or headphones every time I connect.

On the high end, Belkin has been super-aggressive in pricing its competing Thunderbolt Express Dock which has a bigger featureset. For $150 or $60 more than the SimpleDock, you get a Thunderbolt pass-through port, Firewire 800 legacy support and the much appreciated AUX in and out.  You also get the same Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3 hub but no charging port and you must also have a $30 Thunderbolt cable. And it doesn’t look as good on your desk.

The $90 Kanex SimpleDock is a premium product that looks great next to your MacBook and iOS devices and work just as well. I can recommend it if you want an elegant ‘simple’ solution to plugging in your MacBook.


Filed under: Reviews Tagged: Apple, Gigabit Ethernet, iPhone, Kanex, MacBook, SimpleDock, Universal Serial Bus, USB 3.0

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Photo

Seth Weintraub

March 23rd

Apple

Mac

Sonnet announces 15-port Echo Thunderbolt dock with built-in HDD/SSD & optical drive options

Sonnet-Echo-15-Thunderbolt-dock-station

The much-anticipated Belkin Thunderbolt Dock appears to be delayed once again unfortunately, missing its planned Q1 launch, despite taking pre-orders for the device in February after missing its original September launch date. While we’ve been recommending the popular Matrox Thunderbolt Docking station in the meantime, today Sonnet announced a new competitor in the space with the Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock.

The 15-port dock includes many of the ins and outs you’d expect: Two thunderbolt ports, four USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm audio in and out (front and back), FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, and two eSATA ports. However, there are two features this 15-port Thunderbolt docking station has that most others do not: extra space to install a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA HDD or SSD and your choice of a built-in DVD or Blu-Ray drive:

the Echo 15 Thunderbolt dock has you covered—it includes your choice of DVD±RW drive, or Blu-ray Disc™ player (BD-ROM/8x DVD±RW). If you are a Mac user, you’ll also find that the included Blu-ray player software for OS X® is very handy, enabling you to watch Blu-ray movies on your computer or attached monitor.

The fast 6 Gb/s SATA interface supports an HDD at its maximum speeds, and an SSD at up to 380 MB/s… Best of all, the drive sits inside the Echo dock, so you don’t have to clutter your desk space with an external hard drive and its power brick and cable clutter to add more storage. Don’t feel like adding a drive yourself? Sonnet also offers the Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock equipped with a 2TB HDD, available exclusively through the Sonnet online store.

The Sonnet Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock is available to pre-order now in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico starting at $399 for a DVD drive and no built-in drive. The next model up comes with a built-in 2TB HDD for $499, while a Blu-ray drive and 2TB HDD brings it up to $549. Other options are also available through Sonnet’s website, and most models are expected to ship in Summer 2013.


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Photo

Jordan Kahn

April 4th

Apple

Mac

Sonnet announces 15-port Echo Thunderbolt dock with built-in HDD/SSD & optical drive options

Sonnet-Echo-15-Thunderbolt-dock-station

Unfortunately, the much anticipated Belkin Thunderbolt Dock appears to be delayed once again, missing its planned Q1 launch despite taking preorders for the device back in February after missing its original  September launch date. While we’ve been recommending the popular Matrox Thunderbolt Docking station in the meantime, today Sonnet announced a new competitor in the space with the Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock.

The 15-port dock includes many of the ins and outs you’d expect: Two thunderbolt ports, two USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm audio in and out (front and back), FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, and two eSATA ports. However, two features that this 15-port Thunderbolt docking station has that most others do not, extra space to install a 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA HDD or SSD and your choice of a built-in DVD or Blu-Ray drive:

the Echo 15 Thunderbolt dock has you covered—it includes your choice of DVD±RW drive, or Blu-ray Disc™ player (BD-ROM/8x DVD±RW). If you are a Mac user, you’ll also find that the included Blu-ray player software for OS X® is very handy, enabling you to watch Blu-ray movies on your computer or attached monitor.

The fast 6 Gb/s SATA interface supports an HDD at its maximum speeds, and an SSD at up to 380 MB/s… Best of all, the drive sits inside the Echo dock, so you don’t have to clutter your desk space with an external hard drive and its power brick and cable clutter to add more storage. Don’t feel like adding a drive yourself? Sonnet also offers the Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock equipped with a 2TB HDD, available exclusively through the Sonnet online store.

The Sonnet Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock is available to preorder now in the US, Canada, and Mexico starting at $399 for a DVD drive and no built-in drive. The next model up comes with a built-in 2TB HDD for $499, while a blu-ray drive and 2TB HDD brings it up to $549. Other options are also available through Sonnet’s website, and most models are expected to ship in Summer 2013.


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Photo

Jordan Kahn

April 4th

Apple

Mac

Kanex adds 3 USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet to your MacBook with pocket-sized DualRole

Kanex-MacWorld-2013-02 Kanex-MacWorld-2013-03 Kanex-MacWorld-2013-04 Kanex-MacWorld-2013-05 Kanex-MacWorld-2013 macbook_Kanex-DualRole

We have played with and enjoyed a few products from Kanex in the past, and today the company showed off its latest USB 3.0 charging solution at Macworld with the DualRole. The product is a super lightweight and very portable bus-powered USB3 hub that packs three extra USB 3 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet adapter. That means you’ll be able to add a Gigabit Ethernet adapter to your Retina MacBook Pro or MacBook Air and have an extra three USB ports on hand.

9to5Mac went hands-on with the DualRole today during Macworld, and we definitely want one for ourselves. Anyone who travels knows how nice it is to connect via Ethernet when hotel Wi-Fi gets sketchy, and it’s certainly nice to be able to carry around an additional three USB 3.0 ports in your pocket at the same time. DualRole also provided an optional 5V power adapter to offer a little extra power to the USB ports, and the built-in cable tucks away nicely when not in use. DualRole is selling for $69 through the Kanex website, but it should also land next to the company’s lineup of other solid products on Amazon shortly.


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Photo

Jordan Kahn

January 31st

Apple

Mac

Apple drops prices on refurbished Mac Minis by $50, now start at $469

Mac mini Server mid-2011 (front, left-angled)

From 9to5Toys:

Apple has taken an additional $50 off the refurbished 2011 Mac mini this afternoon on its online Certified Refurbished Store. Apple now offers the Intel Core i5 starting at $469 for the 2.3GHz model with 2GB of RAM. As it does with the entire refurb store, a 1 year warranty is applied just like new models.

Other 9to5toys deals this weekend include:


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Photo

Jake Smith

December 29th

Apple

Mac

Apple drops prices on refurbished Mac Minis by $50, now start at $469

Mac mini Server mid-2011 (front, left-angled)

From 9to5Toys:

Apple has taken an additional $50 off the refurbished 2011 Mac mini this afternoon on its online Certified Refurbished Store. Apple now offers the Intel Core i5 starting at $469 for the 2.3GHz model with 2GB of RAM. As it does with the entire refurb store, a 1 year warranty is applied just like new models.

Other 9to5toys deals this weekend include:


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Photo

Jake Smith

December 29th

Apple

Mac

Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 may lead to boot failure

Thunderbolt-Update thunderbolt_software_update_1_2

Apple released Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 yesterday, but recent reports indicate the update is causing a host of issues for some users.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company said the update “adds support for the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter,” but many have apparently discovered boot failures and other related problems like kernel panics, stalled boot screens, or “unexpected error” notices following installation.

According to threads in a few Apple discussions, the differentiating results all seem to leave Macs unusable. Fortunately, TidBits heard that reinstalling Lion fixes the complication. The website also claimed reinstalling the Mac OS X 10.7.4 Combo Update will remedy the situation.

Go to TidBits for more information on correcting this allegedly faulty software update.

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Photo

Elyse Betters

June 12th

Apple

Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 may lead to boot failure

Thunderbolt-Update thunderbolt_software_update_1_2

Apple released Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 yesterday, but recent reports indicate the update is causing a host of issues for some users.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company said the update “adds support for the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter,” but many have apparently discovered boot failures and other related problems like kernel panics, stalled boot screens, or “unexpected error” notices following installation.

According to threads in a few Apple discussions, the differentiating results all seem to leave Macs unusable. Fortunately, TidBits heard that reinstalling Lion fixes the complication. The website also claimed reinstalling the Mac OS X 10.7.4 Combo Update will remedy the situation.

Go to TidBits for more information on correcting this allegedly faulty software update.

Related articles



Comments Off on Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2 may lead to boot failure

Photo

Elyse Betters

June 12th

Apple
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