Welcome to the amazing StarTech Thunderbolt 2 4K Docking Station!

Welcome to the amazing StarTech Thunderbolt 2 4K Docking Station!

I can’t wait to tell you all about this incredible device. With its Thunderbolt 2 technology, this docking station will completely transform your computer experience.

Imagine having the power to connect all your essential peripherals to your computer with just one cable. No more hassle of plugging and unplugging multiple cables every time you want to switch devices. With the Thunderbolt 2 4K Docking Station, you can easily connect your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other devices, all through a single Thunderbolt 2 cable.

But that’s not all! This docking station doesn’t just give you convenience, it also offers unparalleled speed. With Thunderbolt 2 technology, you’ll experience lightning-fast data transfer rates, allowing you to move files and stream media at incredible speeds. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can transfer your photos, videos, and other large files.

Not only does the Thunderbolt 2 4K Docking Station provide lightning-fast speeds, but it also supports 4K Ultra HD resolution. This means you can enjoy crystal-clear, high-resolution visuals on your connected monitor or TV. Whether you’re watching movies, editing photos, or playing games, the Thunderbolt 2 4K Docking Station will deliver stunning graphics like never before.

Furthermore, this docking station is incredibly versatile. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows devices, so no matter what computer you have, you can enjoy all the benefits this docking station has to offer.

In conclusion, the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 4K Docking Station is a game-changer. It simplifies your workstation setup, provides lightning-fast speeds, supports 4K Ultra HD resolution, and is compatible with both Mac and Windows devices. Say goodbye to cable clutter and hello to a whole new level of productivity and enjoyment. You won’t believe the difference this docking station will make in your computer experience. Get ready to elevate your work and entertainment to new heights with the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 4K Docking Station!

Hey there! Guess what? Apple and Google recently introduced this new USB-C thing to the market. It’s a fancy type of port that can do a lot more than the old ones. But don’t worry, Thunderbolt isn’t going anywhere any time soon. You see, Thunderbolt 2 is still pretty awesome. It’s got faster speed, the ability to connect multiple devices, and it works with all sorts of cool stuff.

Now, one of the coolest things about Thunderbolt is these things called docking stations. They’re like magic little boxes that let you hook up your Mac or PC to all kinds of cool stuff, like screens and speakers and storage devices. It’s like having a whole entertainment system right at your fingertips with just one connection.

In the past, we’ve checked out a bunch of Thunderbolt docking stations, including some that work with Thunderbolt 2. And let me tell you, the latest one from a company called StarTech is really something special. These guys make all kinds of cool gadgets, and their Thunderbolt 2 4K Docking Station is one of the best when it comes to options and style.

We spent a few weeks testing out the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock with different Macs and devices, and I have to say, it was pretty great. It worked like a charm, didn’t make any noise (seriously, it was completely silent!), and it even had some ports that are hard to find on other docks. The only downside is the price, but we’ll talk more about that later.

What’s in the Box and How It Looks

Okay, so get this. A lot of Thunderbolt products used to skimp on giving you a cable. And let me tell you, those cables can be super expensive, sometimes even costing as much as $50! But luckily, the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock comes with everything you need. You’ve got the dock itself, a power adapter, cords for different types of plugs (North America, United Kingdom, and European Union), and to top it all off, a 1-meter Thunderbolt cable. It’s like a little gift box just waiting for you to open it.

As soon as you open the package, you’ll notice that the StarTech dock has a familiar design, reminiscent of the pre-2013 “Tower” Mac Pro. It’s made of aluminum that has the same color and texture as most of Apple’s Macs (except for the glossy black Mac Pro and the new gold and space gray 12-inch MacBooks). The dock has an intriguing “encased” design, with an outer layer that wraps around the main dock. This not only gives it some height on your desk, but also gives it a distinctive appearance.

Just like other Thunderbolt docks, most of the ports can be found at the back. However, for your convenience, there is a USB 3.0 port and a 3.5mm headphone/speaker jack at the front of the device that you can easily access. On the back, there is also a Kensington lock slot to help you keep your dock secure in public or shared areas. To add to its appeal, the dock is adorned with recessed vents on either side and features slim rubber feet to prevent it from sliding around or leaving scratches on your desk.

When it comes to size, the dock takes up a little more space on your desk compared to its competitors, measuring 9.2 inches wide, 1.5 inches tall, and 3.2 inches deep. However, its sleek design is so attractive that you probably won’t mind, unless you have very limited space.

Technical Specifications

The StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock boasts an impressive array of ports, including some that are unique to this device:

2 x Thunderbolt 2
1 x HDMI 1.4
4 x USB 3.0 5Gbps (3 ports at the back, 1 “fast-charge” port at the front)
1 x eSATA 6Gbps
1 x Toslink optical audio
1 x 3.5mm audio input (at the back)
1 x 3.5mm audio output (at the front)
1 x Gigabit Ethernet

Everything worked perfectly with all the ports, and the optical audio port was especially useful because I could easily send 5.1 surround sound straight to my home theater system. It made listening to music and watching movies on the big speakers a real treat. The only other Thunderbolt dock I know that has optical audio out is the Sonnet Echo 15, but it still hasn’t come out even though it was announced three years ago. If your display or TV supports it, you can also send audio through HDMI.

Now, let’s talk about displays. This is where things can get a bit confusing, and it’s a common issue with many Thunderbolt docks. Connecting a single display is simple, whether you use HDMI or Thunderbolt/DisplayPort. I had no problem connecting a Dell U2415 (1920×1200), Dell P2715Q (3840×2160), Samsung U28D590D (3840×2160), or an Apple Thunderbolt Display (2560×1440). However, it gets tricky when you want to connect two displays at the same time.

So here’s the deal: the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock can definitely support multiple displays, but there’s a catch. One of those displays has to be connected via Thunderbolt. And when I say Thunderbolt, I don’t mean Mini DisplayPort. I mean Thunderbolt. This means you’ll be limited to using Apple’s Thunderbolt Display or one of the few third-party Thunderbolt monitors currently on the market.

If you have one of your displays connected via Thunderbolt, then you can add a second display via HDMI with a maximum resolution of 4K (3840×2160). However, there’s a downside. Due to the limitations of the HDMI 1.4 specification, you’ll be stuck with a refresh rate of 30Hz on that 4K display. If you want a more acceptable 60Hz refresh rate, you’ll need to stick with a resolution of 2560×1440 or lower.

We tested this setup by connecting our 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display to the dock’s second Thunderbolt 2 port, and our Samsung U28D590D 4K display to the dock’s HDMI port. We were able to get the correct resolution on both displays, although the Samsung was limited to 30Hz. However, when we switched the HDMI connection to the 1920×1200 Dell U2415, we got a perfect 1200p output at 60Hz.

Now, it’s important to note that this limitation isn’t a flaw in the StarTech Dock. It’s actually a limitation of the Thunderbolt chipset that is present in some form on all consumer docks. So, when you’re looking to purchase a dock, make sure you read the technical specifications to ensure it meets your needs for multiple displays.

How to Use

In the early days, Thunderbolt Docks had some performance issues and bugs as manufacturers ironed out the kinks in this new technology. Fortunately, we haven’t seen any of those issues recently. And as I mentioned earlier, the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock performed exactly as expected.

When I tested the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock, I found that the audio quality through the 3.5mm ports was excellent, with no distortion. The USB 3.0 speeds were on par with the MacBook Pro’s native USB interface. I also had no issues connecting my Western Digital MyBook Studio eSATA drive. The dock’s Thunderbolt ports allowed me to daisy-chain storage arrays without any noticeable slowdown.

Although Thunderbolt is more commonly found on Macs, StarTech claims that this dock is compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. Since I didn’t have a Windows PC with Thunderbolt support, I used Boot Camp on my MacBook Pro to run Windows 8.1 and was able to detect the dock after a quick Windows Update. Overall, I was impressed with the performance of the dock and its various ports and interfaces.


The major drawback of the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock is its price, which is currently $329.99. Compared to other popular Thunderbolt 2 docks, it is about $30 more expensive. The Sonnet Echo 15 is even pricier at $599, but it offers additional features like a Blu-ray optical drive and support for internal hard drives.

Update: StarTech is offering significant discounts on the Thunderbolt 2 Dock through its retail partners, such as Amazon, NewEgg, and CDW. The dock is currently priced around $250-$270 on these platforms. If you can get it at one of these reduced prices, it becomes a more appealing option.

So why should you consider paying more for the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock? One reason is its optical audio capability. If you work with audio and require clean optical audio output, this dock is currently the only option available. It also has a professional-looking design, which sets it apart from its competitors.

If you need eSATA support, the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 2 is $130 cheaper and offers two eSATA ports, but you lose one USB 3.0 port. Alternatively, if you require multiple USB 3.0 ports, the OWC dock provides five of them (though two are on the side) for about $80 less than the StarTech.


In conclusion, I highly recommend the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dock for its design, versatility, and performance. However, if you don’t need optical audio or at least four USB ports and eSATA, there are cheaper options available. If the dock included FireWire support, it would be the perfect choice for professionals with legacy storage devices. Keep in mind that the dock may be available at significantly reduced prices from StarTech’s retail partners. If you’re interested in the dock and its unique features, you can purchase it from the StarTech website or from retailers like Amazon, NewEgg, CDW, Rakuten, or PCM. StarTech offers free lifetime technical support and a two-year warranty for this product.

Leave a Comment

Do not miss this experience!

Ask us any questions

Get in touch