Best Thunderbolt 3 docks for your new Mac with the M1 processor

appleinsider.com
8 min read
fairly easy
Apple announced a series of new Macs running Apple Silicon, but they have limited ports. AppleInsider has gathered the best Thunderbolt 3 docks to pair with your new Mac.
The new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini have only two Thunderbolt 3 ports for charging and connecting peripherals. If you need to connect more to your devices, you'll need a dedicated hub.

The Mac mini has an additional auxiliary jack, Ethernet port, HDMI port, and two USB-A ports, but for some desktop users this still won't be enough.

You can find dozens of docks online, but very few will actually meet an individuals requirements. So it is important to understand why you'd want a dock and what to look for when shopping before even making a purchase.

Read below to find out more about Thunderbolt 3 docks, or skip ahead to the list of docks recommended by AppleInsider.

What does a Thunderbolt 3 dock do?

You'll probably need more than just the two ports on the MacBook Air with an M1 processor

Simply put, a Thunderbolt 3 dock plugs into a Thunderbolt 3 port via USB-C, and in exchange provides a multitude of other connections. Think of it as a USB hub, but instead of simply providing more of the same port, the dock usually includes a selection of commonly-used connections, alongside another Thunderbolt 3-capable port.

This selection typically includes USB Type-A ports, USB-C, video outputs like DisplayPort or HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, and memory card slots. Some models also offer legacy connections, including eSATA, VGA, and occasionally FireWire, which may have limited utility for most users, but could be essential for people with older hardware that simply doesn't support newer variants.

Some Thunderbolt 3 docks offer Power Delivery too, which means your portable Macs will be able to receive power via the dock, as well as power all peripherals without draining the battery. The single cable will attach you to all of your needs without fighting cables or finding outlets.

Even though many docks offer multiple video connections like HDMI and Displayport, your M1 powered Mac can only connect to one external display via Thunderbolt.

Why do I need…
AppleInsider Staff
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