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The CalDigit TS3 Plus comes with everything you need to turn your thin and light notebook into a true desktop powerhouse.

Photo credits : CalDigit

PROS

  • high aesthetic value
  • 15 ports for additional connections
  • A wide range of connections
  • Notebook charging power 87 W
  • Supports two 4K monitors, one 5K monitor
  • An excellent performance for the price

CalDigit TS3 Plus is the ideal docking station for your notebook. With a single Thunderbolt 3 cable, you can turn a single Thunderbolt port on your thin and light laptop into 15 amazing connectivity options. This solves a major problem faced by most Thunderbolt 3 ultraportable laptops.

Thunderbolt 3 has many advantages. More importantly, it allows manufacturers to make thinner, lighter laptops, which is excellent for portability. But it’s worth it. Most manufacturers have now removed the ports we really need. It’s almost becoming the normal new laptop purchase without USB Type A, HDMI, DisplayPort and other legacy connections.

It’s understandable. Thunderbolt 3 supports data, power, and video simultaneously, so it’s literally the only port you need on your laptop. But Thunderbolt 3 is not yet in vogue. Many users still use older devices such as USB hard drives, audio interfaces, HDMI and DP monitors, SD cards and more in their work. This means you need a docking station for your laptop to extend the functionality of your slim laptop. This CalDigit TS3 Plus magazine will help you find the right Notebook Docking Station for your needs.

CalDigit TS3 Plus is the best Thunderbolt 3 docking station you can buy. Apple recommends it for Macs, and it’s one of the few docking stations sold directly from Apple Stores. The TS3 Plus has virtually all the ports you need, including multiple USB-A, USB-C, LAN ports, and an SD card slot. Plus, this docking station has enough power to charge most laptops on the market.

 

Figure Product name Characteristics Control price
CalDigit TS3 Plus Ports: 15
Thunderbolt 3 ports: 2 USB
ports : 7 (2 Type-C)
External Display : Two 4K60 power supplies, one 5K60Hz
: 87WDimensions: 5.15 x 1.57 x 3.87 inches Weight: 1.04 lbs.
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CalDigit TS3 Plus: Version

Photo credits : CalDigit

CalDigit designed the TS3 Plus with MacBooks in mind. The docking station’s interface is the same as that of Mac laptops. You can choose between a grey or silver finish to match the aesthetics of your installation. The assembly is made of metal and has fins on the sides for better heat dissipation and cooling.

CalDigit has done an excellent job of integrating all the ports into an incredibly small package. The TS3 Plus measures 5.15 x 1.57 x 3.87 inches and weighs about a pound, making it a great portable device if you want to take it on the go. However, you will need to find room for a 180-watt power supply. Designed primarily for vertical use, the docking station has two rubber bumpers that allow you to place it horizontally on your desk.

Photo credits : CalDigit

The front panel features a white CalDigit logo, LED status indicator, SD card reader, analog audio input/output, 5 Gbps USB-C port and USB A port (also limited to 5 Gbps). Other ports are on the back, including another 10 Gbps USB-C port, four more 5 Gbps USB-A ports, a DisplayPort 1.2 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a SPDIF port, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports with a maximum power output of 87 W.

That’s 15 connections. This makes the CalDigit TS3 Plus the perfect solution to the problem of limited ports on a thin and light notebook. A docking station, external power supply and Thunderbolt 3 certified cable are included.

CalDigit TS3 Plus: Support for Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4

Is the CalDigit TS3 Plus compatible with the new Thunderbolt 4 laptops? Yes. Although the TS3 Plus is based on the Thunderbolt 3 specification, it will be fully compatible with computers equipped with Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 ports. According to CalDigit, the TS3 Plus offers most of the features of a Thunderbolt 4 dock, compatible with Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 laptops.

Thunderbolt 4 is the new generation of the recently announced Thunderbolt specification. Devices such as laptops and docking stations with the new Thunderbolt specification have been introduced to the market. However, Thunderbolt 4 has not undergone any significant changes from previous versions of the current specification.

Intel has tried to address the shortcomings of the Thunderbolt 3 specification by mandating earlier additions in Thunderbolt 4. This means that if your device already supports the maximum requirements of Thunderbolt 3, like this docking station, then you don’t need Thunderbolt 4. Plus, Thunderbolt 4 is backwards compatible, so it should work with most Tb3 devices.

If you’re buying a Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 laptop, you can be sure it will work well with the CalDigit TS3 Plus.

CalDigit TS3 Plus: Power

Photo credits : CalDigit

It’s no coincidence that the CalDigit TS3 Plus won the award for best Thunderbolt 3 docking station. This dock is a beast in terms of performance. It has the best combination of ports and features that you won’t find in other docking stations. With five USB-A and two USB-C ports, you can easily connect old USB devices and new C-type devices to get the most out of your otherwise limited laptop.

It gets better. CalDigit TS3 Plus supports daisy chaining through a second Thunderbolt 3 port, allowing up to six additional Thunderbolt 3 devices to be connected.

Connect your work laptop to a fast and stable Gigabit Ethernet network and avoid the problems associated with Wi-Fi leaks during a video call. It is also an important asset if you are working on joint projects or using NAS devices in your organization. The benefits of connecting all these devices and ports to your laptop with a single cable cannot be overstated.

CalDigit TS3 Plus can easily convert any configuration and workflow. From the multitasker to the creative and audiophile, the TS3 Plus meets the needs of most professional and heavy industry users. Now you can safely purchase a thin and light laptop that you can take anywhere, and turn it into a real powerhouse once you’re in the office with the CalDigit TS3 Plus.

SD Card Reader. Good addition for creativity

The card reader is correctly installed on the CalDigit TS3 Plus. Most ultra-portable laptops like the MacBook Pro don’t have one these days. This is a great addition, especially for professional and creative photographers. You can spend a day taking photos and videos in the jungle and come back and transfer all the files via the dock to your laptop for editing and retouching.

The SD card reader of the TS3 Plus supports SD 4.0 and UHS-II with a theoretical 312MBps. Transferring the photos or 4K videos of the day shouldn’t take long. However, you must use a compatible SD card to get the most out of it.

Audiophiles will appreciate the analog and digital audio capabilities.

CalDigit is rich in audio inputs and outputs. First, there are separate analog audio input and output jacks for connecting headphones and microphones. Ideal for general use including video calling and gaming. At best, there is a professional S/PDIF optical digital audio port, not often found in most docking stations.

Photo credits : CalDigit

The SPDIF port lets you connect your PC directly to a soundbar, home theater receiver or amplifier to enjoy clear and accurate sound. This is especially interesting for epic games and entertainment installations with surround sound systems. You can hide all cables at the edge of your desktop and run a Thunderbolt 3 cable to your laptop. Better sound, less interference with the cable.

Dual display for multitasking devices

Photo credits : CalDigit

One of the reasons why the Thunderbolt 3 is widely used is that it can support two 4K displays or one 5K display. The TS3 Plus lets you connect two external 4K60 monitors via a second Thunderbolt 3 port and DisplayPort to create more space for better multitasking. When connecting external monitors, do not use USB-C ports as they only support data transfer.

If your monitor has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, such as. B. the BenQ PD3220U (Amazon Link), you can easily connect another 4K monitor to the second Thunderbolt 3 port. You are not required to use DisplayPort.

For monitors other than DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3, you can connect them to the TS3 Plus using a dongle such as Thunderbolt 3 to HDMI/VGA/DVI or DP to HDMI/VGA/DVI. CalDigit recommends using an ACTIVE DisplayPort adapter when converting the DisplayPort signal. It would be more convenient for CalDigit to include an HDMI port.

With the latest M1-based Mac versions (including Mac-mini), you’re limited to an external display via the dock. This has nothing to do with the docking station, but with the limitations of the Apple silicon chip. Mac and Windows PC users with Intel processors can connect up to two 4K displays to the TS3 Plus for a larger, more detailed screen.

Power supply and load

The CalDigit TS3 Plus 87W allows you to easily charge your laptop without the need for additional power supplies or cables. Most thin and light laptops require 60W of power. This makes the TS3 Plus powerful enough for most laptops. It can also charge a 16-inch MacBook Pro at 96W, albeit more slowly, without damaging the Mac.

Connect your computer to the Thunderbolt 3 port and update the Thunderbolt 3 firmware. Computers with old Thunderbolt firmware can only charge up to 85W.

Other USB ports (including USB-C) deliver up to 7.5 watts, which is ideal for charging devices like cell phones and smartphones. Bus-powered USB devices can be connected to these ports and function properly, including the Apple CD/DVD SuperDrive. Only a few doctors can do that. SuperDrive drivers are required.

Last sentence

The CalDigit TS3 Plus comes with everything you need to turn your thin and light notebook into a true desktop powerhouse. It turns a single Thunderbolt 3 port on your laptop into an impressive 15 ports that can greatly expand the functionality of your laptop. The integrated 87 Watt power supply makes it easy to connect a work laptop without having to worry about cables.

There is simply no better alternative on the market to replace the CalDigit TS3 Plus. While I would appreciate an HDMI port for greater compatibility, I can do without the adapter. All in all, it’s a powerful laptop docking station that meets the needs of professionals and advanced users who still want to buy a lightweight, portable laptop.

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