There are many reasons why ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 stands as one of the best Thunderbolt 3 docks in the market. It is fast, powerful, and offers seamless connectivity to your favorite peripheral all day long.
The dock is best for Thinkpad mobile workstations and boasts some great port selection within the unit. The device further focuses on solving the double cable issue that is evident in most mobile workstations.
Taking a deep insight into the ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2
TB3 Docking technology
This is the first docking station from Lenovo that is uses the TB3 (Thunderbolt 3) docking technology. So, you don’t need to worry about mechanical docks or separate connectors to your workstation any more.
This technology also ensures the compatibility of the docks to all the connected machines. So, with one dock and you are good to go.
The Double cable availability
Lenovo has specifically come up with a double cable idea for this standard device. It means that both the ends of the cables will sport a connector-one for the TB3 and the other one for power.
So, you need not buy separate cables to ensure power supply and connection with the docking station at the same time. Well, that’s not it as the cable is designed quite amazingly to facilitate the accurate position of the ports.
There are times when you may find this single cable a bit insubstantial( due to power delivery issues). Still, many find it better than using separate cables for the same process.
Availability of Ports
This dock is a sure shot winner in terms of selection of ports. Besides, the user can power on the system by simply tapping on the power button placed at the top.
So, you don’t need to open the lid to establish the connection. Simply plug the cable and tap on the power button.
Speaking of the ports, the front plate has three ports:
• USB 3.1 Type-A port
• USB 3.1 Type C port
• Headphone jack
On the left side, you will find the Kensington lock port. Discussing the Back part of the dock, you will find the majority of ports like:
• 230W input, for the pass-through power connection
• 65W input, for the power for the dock itself
• Power/TB3 output with a special cable
• 4x USB 3.1 Type-A ports
• 2x DisplayPort
• 2x HDMI
Power availability for Mobile workstations
It’s a known fact that Mobile workstations demand more power than standard laptops (Ultrabooks). The ThinkPad P1 and ThinkPad X1 Extreme require a 135W power adapter while the ThinkPad P52 demands a 170W power adapter.
Similarly, the ThinkPad P72 demands a huge 230W power adapter. Now here comes the biggest downsides of this TB3 supported dock. The issue here is that the Thunderbolt 3 power delivery standard facilitates a maximum output of 100W via the established TB3 connection. As a result, the docks cannot deliver the required power to Mobile Workstations while utilizing a single TB3 connection.
Let’s say that you are using a standard ThinkPad Thunderbolt dock that can be easily used along with the ThinkPad P52. And the one here is the standard TB3 dock. So, if you establish a connection with a TB3 cable towards the ThinkPad P52, you will not get the required power to the notebook.
Even while all the other functions like displays and else will work, there will still be no power to the notebook. So, you need to bring a separate power cable in use in case the battery power of the notebook is fully exhausted.
This further means that you need to bring two connected cables (and not a single cable) for the given mobile workstation while using the TB3 docks. So, the decision you need to make here is regarding the compatibility and power output from this TB3 dock.
Bottom-line for Thinkpad Thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2
If you recently bought a mobile workstation from Lenovo, using this ThinkPad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 is highly recommended. Besides getting uninterrupted performance, it will be easy to establish the connection between the devices.
Even though you may have to pay a bit extra for this dock, the port selection and other features make it worth the price.