Belkin Thunderbolt Dock: Expensive paperweight

Posted on by Mike Evans

The Belkin Express Thunderbolt Dock does not work as advertised.

Three weeks ago I received a new dock, plugged it in while staying in Washington DC and immediately found problems. External disks connected to any of the three USB 3.0 ports would unmount illegally after a few hours' inactivity. I suspected a power supply problem and assumed all could be well when I plugged in to a 240-volt supply back home in London.

This was not the case. Although Thunderbolt peripherals remain connected and the Ethernet connection is constant, any USB drive, whether bus-powered or with an independent power supply, will disconnect after a short period. I have tried the dock with two separate Macs and the results are consistent.

The Belkin dock is wholly unreliable and is currently a very expensive paperweight. I have contacted Belkin twice, once from the USA in a round-the-houses and unproductive telephone call and once in writing. I explained that I was writing a review and wished to give the company the opportunity to put their case.

I have been patient. No reply has been received from Belkin UK after eight days, so I am reporting my findings here. I cannot recommend this product until Belkin has sorted such a fundamental problem. If a dock cannot host external drives, just what is it good for?

UPDATE 3 July 2013: I have arranged with Belkin to return the Thunderbolt Express Dock against a cash refund.  As a temporary alternative, while waiting for a new Cinema Display, I have connected a simple four-port Belkin UBS-3 hub which does work properly.

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