Thunderbolt 3 has been around for some time now and is the preferred choice by so many media professionals. Its data transfer speeds might reach 2.8GB/s but, more importantly, Thunderbolt 3 can be daisy chained and its 40Gbps speeds allow countless different methods of port transfer simultaneously. Because of this, the concept of external docks allows much more in a regular office than one might expect. Myself, as I look to my left, I have an external dock connected to my work laptop and have a keyboard, mouse, webcam, media microphone, 4K monitor, 1oGbps data connection, and speakers connected to that. Its a simple plug and unplug of one Tbt3 USB-C cable when I am on my way.
On the bench today is the newest HYPER HyperDrive GEN2 Thunderbolt 3 16-Port Dock which adds a bit and accomplishes yet another purpose for our specific needs. It provides an added benefit not often seen through external docks… high speed SD and microSD card readers.
The HYPER HyperDrive is constructed of a solid aluminum ribbed chassis and is metal all around, with a very premium look and feel. On the front, we have SD 4.0 UHS-II microSD and SD card readers capable of data transfer speeds up to 312MB/s and each capable of SDHC/SDXC cards up to 2TB. To the right of these readers is a USB QC 3.0 port for charging only which supports Quick Charge 2.0/3.0 5V/9V and 12V, as well as two Type A and a Type C USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports cable of transfer speeds up to 10Gbps…or 1GB/s. On the front, there is also a LED and 3.5mm audio jack.
On the back (below), we have a coaxial input, TOSLINK, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 5Gbps ports, a DC 180W adapter port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, Display Port 1.4 and yet another USB 3.0 5Gbps port. Of the two Tbt3 ports, the one on the left is fully capable of charging laptops while in use up to an 85W power draw, and the Tbt3 port on the right is also DP 1.4.
The HYPER HyperDrive Gen 2 is capable of 8K and 4K video or a triple monitor 4K setup. Our needs are just a bit different. Connected, we have one Tbt3 cable to the PC and another daisy chained to a ProGrade Digital CFExpress Card Reader. On the front, the SD and microSD slots are in constant use as well and the charger is constantly charging any one of my smartphones. The USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps port is connected to an external M.2 card reader which allows my working with any number of M.2 SSDs up to speeds of 1Gb/s.
The functionality of the HYPER HyperDrive GEN2 is one of the most advanced we have seen from any external dock to date. Quite frankly, incorporate a CFExpress card reader into this and it is media perfection…but we might suffice with a second DP or even a HDMI port. Both are totally unnecessary of course but would be nice-to-haves.
Checking Amazon, we are seeing only the former USB Type-C version available at this time but check below for availability from Amazon, or go to the Hyper Shop directly where you will find it priced at $299.