Tiny, super-stylish ultraportable laptops lack two things: ports and storage. So a new generation of docks is packing both of them at the same time. Sabrent’s latest Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C dock can handle dual monitors, up to 96 watts of power delivery, full-sized SD cards, and — depending on which version you buy — up to sixteen terabytes of external SSD storage. The only thing more shocking than the capacity is the price: a cool $2900. Holy crap.
Of course, not everyone needs that much storage and/or has three grand to spend on an accessory. So the same model comes in 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB capacities, for $500, $649, and $1300, respectively. All that dough gets you two additional USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, three USB-a 3.2 ports, a DisplayPort, um, port, full-sized Ethernet, dedicated headphone and microphone jacks, and a UHS-II SD card reader.
If you’re balking at those prices, consider that they actually aren’t that crazy. At the time of writing, an 8TB M.2 SSD is going for $1100-$1400 on Amazon, meaning you can buy Sabrent’s 8TB dock and basically get all those ports for free. Assuming you can even find one outside of an industrial catalog, a 16TB SSD from Sabrent will cost you more than $3000 on its own — other brands will cost you even more. On paper, the dock is a bargain!
Of course, it becomes less of a deal when you think about the practicalities of the situation. It’s not as if you can install the Sabrent dock in a laptop or desktop like normal storage (not without a Dremel tool and duct tape, anyway), and the listing doesn’t say exactly how the storage is laid out inside. So if you’re after a deal, you might crack open the casing to find a pair of 8TB drives hard-soldered to a circuit board.
While this combination of ports and storage might be exactly what a few extremely particular customers are looking for, most will be better served by buying external drives and docks separately. If you’re in the market, why not check out our roundup of the best Thunderbolt docks?