At a glanceExpert’s Rating
Pros11 fast ports120W built-in power supplyUpstream port at side2.5Gb EthernetConsHDMI means just two downstream TB4 portsFront USB-A port rated USB 2.0HeftyOur Verdict
The OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock is a quality Thunderbolt 4 docking station that boasts 11 top-rated ports. While quite large and heavy, its integrated 120W power supply makes it the most portable fully featured Thunderbolt 4 docking station we’ve tested, and its 2.5Gb Ethernet offers support for super-fast network access and NAS drives.
Best Prices Today: OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock￼
The OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock is a full 11-port Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 docking station that doesn’t require a separate, bulky power supply brick.
With the power supply built into the dock, the whole setup becomes more portable, and OWC is aiming the Thunderbolt Go Dock at professionals on the road for whom a brickless Thunderbolt hub is not enough.
You can connect the Thunderbolt Go to your laptop or tablet to add a bunch of fast ports for a full desktop experience, and then pack in a bag and move to the next job or back to the office or studio.
Thunderbolt 4 (TB4) means you get the latest and fastest 40Gbps bandwidth plus smart device daisy-chaining and super-fast storage connectivity, as well as being backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. TB4 also offers Intel VT-d DMA device protection that you don’t get with all older connectivity standards.
Specs and features
One upstream Thunderbolt 4 port (40Gbps, 90W)Two downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports (40Gbps, 15W)Two USB-A ports (10Gbps, 10W)One USB-A port (480MBps, 7.5W)One USB-C port (10Gbps, 15W)HDMI 2.1 port2.5Gb EthernetUHS-II SD Card reader (320MBps)3.5mm audio jack120W power supply
The OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock has one upstream Thunderbolt 4 port to connect to your laptop or tablet, handily mounted to the side to keep trailing cables out of your way at the front.
Because OWC has included an HDMI port, there are just two downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports to connect other devices, including external displays. These are rated at Thunderbolt 4’s 40Gbps and can charge devices at 15W each. The upstream port can charge a connected laptop at up to 90W, which is enough for most large laptops.
The inclusion of the HDMI 2.1 port makes sense, though, as you will likely want to connect at least one display and, with HDMI on the dock, you won’t need an adapter as you would if you use one of the TB4 ports to connect to a non-USB-C display. You’ll find a lot more HDMI displays than USB-C, so again this is useful when taking the OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock with you between jobs.
If you want to connect more than one display, you can do so directly via the TB4 ports if the monitors have a USB-C connection. If not, you’ll require either a USB-C-to-HDMI or USB-C-to-DisplayPort adapter (not included) to connect to the Thunderbolt ports.
HDMI 2.1 offers incredible potential—technically it supports a single 10K display at 120Hz. Here it will support two 4K displays at 60Hz, or a single 5K or 8K monitor at 60Hz; or one 4K display at 120Hz. Mac users should note that only the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro models introduced in 2023 support 8K displays.
Apple’s plain M1/M2 MacBooks support only one external display—M1/M2 Pro and M1/M2 Max support multiple displays—although there are third-party software and hardware workarounds that allow M1/M2 Macs to connect to more than one external display.
At the front of the docking station are a fast SD card reader (UHS-II, 320MBps), 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack and two USB ports (one a slow 480Mbps 2.0 USB-A, and the other a fast 10Gbps USB-C). The USB-A is there less for data transfer, as for its 7.5W charging—enough to charge a phone.
The SD card reader is handy for inexpensive portable storage. If you prefer microUSB, most of these come with an adapter to fit the wider SD format slot.
At the back, there are two 10Gbps USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) ports that can charge devices at 10W if OWC Dock Ejector software is installed to enable the larger current, as well as the two downstream TB4 ports and the HDMI port.
The Ethernet port is a fast one—rated at 2.5Gb rather than the standard 1Gb (Gigabit). This is useful in fast wired networks and is backwards compatible with more common Gigabit Ethernet networks. Multi-gig Ethernet is becoming more of a feature in Thunderbolt 4 docks; for example, 2.5Gb Ethernet is also included in the Caldigit TS4 dock and the Plugable Thunderbolt 4 & USB4 Quad Display Docking Station.
Super-fast Ethernet is also useful when connecting fast-data-access NAS drives.
In comparison to other fully ported Thunderbolt docks, the OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock has its power supply built in—the others all feature a hefty external power supply, often weighing as much as the dock itself and requiring extra cabling.
At 120W the Thunderbolt Go Dock’s power supply is no match for the 230W of power you get with the Caldigit TS4 or 180W with the Kensington SD5700T, but is close to many other externally powered docks.
90W can be reserved for laptop passthrough charging, leaving plenty for connected devices. See our roundup of the best Thunderbolt 4 docks for comparable products.
Design and build
The OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock is a smart design that looks robust and heat-efficient in an aerated aluminum professional data-center rack aesthetic.
We appreciate the side-mounted upstream TB4 port, which leaves the front ports free to support devices you might want more immediate access to, such as the SD card reader and USB-A charger and the fast USB-C port.
With its built-in power supply, it’s more easily portable than competing Thunderbolt docks. While it means you just need the power cable and no hefty power brick, the dock itself weighs a hefty 2.09lb (950g)—noticeably heavier than the TS4 as 1.41lbs (640g), for example—and larger at 9.5-x-3.5-x-1.4 inches (24.1-x-9.2-x-3.6cm).
Overall, though, the OWC dock is a lighter total package, and much easier to travel with. All you need in terms of cabling it’s the included Thunderbolt 4 cable and two-prong “Figure 8” power cord.
The OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock costs $349.99 or £349.99, which is about average at the premium end—cheaper than the Caldigit TS4 but pricier than the Kensington SD5700T.
Thunderbolt 4 hubs, rather than full docking stations, are cheaper but don’t come with Gigabit Ethernet or card readers as standard. The Caldigit Element Hub is our favorite Thunderbolt 4 hub, as it boasts four TB4 ports plus four 10Gbps USB-A ports, although you’d have to use some of those ports for adapters if you require Ethernet or card readers.
The OWC Thunderbolt Go Dock is a quality Thunderbolt 4 docking station that boasts 11 top-rated ports. Its integrated 120W power supply makes it the most portable fully featured Thunderbolt 4 docking station, and its 2.5Gb Ethernet offers support for super-fast network access.