What's a Thunderbolt 3 and what is it used for?

So, laptop designs have evolved over time, they are becoming slimmer and coming with fewer ports and connectivity options. Unlike the old versions of laptops that come with as many as six ports, latest versions come with very few, making it harder to hook up as many as three or more devices and accessories to a laptop simultaneously.

What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt 3 docks is a hardware interface developed by Intel.it is designed so laptop owners can connect as many devices as they want to their laptop and still enjoy fast data transfer and snappier connectivity. With the Thunderbolt 3, you can transfer data at up to 40Gbps.

Ports available on Thunderbolt 3 Docks

  • HDMI

HDMI is a very popular interface and its also available on Thunderbolt 3. Some brands of Thunderbolt come with as many as 2 HDMI ports. With this, you can connect multiple 4k displays and maybe connect your laptop to your TV.

  • USB-C

USB-C is arguably the most used connection interface in the world, most devices; smartphones, tablets, laptops, Bluetooth speakers, storage devices, external displays make use of USB-C.  Most Thunderbolt Docks come with as many as 3 USB-C ports with different standards.

  • USB-A

The USB-A interface is as popular and widely used as the USB-C interface. It is also a very common port you’d find on most Thunderbolt 3 Docks. USB-A allows you to connect devices like external keyboards, scanners, external Hard Drives, printers, etc. Also, depending on the manufacturers' preference, you can find Thunderbolt 3 Docks with as many as 3-4 USB-A ports.

  • Audio jacks
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Although not very common, there are specific types of Thunderbolt 3 Docks that have both the audio-in and audio-out jacks. These types of Thunderbolts 3 allows you to connect microphones and headphones to your laptop.

  • SD card reader

For those who work with pictures (photographers), this is very useful to them. You can easily copy raw image files from a digital camera to your laptop via a Thunderbolt 3 Dock.

  • Ethernet

So if you are in a place with poor WiFi connection, probably a hotel, a Thunderbolt 3 allows you to connect an Ethernet cable to your laptop without having to disconnect any other accessory.

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