Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock review: A solid docking station for creatives

The Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock offers 16 different ports in total, making it a great companion to any laptop or Mac.

If you have a great Thunderbolt 4 laptop that you typically use at your desk, you should consider a Thunderbolt 4 dock for extra connectivity. There are many you can choose from, but you might’ve seen Satechi come up in your search. One of its newest docking solutions is the Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock. Though it is “Pro” in name, it’s similar to other Thunderbolt 4 docks in its $300 price range. This means it is very well-designed and has a lot of ports onboard, including the card readers that creative types (who this dock targets) might need. Best of all, this dock comes with a stand, so you can use it both vertically and horizontally.

It was a pleasure to add this dock to my setup for the two weeks that I had it, even though I had some minor gripes, like that it got too warm for my comfort or that it was a little bulky next to my monitor.

About this review: Satechi provided XDA with the Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock for the purposes of this review and did not have any input into its contents.

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock Recommended Thunderbolt 4 dock8 / 10

The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock is a great Thunderbolt 4 dock. It has 16 ports total, including the SD card readers you might need. It also feels super premium since it’s made of aluminum, and it comes with a stand.

Ports 2x DisplayPort 2x HDMI 2.1 1x Thunderbolt 4 to host 1x USB-C 3.2 10Gbps 3x USB-A 3.2 10Gbps 2x USB-A 3.2 5Gbps 1x USB 2.0 for charging up to 7.5W SD and Micro SD card slots 3.5mm Audio Jack In/Out Ethernet 2.5Gbps Kensington Lock USB Power Delivery Yes, 96W Power supply included Yes, 135W Max display res. 4K @ 120Hz (one monitor); 4K @ 60Hz (multiple monitors) Price $350 Dimensions 7.6 x 4.1 x 1.85 inches Pros

  • Made of aluminum, comes with a rubber stand
  • Supports 120Hz output over single display
  • Has a power button to turn the dock off
  • Provides 96W of charging for your laptop

Cons

  • A bit bulky and heavy
  • Can get warm when using multiple displays with it

$350 at Satechi

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock: Pricing and availability

The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock launched in June 2023, but its availability is still a bit scarce. You’ll only find it at Satechi.com for $350. We expect it to become available at Amazon or Best Buy eventually, but it could take a while.

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$350 is a lot to pay for a dock, but it’s not uncommon. Thunderbolt 4 docks are always expensive. One of the closest competitors to this dock is the Kensington SD5780T which costs $330. Even something like the CalDigit TS4 costs around $400.

Design and build quality

Made of aluminum and super premium

When shopping for a Thunderbolt 4 dock, you might come across some that are made of plastic. However, if you’re spending this kind of money, you should get something that feels premium. The good news here is that the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock is exactly that. It feels like it’s worth the $350 you shelled out for it.

This docking station has sleek curved edges and is made of space-gray aluminum on the front and sides. The back, however, is plastic. I have some slight concerns about this; the finish is shiny, so it might end up getting scratched. I’m also worried about the dock’s cooling. I noticed it got warm when I loaded it up and connected peripherals to 8 out of the 16 ports. All that aluminum does seem to warm up quickly.

This is also one big dock. It measures 7.64 inches high, is 1.85 inches thick, and weighs 1.53 pounds. Usually, I like to tuck a docking station next to my monitor vertically, but with this dock being so tall, it just looked distracting in my peripheral vision. And since it’s thick, I had trouble fitting it where I wanted. I ended up lying it flat.

Versatile design

That said, you can use it horizontally or vertically. It comes with a sturdy rubber stand, so you can stand it up, or you can lay it flat on its rubber feet. I had no issues with the dock sliding around on my desk in either position. Note there is also a Kensington lock on the bottom, so you can use it in enterprise scenarios where things are often locked down or mounted in place.

The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro feels like it’s worth the $350 you shelled out for it.

Another plus here is the power button. You can turn it off when not in use to save energy. There’s a tiny LED light on the top to let you know when the dock is not in use. If you’ve connected it to a Mac, you can even use that power button to power on your Mac from a rest state, though it won’t work in the other direction.

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Ports and connectivity

Everything you might need

Sure, the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock is large, but it comes with everything you’ll need. In total, you get 16 ports, though one of those ports goes to your laptop to provide 96W of power and a signal. You also get a Thunderbolt cable included that’s 2 feet 8 inches long. The dock is completely driverless and works with almost any device, including a Chromebook. But if that device doesn’t have Thunderbolt, it will function as a USB-C docking station with a “limit to the host device capabilities,” according to Satechi. That doesn’t matter much, though, since you’ll still get nearly every essential port.

Not all Thunderbolt docks have it, but the front of the dock has UHS-II SD and microSD card slots, which were especially useful for getting photos off my camera. My tests showed speeds maxed out at 312Mbps. That’s in addition to the USB-A .3.0 port (10Gbps), a standard USB-A 2.0 port, an audio jack, and the output cable to your laptop. The front USB-A 2.0 port can be used to charge phones and tablets at up to 7.5W, which is perfect for powering up my iPhone. It’s also pretty nifty that the connection to the host is on the front of the dock. It makes cable management a lot easier.

However, the real party is on the back. There are a lot of ports here that creators who need legacy ports might want, including two sets of DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1. The rear of the dock has the 20V power connector (it’s to an annoyingly large 13W power brick), but you’ll also find an Ethernet port, a data-only USB-C 3.2 port (10Gbps), two data-only USB-A 3.2 ports (10Gbps), and two USB-A 3.2 (5Gbps) ports here. HDMI 2.1 is a huge plus since many new monitors are using the new standard, but it’s a bummer that none of the USB-A ports on the back support charging for high-power accessories like a CD reader.

Since I mainly used this dock with my Windows laptop, I connected it with two displays. Windows supports Multi-Stream Transport, so the dock is able to extend these screens with the caveat of it being limited to a 4K resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. The dock supports four total monitors, with another caveat that your main laptop display has to be disabled. With a single DisplayPort connection, though, I managed to seamlessly use my Dell monitor, which hits 4K at a 120Hz refresh rate.

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Sure, the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock is large, but it comes with everything you’ll need.

This dock also works with macOS devices, though I found on my M1 Mac Mini that it only would connect to one external display at 4K and 60Hz. You can only connect up to two external displays at 4K and 60Hz with the M1 Pro, M1 Max, M2 Pro, and M2 Max MacBook Pro. Per Satechi, this is due to limits on the Apple silicon; Macs only support Single Stream Transport, outputting video in extended mode to two screens only while mirroring the other.

I would have liked for the USB-C 3.2 port on the back to be on the front instead since it would make connecting a USB-C device to my laptop easier. But with the point of this dock being to free up the Thunderbolt port on your laptop, I can see why Satechi moved it to the back.

Should you buy the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock?

You should buy the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock if:

  • You have a Windows PC and need a reliable Thunderbolt 4 dock
  • You need a docking station that has microSD and SD card slots
  • You have a laptop with limited connectivity

You shouldn’t buy the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock if:

  • You’re on a budget
  • You have a Mac and want to connect to multiple displays

Pairing up this dock with two 4K resolution Dell monitors and a Surface PC was a treat. The port selection on this dock is quite good, and it even can charge a laptop with up to 96W of power. The dock also looks really sleek, though it’s bigger than I hoped. It even supports a 120Hz refresh rate when connected over a single cable. Despite some issues with cooling, there’s more good than bad here. If you need more ports for your excellent laptop and have the money to spend, you should definitely consider picking it up.

Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock Recommended Thunderbolt 4 dock8 / 10

The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Multimedia Pro Dock is a great Thunderbolt 4 dock. It has 16 ports total, including the SD card readers you might need. It also feels super premium since it’s made of aluminum, and it comes with a stand.

$350 at Satechi

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