The Corsair TBT200 isn’t exactly the most exciting thing on Earth, but it is incredibly handy. However, does it really justify its near $350 price tag?
Thunderbolt is wild. We don’t mean in that it’s a thrill-ride or anything, but that it exists and does what it can all through a couple of cables is astounding. For those not entirely in the loop, Thunderbolt is a collaboration between Intel and Apple to provide things that USB couldn’t.
It not only brings in power but contains DisplayPort technology and can support external PCIe devices. Originally using Mini DisplayPort, since Thunderbolt 3, it now uses USB-C’s casing. It can be daisy-chained, as well as provide speeds up to 40Gb/s. While USB-4 offers similar speeds and even connectivity options, it still isn’t able to daisy chain devices together for better workflows.
However, outside of incredibly niche use cases, you won’t find Thunderbolt entirely useful. For those in content creation, having the option to transfer whole 4K videos or mass quantities of photos in minutes, rather than hours, is a massive boon.
For those in gaming, eGPUs require that additional boost and can transform a rather powerful CPU-bound laptop into something extraordinary.
Corsair’s TBT200 is exquisite. It offers three Thunderbolt 4 ports, as well as 2.5Gb Ethernet, USB-A at 10Gb, and even USB-C. There’s an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It’s all powered by a rather hefty power supply and the singular Thunderbolt 4 cable.
The device itself does actually blend into the background, with its all-in-one metal design sitting sturdy wherever you happen to put it. However, the massive power adapter it came with is a little comical when you consider what it’s eventually going to be doing.
For those who haven’t dealt with Thunderbolt before, it’s expensive. Not only buying in but also ensuring you have a long enough cable to use. The cable contains anywhere up to 20 different connections, and length can interfere with speeds. As such, the main cable included is unsurprisingly, but still obnoxiously short. A longer replacement could cost you $160.
However, Corsair is kind enough to include both USB to HDMI and USB to DisplayPort in the box with the TBT200, making set up incredibly quick. Once we’d threaded the power cable through and neatened up the desk, we were on our way.
The M1 Pro MacBook Pro was our guinea pig for this, which lapped up the additional help. Not only does the TBT200 charge the device at a cool 96 watts, but it also allows for two additional 4K monitors without even breaking a sweat.
We tested it on a 1440p ultrawide LG monitor, and a 4K60Hz BenQ monitor. We only had a singular issue throughout our entire time with the dock, but this was after a rather lengthy session with everything powered on. Upon disconnecting and reconnecting, we found the issue was fixed.
While it’s an impressive device for what is ostensibly a very fancy USB hub, it is still nearly $350. It’s far too much, despite its usefulness. In no capacity could we possibly recommend it to anything except those in those impossible niche settings.
It is that double-edged sword that we’ve found the Corsair TBT200 really useful and would love to recommend it to everyone. It is, however, $339.99. It’s too much of a pill to swallow when Thunderbolt 3 will potentially serve you just as well and any other USB-C hub could potentially do the job too. You won’t get the speed, but you should be able to connect up monitors or devices.
For creators, those managing large files, or those on an Apple silicon MacBook that needs additional monitors, yes. This is ideal, it does everything. Tacking on an additional $350 is still going to be too much though.
It’s wonderful, but not at this price point.
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