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Belkin shows Thunderbolt Express Dock, WeMo automation gear

updated 10:40 am EST, Mon January 9, 2012

Dock gets pricing, late release date

Presenting at CES, Belkin has revealed more details about the Thunderbolt Express Dock, first made public last September. The dock connects via a single 10Gbps Thunderbolt cable, but substantially expands a computer's ports. Included are HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, 3.5mm stereo, three USB 2.0, and two Thunderbolt (upstream and downstream) connections.

Belkin now says that the dock will cost $299, and that it will ship much later than originally anticipated. Whereas it was expected to ship this spring, Belkin is now saying it won't be available until September 2012. It may not be a serious issue however, as backing of the Thunderbolt standard continues to be limited mostly to Apple computers.

Today the company is introducing WeMo, a line of home automation peripherals that can be controlled through a free app for smartphones and tablets. The WeMo Home Control Switch ($50) must be plugged into both a device and a power source, but can then be used to turn the device on and off, whether manually or according to a set schedule. A bundle of the HCS with the WeMo Motion Sensor costs $100, but allows a device to be turned on an off whenever someone trips the sensor.

The WeMo line should begin shipping in summer this year. Belkin is still at work on a number of other WeMo modules; these will include a door lock, a garage door opener, a baby monitor, and specialized lighting controls. When these might arrive is unknown.

by MacNN Staff



  1. revco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    USB 2?

    Why no support for USB 3? Seems like a wasted opportunity.

  1. ricardogf

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I second the comment above; to announce such a hub without support for USB 3.0 (the primary reason someone should get a TB hub in the first place) is absolutely ridiculous...RIDICULOUS.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no usb 3

    It's obvious, isn't it. Apple has basically stated USB 3.0 is a worthless upgrade that no one should look into (thus the reason they don't include it on their computers). So why should Belkin not follow apple's lead?

    Plus, it's only on a few computers out there, and there's few if any peripherals that support the architecture. By the time it is adopted widespread and there's a wealth of non-expensive products that use it well, we'd be on our next macs anyway, and so including it is really just a waste.

    Or is that describing Thunderbolt?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    many problems

    No USB 3? Big deal. No eSATA is a far bigger deal. An ExpressCard slot would be good as well, but it would only increase the price more (if you want that, get the Sonnet TB ExpressCard adapter).

    The biggest deal none of you are mentioning, though. Not until September (which means maybe by the end of the year). Thunderbolt has been out for over a year, and the only things that exist for it are some Apple monitors (and only because Intel decided to use the miniDisplayPort specs for Thunderbolt) and a couple of really expensive RAID drives. Oh, and you can get yourself a $50 cable from apple. Not sure what you would hook up to it, but you can get the cable. But no real adapters or dongles or anything of real excitement. The Sonnet device just adds an ExpressCard slot to your Mac (which, if you have a MacBook, should already be there, but Apple pretty much decided that such things are useless unless you need a 17" monitor). So far, Thunderbolt's been a lot of talk but little else.

  1. chas_m



    Crazy pricing

    My guess would be that by the time they finally ship this thing, NOBODY will care. First off, that's WAY too high a price, second others will be out with competitive options by then, and third if USB 3 is backward compatible then it makes NO sense to ship with USB2, particularly not in late 2012. If they'd met their original goal of September 2011, it would have made more sense.

    I predict they will sell exactly NONE of these.

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