2 Iron

Re: TB16 - Expensive, poorly designed, recommend avoiding

I've given up on the TB16 and I've bought a few of these Caldigit TS3's which are working out great so far:


There are a few downsides:

  • They also do not have a very long cable. However -  unlike the TB16 - the cable it comes with is detachable, and if need be, you can spend another $50 to get the longer TB3 Active cable.
  • They only have a single Displayport connector and I can't seem to daisy chain them. However we have purchased $20 USB-C to HDMI cables and those work great for connecting another monitor.
  • There is no power switch on this device, so to wake up a closed lid / sleeping laptop, you have to enable the "Wake on USB activity" option in the BIOS. This is an option on any of the modern Dell TB3 enabled laptops in the Power area in the BIOS.
  • I don't think they actually deliver 85w of power, more like 68w. But the laptops don't yell about an undersized power supply and it all works fine. 
  • Multiple 2.5ghz Wifi keyboards/mice seem to be goofy with them and the manual specifically states that if you use multiple devices you should get an cable extender or an external hub. Don't have any idea why this is the case. We solved the problem by plugging the wifi devices into our USB ports on our monitors, and then plugging the monitor USB into the Dock.

Compared to the upsides:

  • So far, they just plain work. No goofy USB drop outs like we had with the TB16, no wacky firmware update process, no need for some giant wasteful 240w power supply just to charge a 14" ultrabook.
  • While they're kind of industrial looking, you can stand them up or lay them horizontally.
  • They work with Apple laptops as well so you can standardize a mixed PC/Mac environment.
  • You're supporting a company that has thought this through instead of just buying whatever half baked buggy e-port dock replacement that Dell is selling.


1 Nickel

Re: TB16 - Expensive, poorly designed, recommend avoiding

I agree with the design of the cable coming out of the left side. Seems like an easy solution to that would have been to possibly make it adjustable. I have a medium to smaller desk and I like the device but the cable does not hinder how I use it or where I place my laptop. I slide my laptop under my screen riser and the dock on the screen riser so it all aligns. After years of products and chasing electronic wants and needs its hard to be so critical about something that just works. I am about 9 months into this dock and I only touch it to clean the dust off.  Having two 32 inch 4K HDR  monitors running together at 60Hz I shall not complain. I have only just got the current configurations running over the past days so plenty of time to fail I suppose but if it runs as smooth (which it is for now) as it did with the 1080 monitors then I will love it. I pull the Laptop all the time and it just plugs back in and everything works. I dont have an open port on the entire dock except 1 USB on the front and the two HDMI slots on the back. I also use a 7 port USB 3 power hub plugged into the back where I have my Keyboard and mouse plugged in and it just works, a long with other devices such as Skype phone ect... While I am not disagreeing with you and can see how the design could drive some crazy it seems to push others to Avoid is a bit strong for a device that works well for certain needs that can otherwise difficult to obtain.  

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1 Copper

Re: TB16 - Expensive, poorly designed, recommend avoiding

My problem is also the cable connector. I have this docking station at home and work and am constantly "docking and un-docking". At work I am always aware of the where the connector mates with the laptop and how I need to not twist or move or jostle or press down on the very long, yet very narrow connector for fear of breaking the connector or damaging the port. I am always placing my laptop in such a position as to not put any undue stress on the connector. Why you say? Because I have already broken the one I have at home! The plastic cover snapped off not long after the warranty expired (of course). Both the cable and port still work, but I think I was just lucky in that respect. Laptops are supposed to be mobile. Why, oh why design something that is this long, narrow and delicate if it is going to get a lot of wear and tear?

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2 Iron

Re: TB16 - Expensive, poorly designed, recommend avoiding

Every singe one of my TB16s has that broken plastic cover on the connector. It's not a matter of if they'll break, but a matter of when. They're just junky 

I tape them back up with electrical tape, but then it hides the LED that shows when you're connected.

Anyway, just minutes ago I rolled out another another Caldigit TB3+ dock for another user, with two 4k screens. Worked perfectly and I was in and out in 5 minutes. That company has taken my dock business completely away from Dell.