Hook Up Your Display, USB Devices, Audio, and Ethernet with One Cord

Aiming at Macbook Pro and MacBook Air users who want to easily hook up to large displays and Gigabit Ethernet when they're at their desks, Matrox today began shipping its new DS1 Thunderbolt Docking Station. It's available now in the U.S., with international availability scheduled in early January.

The $249 device features one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm audio input and output, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and either a DVI or an HDMI output. Because it only sports a single Thunderbolt port, there is no passthrough — the DS1 terminates any Thunderbolt daisy chain, then outputs to the display via DVI or HDMI. But Thunderbolt storage, for example, can be connected between the computer and the DS1.

The DS1 might be an especially good match for the Retina display MacBook Pros, which have a second Thunderbolt port built in but lack a Gigabit Ethernet port. 

A competing product, the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock (pictured at right), is slated to ship in the first quarter of 2013. It will improve on the Matrox device by adding FireWire, making all three USB ports 3.0-capable, and supporting a second Thunderbolt connection — but it's likely to be more expensive.