Hands on: Mantiz Thunderbolt 3 dock gives USB-A and VGA to MacBook Pro owners

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Mantiz took its experience in building a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure, and used it to make the new Mantiz Titan dock — and AppleInsider just got its hands on one.

The Mantiz Titan dock itself is smaller than just about every other Thunderbolt 3 dock we've seen. Like all of the Thunderbolt 3 docks providing full 87W of charging power, the power supply is pretty giant, which at this point seems to be an inescapable fact of life, or physics.

Also inescapable is the general uselessness of a 0.5 meter Thunderbolt 3 cable. But, in the case of the Titan, the Thunderbolt 3 port is on the front of the dock, not inline with the rest of the ports.

This allows for some alternate cable runs, and at first glance makes a little more sense. That said, a free short cable is better than no cable — but in actual usage, we've still found it to be just a bit shorter than we want, so you should still plan on buying a longer one.

Mantiz has taken the ports you'd expect on a Thunderbolt 3 dock and crammed them into a new custom case design. All of the ports are on the back, including 4K video connectivity, which we'll delve into shortly, Gigabit Ethernet, a VGA port, and a pair of USB 3.0 type A ports.

The company has taken a slightly different approach to Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. Besides the front-mount, there is no downstream Thunderbolt 3 port. Instead, the company has gone for additional video connectivity with a HDMI 2.0a port paired with a DisplayPort 1.2 port, and a discrete DisplayPort 1.2 connector.

Dual 4K at 60Hz is obtained by either using both of the DisplayPort connectors, or DisplayPort connector 1 and the HDMI port. This isn't a bad thing, as in practical use dual-4K support in docks utilizes what would be the second Thunderbolt 3 port in some form of hardware-based USB-C alternate mode for connecting a display, so most users are still served by the unusual change-out.

USB speeds are in-line with other docks we've tested. Initial testing shows about 230 megabytes per second with large files on both read and write speed with a SSD array more than capable of saturating the USB 3.0 type A connection — but we'll delve a bit deeper into this in a future review.

The Titan's pre-order price is $199 with a regular retail of $229. Given the price, a full 87W of charging power, coupled with the smaller size, makes the Mantiz Titan a compelling choice for a Thunderbolt dock at first glance.


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