(Manufacturer Belkin is known for its versatile and high-quality peripherals, which include chargers, adapters and headphones as well as various docking stations and hubs. Brand new in the manufacturer’s portfolio is a Thunderbolt 4 dock that wants to score with 12 ports and a classy design – but the price is not cheap. Our Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro review clarifies whether and for whom a purchase is worthwhile.
|Model name||Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro|
|Main Interface||USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4)|
|USB Type-C ports||1x Thunderbolt 4 upstream (40 Gbps; 90 watts PD)
1x Thunderbolt 4 downstream (40 Gbps; 15 watts PD)
1x USB-C 3.1 (10 Gbit/s; 18 Watt PD)
|USB-A ports||2x USB-A 3.1 (10 Gbit/s)
2x USB 2.0 Type A (up to 480 Mbps)
|Video interfaces||2x HDMI 2.0 (maximum 8K@30 Hz).
(additionally USB-C with DP Alt mode)
|Other interfaces||RJ45 (Gigabit Ethernet); 3.5 mm jack|
|Card reader||UHS-II SD card reader|
|Power supply||120 watts|
|Operating System Compatibility||Microsoft Windows; macOS|
|Weight||506g (docking station);
528g (power supply)
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||200 mm x 73.2 mm x 33.9 mm|
|Price||€ 299.90 *|
Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro review: design and build
- Simple, classy design
- Appreciately compact
- High-quality workmanship; piano lacquer surface very vulnerable
The Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro focuses on a compact and high-quality design. The top and bottom, as well as the two side sections of the docking station wait with an anodized silver finish, while the manufacturer’s logo can be seen at the top.
The front and back of the hub have a glossy black piano finish, which looks chic, but attracts dust and fingerprints. Regular polishing is called for here so that the dock doesn’t quickly degenerate into a dust magnet.
Still, the high-quality design is pleasing. For a 12-port docking station, the device also turns out quite compact. It is 200 mm wide, 33.9 mm high and 73.2 mm deep and thus fits wonderfully under a notebook or monitor stand.
Four rubberized feet on the bottom ensure that nothing wobbles or slips. With a weight of 506 grams (without power supply), the docking station is also pleasantly handy, but the bulky 120-watt power supply adds another 528 grams to the overall package.
For comparison: The USB 4 docking station Anchor 568, which we reviewed in April 2023, is minimally lighter but larger.
Connectors of the Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro
- Convincing port selection
- SD card reader and 3.5mm jack
- Only 2 TB4 ports; two slow USB 2.0 ports
The Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro offers a total of 12 ports, which the manufacturer distributes between the front and the back. At the front, we find the following ports:
- 1x SD card reader (SD 4.0)
- 1x 3.5 mm jack
- 1x USB-C 3.1 (10 Gbps; 18 watts PD)
- 1x Thunderbolt 4 upstream (40 Gbps; 90 watts PD)
The rest of the port selection can be found at the back, where the following ports are available (from left to right):
- 2x USB-A 2.0 (480 Mbit/s)
- 2x USB-A 3.1 (10 Gbit/s)
- 1x RJ45 Gigabit LAN
- 1x Thunderbolt 4 downstream (40 Gbit/s; 15 Watt PD)
- 2x HDMI 2.0 (4K at 60 Hz)
- 1x DC In
A pleasing selection that hardly leaves anything to be desired at first glance. I am particularly pleased that Belkin has given the dock an SD card reader and a jack. Thus, all devices can be used directly via the hub.
However, it is a shame that the two USB-A 2.0 ports only have a low bandwidth of 80 Mbps. However, this is probably due to the rather tight 120 watt power supply, which – in theory – has to power a notebook or similar device with up to 90 watts. In return, the other USB ports score with an excellent speed.
The Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro in a practical test
- Get up and running quickly; flawless operation
- Up to 3 monitors (Windows only)
- Only low heat generation
The Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro is connected to the power supply at the back. The connection to the notebook is made via the Thunderbolt 4 port on the front, which is a bit of a shame – I would have found it nicer to move this port to the back as well, which would make the hub look tidier.
But now well. An 80-centimeter Thunderbolt 4 cable for the connection is fortunately included in the scope of delivery, along with the power adapter and three different power extenders, so that you can get started right away.
Under Windows, up to three external monitors can be connected to the dock: twice via HDMI and once via Thunderbolt 4 at the back. With only one monitor connected, even 8K resolutions with 30 Hz are possible.
However, the situation is different for Mac users. Here, the Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro can only drive two external displays: one via HDMI and one via Thunderbolt 4, which means that the fast rear USB-C port is occupied in a dual-monitor setup.
I would have liked to see more USB-C here anyway, since a TB4 hub should theoretically be able to accommodate up to four of these ports. Instead, the manufacturer opted for two HDMI ports.
The similarly priced CalDigit TS4 offers two TB4 downstream ports (and a total of 5 USB-C ports), but does without HDMI. Those who use a lot of wired peripherals will probably be better off with it.
Under Windows 11, the docking station performs flawlessly. Connected devices, external hard drives and monitors are recognized immediately and can be used. The hub’s heat development is also within limits: If all or many ports are occupied, the docking station gets noticeably warm, but by no means excessively hot.
- Convincing charging speeds
The charging speeds of the various ports also match the manufacturer’s claims. For example, the Thunderbolt 4 port on the front is easily capable of powering even powerful notebooks with up to 90 watts of charging power.
The SD card reader as well as the USB-C ports also demonstrate a convincing speed. I tested the card reader with a PNY EliteX-PRO60 UHS-II SD card. On the Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro, the card reader realized almost the maximum values of the SDXC UHS-II card with 290.41 MB/s and 195.31 MB/s.
It’s a similar story with the USB-C ports, which I looked at in conjunction with the Crucial X9 Pro (our review). Here, up to 1,050 MB/s read and write is theoretically possible.
At the front USB-C 3.1 port, the CrystalDiskMark benchmark came up with 1,000.31 MB/s read and 662.48 MB/s write, while at the rear Thunderbolt 4 port, the values increase to 1,017.99 MB/s and 920.30 MB/s. Very good values that are only very slightly behind a direct connection with the notebook.
The LAN connection also worked flawlessly in the Thunderbolt 4 hub’s practical test, reaching almost the full speed that my line can provide. I did not notice any dropouts or disconnections.
Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro Review: Conclusion
The Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro presents itself in the test as a chic and high-quality processed docking station. It scores with a compact and robust design that should even fit on smaller desks. It is just a pity that the piano finish attracts dust, dirt and fingerprints.
The selection of ports is also pleasing, although the focus is clearly on multi-monitor use. Instead of two HDMI ports, only one of which can be used under macOS, I would have preferred more USB-C and Thunderbolt ports, as some rivals offer.
It is surprising that DisplayPort is completely absent. Personally, this does not bother me since I use a DP-to-USB-C cable for image rendering anyway. On the other hand, the ports score with convincing speeds, although the two slow USB A 2.0 ports only partially live up to the “Pro” in the name. On the other hand, I am very happy that there is an SD card reader.
The MSRP is a bit too high in my eyes, but the Belkin Connect Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro is already available at a reduced price and is well worth the price in my eyes – at least for Windows users. At least, if an (additional) Thunderbolt 4 port is enough for you.
On the other hand, if you place more value on additional Thunderbolt ports and do not need two HDMI ports, you will find better solutions for less money at the competition.