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THUNDERBOLT! What an exciting name – certainly peppier than “USB” and maybe even “FireWire.” But paying for Thinderbolt peripherals is starting to feel like being hit by a Thunderbolt.

Take a look at a pair of Thunderbolt docks announced this week. The first, from Belkin, sounds pretty good – USB 3.0, FireWire, Mini DisplayPort (with HDMI adapter), audio out, Gigabit Ethernet (a plus for McBook Air users). But $400? Don’t forget that you’ll need a Thunderbolt cable to go with that, so add in another $50.

The other dock is only $249, but lacks a passthrough port for Thunderbolt. So if want to hook up an external Thunderbolt monitor, you’re out of luck. You can hook up a Thunderbolt disk – if it has a passthrough port so you can hook the dock up to that. Yeash. And again, don’t forget to throw in the $50 cable.

If you just want to hook up external disks, there’s the LaCie Thunderbolt Hub, with eSata connectors (and a passthrough port!) for $200. Again, no cable included.

Or you can go for the LaCie 2Big disk – a pair of disks in one Thunderbolt enclosure (again, with a passthrough port, thank you) starting at $600 for 4 GB of space. It’s fast, with a pair of disks and Thunderbolt, but it certainly isn’t cheap. Of course, tack on the “cable tax” again.

Then there’s the Little Big Disk –  2x 500 MB, 5400 RPM drives with 2 Thunderbolt ports – for $380, before cable tax.Yes, you’ll get some speed with the RAID and Thunderbolt, but again., you’re not talking cheap. I recently bought a 7200 RPM internal 3 TB drive for $150.

Is it really that expensive to make Thunderbolt ports? I could use a dock with my MacBook Pro, but not at those prices. I’d rather spend that kind of money on an internal SSD if I’m spending money for speed.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVoRBhXX2Ks

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  • Bob Forsberg

    With you 100%. Quality is nice, but not at those current prices.

    • Hammeroftruth

      Apple has always been on the “bleeding edge” of technology. Why are these products expensive? Because they are new tech. Want to pay less? Wait about a year. Why is that $50 cable $50? Because there are chips on it that make it possible to have fiber optic speeds on copper cable without it heating up and catching fire.
      If you don’t see the benefit of the technology at the price that it is, then you don’t need it.