Nearly 600 days have passed since we first swooned over Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock all the way back in September 2011. (Really, it's been 595 days, but who's counting?) Well today, the long-promised, and long-delayed multi-port I/O hub for Macs is a thing you can actually buy. It's available this morning at Belkin.com for $300.
OK, so the Thunderbolt Express Dock is really just a super-fast hub capable of connecting all of your desktop cables to your computer with a single wire. But it's no small deal. Apple introduced Thunderbolt ports to Macs back in February 2011, and there aren't many products out there that take advantage of the standard's simultaneous 10 Gbps upstream/downstream potential. You can buy a couple of hard drives, Apple's $1000 Thunderbolt display, but that's about it. That's STILL true today, just like it was in 2011. The Express Dock is a (semi)-affordable convenience that basically anyone can benefit from.
Now that it's here, here's what you get. The dock's backside is pocked with ports that funnel in and then connect to your computer with a single Thunderbolt cable: three USB 3.0 slots, Firewire 800, a Gigabit ethernet jack, 3.5mm audio input and output, and two (!) Thunderbolt inputs for your daisy-chaining delight (one up, one down).
Desktop cable clutter, gone. Can a single cable really handle all that I/O? We'll believe nothing about the Express Dock until we see it with our eyes. Here's hoping. [Belkin]