HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock review: HP's new dock focuses on security, management, charging, and display support

HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock evaluation: HP’s new dock focuses on safety, administration, charging, and show help

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Supply: Home windows Central

HP’s Thunderbolt G2 Dock with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity continues to be among the finest docking stations we have utilized in the previous couple of years, nevertheless it’s now change into nearly inconceivable to seek out. The HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock, introduced at the moment, is ready to take over the place the G2 left off. I acquired a evaluation unit early to check out how the dock has improved and, in the end, whether or not or not it is price your cash.


Hp Thunderbolt G4 Dock

HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock

Backside line: HP’s Thunderbolt G4 Dock would not fairly sustain with the competitors relating to common customers. Nevertheless, its added safety and manageability options alongside broad show help and boosted charging ought to attraction to energy customers, particularly these with HP workstations.

Professionals

  • DP 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 ports add versatility
  • Loads of charging energy, with elective 280W model for workstations
  • Additional safety and manageability options
  • Compact, enticing design
  • Eco-friendly packaging

Cons

  • 1-year guarantee
  • Mounted (non-removable) host cable
  • Just one downstream TB4 port
  • No SD card readers or 3.5mm audio

HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock: Value, availability, and specs

HP provided Home windows Central with an early evaluation unit of its new Thunderbolt G4 Dock. It was solely simply introduced Could 12, and it is obtainable in two separate fashions. The 120W model comes with an ordinary USB-C host cable and is meant in your common pocket book. The 280W model comes with an additional barrel charging twine for HP’s workstations, successfully upping the charging energy required for discrete GPUs. I’ve the 120W model in for testing. On the time of writing, HP did not have concrete particulars on pricing or launch availability.

Though that is HP’s personal dock and can understandably work with its laptops utilizing Thunderbolt 4, the dock can be appropriate with some other fashionable PCs utilizing Home windows 10/11, MacOS, or Chrome OS. The dock must also work with any PC utilizing USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, although at a lowered stage of performance. We have now a information on Thunderbolt 4 vs. Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB4 vs. USB 3.0 that provides a deeper take a look at these applied sciences.

I used Home windows 10 and Home windows 11 PCs with a mixture of Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 to check the HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock. Following are the specs that make up the brand new G4 Dock.

Class Spec
Connection Thunderbolt 4
Mounted host cable
0.8m cable
Ports Thunderbolt 4
USB-C 3.2 (10Gbps)
USB-C 3.2 (5Gbps)
4 USB-A 3.2 (5Gbps)
Two DisplayPort 1.4
HDMI 2.0
2.5Gb Ethernet
Energy As much as 100W with USB-C
As much as 230W with combo cable
Max show decision As much as 4 4K shows at 60Hz
Safety Kensington lock slot
Dimensions 3.9 x 3.9 x 2.7 inches
(98mm x 98mm x 68mm)
Weight 120W: 1.68 kilos (762g)
280W: 1.76 kilos (798g)
Shade Black
Guarantee 1 12 months
OS compatibility Home windows 10/11
MacOS
ChromeOS
Manageability vPro (wired or wi-fi)
PXE Boot
Wake on LAN
MAC passthrough

HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock: What I like

Hp Thunderbolt G4 Dock Review

Supply: Home windows Central

The HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock is a refresh of the G2 Dock that was designed to be used with Thunderbolt 3 laptops. Alongside the improve to Thunderbolt 4 host and downstream port, the G4 has seen the outdated VGA port changed with HDMI 2.0 and the older USB-A 3.0 ports changed with USB-A 3.2. There are additionally 4 USB-A ports as an alternative of two on the G2, unfold out on the perimeters and again of the dock.

The design is mainly the identical this time round. The dock is extra of a rounded chunk than a flat bar, taking on much less house in your desk than a number of the competitors. It is a nice-looking dock, and the HP branding on prime matches up properly with the greatest HP laptops. Veterans of HP’s docking sport may bear in mind completely different further modules for the G2 Dock, together with a speaker system for calls or music. These modules will not be obtainable for the G4 Dock, and older modules will not be appropriate.

Hp Thunderbolt G4 Dock Review

Supply: Home windows Central

The entrance of the dock has an hooked up host cable that measures 0.8 meters, with a USB-C 3.2 (10Gbps) port simply above it. This port provides as much as 15W of charging energy for related equipment. The left and proper sides of the dock have one USB-A 3.2 (5Gbps) port every, with 7.5W of charging energy. A Kensington lock slot lives on the correct facet. In case you work in a public workplace, this addition will assist hold the dock in its rightful spot in your desk.

Most ports are positioned on the again of the dock. HP has actually centered on making it as simple as potential to attach a number of shows. Whereas some docks focus extra on providing a number of downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports, the G4 Dock has only one downstream to make room for 2 DisplayPort 1.2 and one HDMI 2.0 port.

Hp Thunderbolt G4 Dock Review

Supply: Home windows Central

HP lays out myriad connection choices relying on whether or not you are hooked as much as Thunderbolt 4 or USB-C on the host laptop computer. Relying on the host’s capabilities, it is best to be capable of join as much as 4 4K shows, every with a 60Hz refresh fee. The rear video port structure appears to be like a bit cramped at first look, however I used to be capable of join two DP cables and one HDMI cable — together with a bunch of USB for equipment — with none overlap.

I wasn’t capable of take a look at with the total 4 4K shows, however the dock appeared to haven’t any issues working twin 4K shows at 60Hz every in my testing. Here is a take a look at HP’s chart laying out the total show help for the G4 Dock.

Hp Thunderbolt G4 Dock Display Graph

Supply: HP

Whereas there’s just one downstream Thunderbolt 4 port, HP compromises by providing yet another USB-C port on the again (to hitch the one on the entrance). The rear USB-C is 3.2 (Gen 1) with slower 5Gbps speeds, nevertheless it provides DisplayPort capabilities for an extra exterior show. Rounding issues out on the again of the dock is an Ethernet port that may deal with 1Gb and a pair of.5Gb Ethernet, in addition to the barrel AC adapter port.

The Thunderbolt G4 Dock has two energy choices obtainable, with 120W for shopper laptops and 280W for workstations.

Whereas common customers can profit from having this dock on their desk, it’s definitely going to attraction to enterprise prospects because of a bunch of further administration and security measures. The Thunderbolt G4 Dock is supplied with HP’s Positive Begin expertise, which protects the dock’s firmware from unauthorized entry. HP mentioned the sort of assault was uncommon however rising, and it is getting forward to maintain hooked up peripherals and networks secure. Positive Begin works independently right here, so that you should not want an HP laptop computer to profit.

Administration instruments are additionally onboard to assist with fleets of deployed docks or for many who prefer to handle their PCs remotely. The G4 Dock provides PXE Boot, MAC deal with passthrough, and Wake on LAN capabilities. These options are uncommon relating to docking stations, so it is nice to see HP persevering with with this strategy.

The 120W Thunderbolt G4 Dock maximizes charging potential, delivering as much as 100W of energy again to the host laptop computer to maintain its battery topped up. That is according to one of the best docks obtainable at the moment, and HP would not cease there. A second 280W model of the dock can be obtainable for HP’s workstations. It features a double host cable; the standard USB-C cable continues to be current, nevertheless it’s joined by a barrel charger that matches HP’s laptops. With each plugged in, the higher-capacity dock can ship as much as 230W of energy to the host. That is sufficient for a lot of laptops with discrete graphics.

Yet another factor I recognize is the eco-friendly packaging. The dock ships in recycled cardboard and pulp wrapping, eliminating Styrofoam and most moldable (save for some bundling up the cords).

HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock: What I do not like

Hp Thunderbolt G4 Dock Review

Supply: Home windows Central

HP’s Thunderbolt G4 Dock is simple to love if you happen to’re involved about rising safety points surrounding peripherals and networking; the broad show help can be nice you probably have an enormous workstation. Nevertheless, having examined a bunch of different prime Thunderbolt 4 docks, I found there are some issues the G4 Dock would not do in addition to the competitors.

The G4 Dock excels at exterior show help and safety, however some may remorse its lack of SD card readers and three.5mm audio.

Most noticeable is an absence of removable host cable. It is hardwired into the dock, making it harder to vary out if the cable was to be in some way broken. The dock comes with only a one-year guarantee, that means you are going to be fixing it by yourself if it breaks from common put on and tear. Having a set host cable additionally removes the power so as to add an extended cable for customized setups. The 0.8m cable that is hooked up can be good for many desks, nevertheless it’s nonetheless good to have the choice. I perceive why HP has to repair the cable for the 280W model (with additional barrel charging cable), however the 120W model’s cable may simply be indifferent.

The G4 Dock’s port choice may not be fairly what some individuals are in search of. The one downstream Thunderbolt 4 port is important because of the myriad show choices, however some customers may discover it a bit limiting if they do not have a couple of or two exterior shows. An absence of SD and microSD card readers, in addition to 3.5mm audio, will even put a wrinkle in some workflows.

One different factor I seen is that exterior screens typically will not wake if the host laptop computer goes to sleep whereas related. I usually needed to unplug and replug the dock into the host to get the exterior screens to wake. That is one thing I hope HP fixes with a firmware replace. I assumed possibly the ability button on prime of the dock would do one thing on this regard, however I actually cannot work out what it is there for. Urgent the button appears to haven’t any impact in any respect on hooked up equipment receiving a cost or the host laptop computer. Even with out a host laptop computer related, the ability button appears to haven’t any impact on some other {hardware} hooked up to the dock.

HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock: Competitors

Caldigit Ts4 Review

CalDigit TS4.Supply: Home windows Central

We have reviewed fairly a couple of Thunderbolt 4 docks at Home windows Central, with the CalDigit TS4 popping out on prime. In my evaluation I famous that it has probably the most ports obtainable in a TB4 dock, with as much as 98W of charging energy and twin 4K at 60Hz monitor help. In case you want a dock with 3.5mm audio, SD and microSD card readers, and further downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports, this needs to be a chief candidate. Its host cable is detachable, it has a two-year guarantee, and it has a sturdy aluminum design that appears nice on a desk. You may count on to pay about $360 for this dock.

Kensington’s SD5700T is one other prime possibility if you would like one thing with a extra conventional dock design. It comes with a three-year guarantee, it provides as much as 90W charging energy, and it provides three downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports alongside SD card reader and three.5mm audio. You probably have a Floor PC, the sibling Kensington SD5750T is licensed to work with Microsoft’s {hardware}. The SD5700T prices about $330, whereas the SD5750T prices about $350.

And if you would like one thing with extra aptitude, the Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma needs to be thought of. The black chassis has RGB underglow lighting to boost your desk, nevertheless it’s not simply all present. It delivers as much as 90W charging energy to the host, it has a detachable host cable, and also you get three downstream TB4 ports with an SD card reader and three.5mm audio. Its guarantee interval is just one 12 months. This dock prices about $330.

HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock: Do you have to purchase it?

Hp Thunderbolt G4 Dock Review

Supply: Home windows Central

You should purchase this if …

  • You’ve gotten a laptop computer with Thunderbolt 4
  • You need to maximize your exterior show setup
  • You’ve gotten an HP workstation (get the boosted 280W mannequin)
  • You desire a dock with additional security measures like HP Positive Begin, in addition to administration options like Wake on LAN, PXE Boot, and MAC deal with passthrough.

You should not purchase this if …

  • You need a number of downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • You want SD or microSD card readers in your workflow
  • You desire a dock with an extended guarantee

HP’s Thunderbolt G4 Dock does issues a bit otherwise than different mainstream docks available on the market at the moment. The twin risk of 120W and 280W variations is appreciated, as these with power-hungry HP workstations can now hold battery topped up whereas working. Broad show help because of HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C is definitely helpful, particularly for these with large workstations. And the additional advantage of HP Positive Begin constructed proper in — together with additional manageability options — ought to make this a preferred purchase for giant enterprises or for small companies.

4
out of 5








Nevertheless, the 120W “shopper” model may not be the correct selection if you happen to’re a median consumer. The mounted host cable, the shortage of a number of downstream TB4 ports, the shortage of SD card readers, and the shortage of three.5mm audio (extra necessary now as Ultrabooks take away ports) will definitely disrupt some workflows (mine included). There are additionally some kinks to work out when it comes to exterior screens waking from sleep. It is nonetheless unclear how a lot the docks will price, and a aggressive worth that undercuts the likes of CalDigit, Razer, and Kensington may imply HP has successful on its arms.


Hp Thunderbolt G4 Dock

HP Thunderbolt G4 Dock

Backside line: HP’s Thunderbolt G4 Dock is a flexible docking station with glorious show help, charging capabilities, and safety and administration talents. It is particularly helpful you probably have an HP workstation that requires greater than 100W of energy to run.

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