If you've been an Apple fan for the past year, you already know the controversial decisions they make with their latest Macbook Pro. In pursuit of simpler design, Apple decided to go with various connections, which supported four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports that were able to "do everything". From internal battery charging, connecting multiple monitors, to transfer a large amount of data, this is a new standard. However, you may need an adapter for many connections, since many current peripherals still rely on obsolete input / output types.
Rather than stacking on various adapters, many Macbook owners decide that the dock or hub is a better approach. By combining multiple connections into one device, you need to hold on, and an easier way to adjust to different connections.
HAVIT, a popular budget-friendly manufacturer has just released the T90. This is a Thunderbolt 3 dock / hub specially designed for Macbook Pro 2016 or later. In fact, these are even available in the same color scheme as the new Macbook (gray spaces). We were invited to try it myself and see it from an in-depth but unbiased and fair viewpoint. We will see the build quality, what it offers and see all the interesting features.
Opening the box for the first time, you'll see a few accompanying literature sheets - a "send us your thoughts" pamphlet and a guidebook. It gives you a brief insight into the T90 and includes technical specifications, product details and other remarks.
By glancing at the HAVIT T90 Thunderbolt 3 Dock, you'll see a sleek and minimalist design - just like the Macbook Pro itself. Available in Space Gray, compatible with Macbook spot-on, so it looks natural when connected to the side. Its size is only 9.59 x 2.85 x 0.85 centimeters, it consists of an aluminum alloy shell that has a polished feel and is almost "cold to the touch". Although it looks good, the material they choose also works simultaneously by keeping things cool. Of course it is made to discharge heat, HAVIT does it well by taking this approach.
Getting started with T90 is easy. It is located next to two USB-C male connections that you attach directly to the left side of the Macbook. The plug and play design allows for quick setup without the need to install any special drivers or software. Simply swipe to USB-C port and you're good to go.
Taking a look further, you’ll notice that there are a multitude of ports on the hub. This includes one Thunderbolt 3, one USB-C 3.0, two USB-A 3.0, and an SD/Micro SD port. Each one is an expansion of your Macbook, by allowing you to connect more than just USB-C compatible devices.
- 1 x Thunderbolt 3 Port – Capable of reaching transfer rates of up to 40 Gb/s with support for 5K resolution or 2 x 4k at 60 Hz. This allows you to expand your screen and daisy chain additional monitors if you’d like more visual real estate. Supports PD charging.
- 1 x USB-C 3.0 Port – The second USB-C input offers speed up to 5 GB/s but doesn’t support charging.
- 2 x USB 3.0 Ports – Ideal for those who need support for older, USB 3.0 and 2.0 peripherals or devices. Allowing speeds up to 5 GB/s, these two ports open up a wide range of expansion.
- 1 x SD and Micro SD (SDHC 3.0) Inputs – A quick and easy way to instantly transfer data from memory cards. With speeds up to 104 MB/s, it’s ideal for photographers and filmmakers who typically use these.
We found the usage of these connections to work quite well. Everything was “Plug and Play” as described earlier, and the transfer rates seemed to be quite accurate. It was nice to see that there were no errors or communication issues between the Macbook and the Hub.
Each time your Macbook transfers a large file or extends the display to an external monitor, everything can be heated up. So much so many manufacturers need heat dissipation into consideration. Lucky, HAVIT designed the T90 with aluminum alloy shell. It has the same cold-to-touch touch of the Macbook, and fits perfectly with the Space Gray style.
We use the Thunderbolt 3 port for 5 hours continuously to reflect the Macbook look to our 34-inch 4k monitors. In those 5 hours, we did a little bit to test whether heat was the real problem. Online games, streaming Netflix movies and Photoshop editing slightly give us a clear indication of how it can be done. The hub has never felt hot touched - just a bit warm, which can be understood by the amount of use we use. We think that HAVIT's precautionary action by designing it around heat protection is a smart approach.
Although we are pleased with how HAVIT T90 works, there are some things to keep in mind. SD and Micro SD inputs can not be used together. While it's not a big deal for most, it's probably a problem if you're someone who wants to use a hub just to transfer data through a memory card.
Next, we would love to see the HDMI port out at the pier / hub. Most televisions and displays still require an HDMI connection, and so many individuals like to place their Macbook display onto their HDTV.
In addition, the T90 only works with the latest Macbook pro model - the 2016 version or later. It's not compatible with laptops or other Macbooks, but it's clear that no previous version supports Thunderbolt 3.
The last word
Although slim and trendy, Apple decides to remove ports on their latest Macbook, it's good to see devices like this available. Not all of us can be happy only with USB-C connections, especially when most devices are connected in different ways.
Although you may be able to load a variety of Macbook USB-C adapters, no one likes storing extra extras like this one.
Build quality seems to be equivalent and its compact size makes it an easy addition to a briefcase or a small pocket. Best of all, the T90 is protected by a full 12 months manufacturer's warranty if you ever have a problem with it in the future. In addition, there is a money back guarantee 30 days if you are not satisfied with it.