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Quite a good docking station: My use of the Cable Matters 16-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Dock (40Gbps, Quad 4K, 100W PD) - (2024)

My thoughts on the Cable Matters 16-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Dock: powerful, versatile, and boosts productivity.
Brad Cheston

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


January 5, 2024


I recently added the Cable Matters Thunderbolt 4 Dock to my workspace at the office. This dock is quite good, capable of connecting multiple devices and displays to my laptop. I quite value a clutter-free desk - more on my experience with the dock below.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Cable Matters Hardware Interface USB 3.1 Type A, DisplayPort, HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2
Compatible Devices Lenovo ThinkPad, HP EliteBook, ProBook, Dell XPS, Dell Latitude, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini Total USB Ports 16
Product Dimensions 7.68”L x 4.09”W x 1.38”H Number of Ports 16
Total HDMI Ports 2 Wattage 100


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Thunderbolt 4 Powerhouse

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In the realm of connectivity and workspace optimization, the 16-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Dock from Cable Matters stands out as a true powerhouse. As someone who values a streamlined and efficient workflow, this dock’s capabilities make it a notable addition to my setup.

Here’s a quick rundown of the standout features:

  • Quad 4K Display Support: It’s a game-changer for multitasking on my Windows laptop, with crisp, vibrant visuals that are a feast for the eyes.

  • 40Gbps Combined Transfer Speed: Transferring files has never been quicker, and with multiple USB ports, my desk is no longer a jungle of cables.

  • 100W PD Charging: Not just a data hub, it also keeps my devices charged and ready to go.

Upon integrating this Thunderbolt 4 Dock into my system, the first thing I noticed was the effortless connectivity. With just one cable, my laptop transformed into a complete workstation that rivals even high-end desktops. However, versatility doesn’t come without a few hitches. The sprawling options sometimes feel overwhelming, and on a desk with limited space, the dock’s footprint is definitely something to consider.

The 2.5G Network and lavish port selection alt broadband and peripheral connectivity are impressive, and the addition of SD and microSD ports is particularly useful for a photographer like me, facilitating quick image transfers. The audio port, though, can sometimes be a forgotten accessory as I mostly rely on Bluetooth devices.

While this dock is a mighty companion for Windows laptops, MacBook users should note the limitations imposed by macOS on the number of displays. My productivity sessions with a MacBook Pro are indeed enhanced by dual displays, but I mourn the lost potential of not having quad screens at my disposal.

The compatibility of the dock with various devices from Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Apple underscores its adaptive design. The fact that it’s backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB4 devices adds to its future-proof value.

Despite its minor setbacks, this dock remains a powerful ally, especially when handling data-heavy tasks or navigating complex projects requiring multiple applications. The convenience and time savings are undeniable, and I can’t understate the value of a clutter-free workspace with everything within arm’s reach.

While I’ve only had it for a short time, my experience with the Cable Matters Thunderbolt 4 Dock suggests that it’s a robust and reliable tool that’s bound to be a mainstay on my desk. It’s a solid investment for professionals looking to maximize their efficiency, and its benefits have already begun to show in my day-to-day work.

Expand Your Visual Horizon

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Expanding your work setup with a multi-monitor display can be a game changer, and that’s exactly what the 16-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Dock from Cable Matters does. It’s a ticket to a productivity boost; providing the capability to run up to four 4K 60Hz displays on a Windows machine ramps up the real estate space to work on multiple tasks simultaneously. As a Mac user, though, I’m limited to just two 4K displays, but they still make a substantial difference to workflow efficiency without the need to constantly switch tabs.

Here’s a quick rundown of my experience with display capabilities:

  • On Windows:

  • Quad 4K@60Hz: It’s like having an expansive digital canvas.

  • 2x DisplayPort 1.4 and 2x HDMI 2.1 ports: Great variety for different display cables.

  • On Mac:

  • Dual 4K@60Hz for MacBook Pro with M2/M3 Pro or M2/M3 Max: A solid setup for multitasking.

  • Single 4K@60Hz monitor supported for MacBook Pro with base M1, M2, or M3 chips: Less than ideal, but still a significant improvement over a single screen.

I’ve noticed that not all monitors may receive the same resolution and refresh rate, likely due to the combination of my specific screens’ capabilities and the inherent limits dictated by my MacBook Pro’s specs. This isn’t the dock’s fault, but it’s something to keep in mind when setting up your dream workstation.

The mark of improvement with the Cable Matters Thunderbolt 4 Dock is clear to me; the ease at which I now manage multiple applications—juggling spreadsheets, design software, and web browsers—without the lag of switching tabs is remarkable. The real estate gained not only saves time but dramatically reduces the mental clutter of a busy screen.

The downside? If your setup includes a MacBook with only the base M1, M2, or M3 chips, you won’t capitalize on the potential of more than one external 4K display. Moreover, Mac users should note the absence of an HDMI 2.1 + DisplayPort 1.4 combo on a single MacBook, slightly dampening the flexibility you might expect.

The boon here, beyond just the visual expanse, is the dock’s ability to handle high-resolution displays without compromising performance. The transformation of my desk into a high-performance nerve center, thanks to the Thunderbolt 4 dock’s prowess, outshines the constraints.

While this is indeed a personal take on the product, the potential productivity gains presented by the display capabilities of this dock are clear. The minor shortcomings for Mac users are far from deal-breakers, especially when weighed against the seamless experience and time-saving benefits that come with an expansive display setup.

Speedy Data and Charging

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In the world of docking stations, speed and power delivery are two aspects that stand out, especially when it comes to the Cable Matters Thunderbolt 4 Dock. I’ve been using this dock with my HP EliteBook, and the performance is impressive. This dock not only offers up a 100W Power Delivery for charging but also supports 2.5G Ethernet for networking, which is a significant step up from the standard gigabit speeds most docks offer.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you get in terms of speed and charging:

  • 100W Power Delivery that can charge even the most power-hungry laptops.

  • 2.5G Ethernet port for ultra-fast networking, which is perfect for tasks that require a stable, high-speed internet connection.

  • 7x USB ports with varying speeds, including 3x 10Gbps ports and 1x 10Gbps USB-C port, which means transferring data from external drives is incredibly fast.

While the charging capacity is more than adequate for most laptops, it’s worth mentioning that some high-performance laptops might require more than 100W to charge at the maximum rate. However, for the vast majority of devices, this dock provides ample charging power.

The USB ports are another major plus. Transferring large files from external hard drives or SSDs feels almost instantaneous, and I’ve not encountered any bottlenecks when using multiple high-speed devices simultaneously. It’s important to keep in mind that the speed will also depend on the devices you’re connecting. A USB 2.0 thumb drive won’t suddenly perform like a 10Gbps-capable device just because it’s plugged into this dock.

Despite the impressive capabilities, there are some drawbacks, although these are more about Thunderbolt 4 and macOS restrictions rather than the dock itself. MacBook users need to be aware of the limitations regarding monitor setups—MacOS-based systems, depending on the chip, will only support up to two 4K displays, which is outside of Cable Matters’ control.

In my usage, this hasn’t been much of an issue—I find that having dual 4K screens tremendously boosts my productivity without the need for additional displays. I’ve enjoyed the clear audio from the 3.5mm headphone/mic port, and the SD card slots are a nice touch, especially for photographers or videographers who need to transfer files quickly.

From a personal perspective, the Cable Matters Thunderbolt 4 Dock has been a game-changer in my workspace. Having so many ports and such fast data transfer capabilities, it’s not just about connectivity—it’s about seamless integration and efficiency. The fact that it can do all this while keeping my laptop charged and ready to go is just the icing on the cake. Sure, there are limitations as with any tech product, but the pros here far outweigh the cons for me.

Compatibility and User Experience

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In my experience with the Cable Matters Thunderbolt 4 Dock, I’ve seen how it elevates the working experience for professionals who require a robust and flexible setup. Having used it both with a Windows laptop and a MacBook Pro, I notice immediate benefits as well as a couple of hiccups that potential buyers should be aware of.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Positive Points:

  • Versatile monitor support is a huge plus, especially with the quad 4K@60Hz display capability on Windows.

  • 16 ports total is an impressive figure, covering every possible need from peripherals to networking.

  • 100W charging is convenient – one cable does it all.

  • Compatibility with a range of devices from Dell to Apple makes it a universal solution.


  • MacBook limitations are notable since MacOS only supports up to dual 4K displays on certain models.

  • While it supports so many devices, it can be cumbersome to make sure all drivers and firmware are up-to-date for seamless operation.

My HP EliteBook and MacBook Pro interactions were largely positive. The dock’s ability to support up to four 4K displays on the HP EliteBook transformed my workspace into a productivity hub. Despite the MacOS limitation of supporting only dual 4K displays, even this was a significant upgrade on my MacBook Pro.

The ample number of USB ports made connecting all my peripherals a breeze. No longer did I have to choose which device to plug in; everything from my external hard drive to my phone could be connected simultaneously. This was especially handy when I transferred large files or charged multiple devices at the same time.

Although the configuration was quite straightforward, ensuring that devices are fully up-to-date to prevent any connectivity issues can be a bit of a chore. This is a mild inconvenience considering the benefits, but it’s worth mentioning for those who want a truly plug-and-play experience.

In terms of build and usability, the dimensions (7.68”L x 4.09”W x 1.38”H) make it surprisingly compact for a powerhouse hub. Moreover, the sleek design fits well with most professional settings, adding to rather than detracting from my desk setup.

So, to sum up my user experience: the Cable Matters Thunderbolt 4 Dock might just be a game-changer for those seeking to streamline their workflow and embrace the perks of a dock that truly does it all, though it’s wise to consider the limitations for Mac users before purchase. Despite these points, I find myself quite satisfied with the decision and would recommend it to colleagues looking for similar solutions.