2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$400-$550
Peripherals

Sonnet Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock

Thunderbolt docking stations have been promised for almost as long the technology has been around, but few have actually made it to market. We’re hoping Sonnet’s Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock ($400-$550) is a different story: it’s up for pre-order now and slated to be released this summer. Compared to other models, this one packs a huge number of ports: 14 different connection options, plus an optical drive.

Sonnet gives users the choice of either a DVD or Blu-Ray drive, with the latter coming at a $50 premium. On the front are two USB 3.0 ports, plus audio in and out. Flip Echo 15 around and you’ll find two Thunderbolt ports, FireWire 800, a Gigabit Ethernet port, another pair of USB 3.0 slots, two eSATA ports, and additional audio in and out connections. There’s also a drive bay, allowing you to install a 2.5” or 3.5” drive. Sonnet will also pre-load a 2TB hard drive inside for an additional $100.

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