Design & Ergonomics
The Belkin Docking Station is a 20cm wide, 7.3cm deep and 3.4cm high pad. To break up the monolithic side of the device, Belkin rounded the ends. The dock is accompanied by a 120 W power supply a little smaller than it (15 x 6.3 x 3 cm), but cumbersome, especially with its cables. Everything comes with a black Thunderbolt 4 cable with a good length of 80 cm.
The front panel is equipped with an SD card reader, a jack and two USB-C ports, including the one to be connected to the PC. Note the presence of a switch for powering the dock. The rear panel is equipped with four USB-A ports, an RJ45, a USB-C port, two HDMI ports and the power socket.
The standards supported by the Belkin Thunderbolt 4 Dock Pro are currently the best. USB ports are USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gb/s) standard, HDMI 2.0 standard — i.e. Full HD at 120 Hz, 4K at 60 Hz and 8K at 30 Hz. It is thus possible to connect up to three screens (two in HDMI, one in USB-C on the Thunderbolt 4 port) if your computer supports it. In this case, only one external screen is supported by the Apple MacBook M1 and M2 chip. Belkin also offers a compatibility chart on its site.
The rear USB-C port is Thunderbolt 4 standard; it therefore supports a DisplayPort screen, recharging and obviously data transfer to an external SSD, for example. The card reader to the UHS-II standard allows on paper to reach 312 MB / s. The only downsides, the RJ45 port is satisfied with the Gigabit standard and two USB ports are with the 2.0 standard.
The passage under the sensor of our thermal camera does not reveal excessive heat release. After a day of use, its temperature stabilizes below 37°C over its entire surface thanks to its aluminum casing.
To test the Belkin Thunderbolt 4 Dock, we connected it to two 4K displays, a Crucial X8 external SSD, a Logitech Unify dongle, an Ethernet cable, and an SD card with up to 300MB/s.
The USB 3.2 Gen (10 Gb/s) ports allow an average speed (read/write) of 995 MB/s very close to those expected in practice for this standard. The Thunderbolt 4 port is also very close to this value with 986.5 MB/s on average. It is very likely that Belkin has modeled the data transfer rate of this port on that of the USB 3.2 sockets (10 Gb/s).
The Gigabit port delivers an average speed (up and down) of 944 Mb/s, or 118 MB/s. Again, nothing to complain about since the values are very close to the maximum possible.
The UHS-II card reader leaves us a bit unsatisfied with an average read and write of “only” 198 MB/s, despite an SD card capable of reaching 300 MB/s.
Finally, connecting to our 4K television at 120 Hz did not pose any particular problem. The HDMI 2.0 standard is correctly supported by the Belkin Dock Pro.