There are a few “got-chas” associated with the CalDigit thunderbolt station, and with thunderbolt devices I wanted to mention to hopefully help someone in the future. First, I should mention that all of these are mentioned in the CalDigit FAQs and in their knowledge base article on the subject. However, I personally didn’t do all of my research before buying their dock, so I had to find out the hard way. Hopefully this post helps someone in the future.
So, here is my setup:
- 2013 Mac Book Pro Retina
- Using Windows 7 Boot camp (I'm running windows exclusively for work)
- Dual Monitor setup at my desk (one DVI, another HDMI)
- I frequently need to unplug my computer from the monitors to step into meetings, or to take it home for the evening without shutting off the computer. (i.e. I prefer putting the computer to sleep so that I can quickly resume work once I get to the meeting room)
With the above in mind, here are the problems:
- The Apple Thunderbolt driver is not hot-pluggable according to Apple's FAQ - this is a big problem for me as I'm going to be getting up and taking my laptop with me at least once, and possibly several times a day
- Dual monitors cannot be plugged into the station, unless one of them is a Thunderbolt display. From the CalDigit FAQ:
Can I use multiple monitors with my Thunderbolt Station?
Yes, the Thunderbolt Station can support two monitors if one of them is an Apple Thunderbolt Display. You cannot use a monitor with a mini display port to DVI/VGA/HDMI adapter while using the HDMI port on the device for a multiple display configuration because only the first display that is detected will function.
- Thunderbolt Monitor and HDMI Monitor - Yes
- Mini-Display Port Monitor and HDMI Monitor - No
- Mini-display port adapter to DVI Monitor and HDMI monitor - No
- Thunderbolt Display and HDMI adapter to DVI Monitor - Yes