There are many choices in Thunderbolt docks, and the Brydge Stone Pro TB4 Docking Station is great. Which comes down to which ports you need. And with Thunderbolt 4, there’s a lot of flexibility in what docking station manufacturers can do.
Brydge included three Thunderbolt ports on the back and a trio of USB Type-A ports. Some companies, like Belkin, have given up some of those Thunderbolt ports in favor of HDMI ports. Indeed, you will need to use USB Type-C to connect the screen here. If you only have HDMI or DisplayPort, don’t worry; adapters are sold.
What’s nice about having these three Thunderbolt ports instead of, say, HDMI, is that you get more flexibility. In my use I used two of them to connect 4K monitors and that’s it. You can use it to connect an external GPU if you want.
The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 seems to have it all, with four Thunderbolt ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A and 90W of charging power.
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Brydge Stone Pro TB4 price and availability
- The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 is available from May 3, 2022 and will cost you $ 329.99.
Brydge has finally announced the successor to its Stone Pro Thunderbolt 3 docking station, and of course, it’s called the Brydge Stone Pro TB4. It’s available now, and like most Thunderbolt docks, it’s not cheap. The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 only comes in black and costs $ 329.99.
You can currently download it from either Brydge or Amazon.
Brydge Stone Pro TB4 specifications
Windows 10 and 11, macOS and ChromeOS devices
Single or dual display Note: The MacBook Air 2020 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro equipped with the Apple M1 chip no longer support multiple displays. The Stone Pro TB4 can still be used for 5K / 60 Hz single screen and Thunderbolt 4 speeds. The Stone Pro TB4 supports dual screens on the new M1 MAX and M1 Pro MacBooks.
|Size and weight||SIZE
Length: 7.8 in (198 mm)
Width: 2.95 in (75 mm)
Height: 1.2 in (31 mm)
0.75 lbs (338 g)
|Display support||USE OF THUNDERBOLT PORT:
Individually at 8K / 30 Hz
Double @ 4K / 60 Hz
USE OF DISPLAYPORT:
N / A – No DisplayPort
|Speed and power||SPEED UP
1 x power supply (135 W)
ABILITY TO CHARGE
Each Stone Pro offers a full 90 W of power to charge your computer.
|Ports and material||11 PORT
3 x Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-A (2.0 5V / 1.5A)
3 x USB-A (3.3 Gen 2 10 Gb / s)
1 x Thunderbolt ™ 4 PD 3.0 90W
1 x SD card (SD4.0UHS-II)
1 x Ethernet (Gigabit)
1 x audio / microphone
1 x Dock Power
Aluminum / plastic
|What’s in the box||ITEMS
1 x Stone Pro TB4 docking station
1 x vertical stand
1 x User Manual
Laptop not included.
Cables not included. See
recommended setup information below.
About this review: Brydge shared Stone Pro TB4 with us for review. He made no contribution to this review.
Design: Brydge Stone Pro TB4 comes in black and with lots of connectors
The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 comes in any color you want, just be black. It is interesting to me that this is the only option, since its predecessor was silver. Obviously, black is probably the most popular color for a home office environment. However, if you’re looking for something in a different color, like silver, to pair with your Thunderbolt 4 laptop and pair with your office, you need to look elsewhere.
One thing that is beautiful is that you have the option of placing the docking station horizontally or vertically. It just gives you a little more flexibility in the way it can sit on your desk.
And now let’s talk about ports, because that’s probably the most important thing to you when choosing a dock. On the front of the Brydge Stone Pro TB4 you will find an SD card reader, a Thunderbolt port that connects to your laptop, a 3.5mm audio port and a USB 2.0 Type-A port. Of course, things like a full-size SD card slot and a headphone jack are key. The SD card slot is so rare for a laptop these days, so you’ll want it on an expensive docking station.
Still, I have a problem with the USB 2.0 port. As you can see from the icon, this is seemingly aimed at charging your devices, which is useful. The problem is that it’s even more useful to have the correct USB 3.2 port on the front of the docking station for peripherals that you can turn on and off often. And for many accessories, you won’t want to accidentally plug them into a USB 2.0 port.
On the back you will find three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports and three Thunderbolt 4 ports, along with an Ethernet port. To the far left is the power outlet and yes, you will need to plug in this docking station to make it work. This is true for any Thunderbolt docking station, and it will charge your laptop as well. Indeed, this thing can produce up to 90W.
These three USB Type-A ports are about the same speed. There is a 20 Gbps USB specification called USB 3.2 2 × 2, but it’s hard to find anywhere. USB 3.2 Gen 2 gives you 10 Gbps and you will be quite happy with it.
And there are three Thunderbolt 4 ports. You can use one of them to connect an external GPU if you want, which will give your laptop a real boost. And of course, you can connect your monitors to those ports, which is probably what you’ll want to do. So, you will need either a USB-C monitor or another adapter.
I have several DisplayPort to USB-C keys, for these types of use cases. I have to say I understand why there are no DisplayPorts or HDMI ports. Once you start adding them, you need to start removing the extra Thunderbolt ports, and now you’re limiting the device’s versatility. But as a man who wants everything and reserves the right to object to anything, I will say that I would love to have a pair of DisplayPorts.
All in all, this is a pretty cute dock. It has the right range of connectors to get what you need. Those two three connectors on the back should give you everything you need.
Who should buy Brydge Stone Pro TB4?
The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 is a great Thunderbolt connector, but not for everyone.
Who should buy Brydge Stone Pro TB4:
- Gamers and creators who want to take an ultrabook and enhance it with discrete desktop graphics
- People with a lot of high-bandwidth peripherals (like a 4K webcam) and can use these USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports
Who should not buy Brydge Stone Pro TB4:
- Anyone with an AMD laptop
- Users who do not have and will not need the advantages of Thunderbolt over a standard USB-C hub
Two big reasons not to buy it are reasons not to buy a Thunderbolt laptop at all. This is a really expensive item if you’re just going to use it as a way to plug in your old USB key A keyboard, mouse and headphones, along with a 1080p monitor or two. For me personally, I have to connect 4K monitors, so I run into problems when I review a laptop that doesn’t have Thunderbolt.