iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 Review: Twice the Thunderbolt Bandwidth, Twice the Price

iVANKY FusionDock Max review: 1: front side

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt Dock

3.0/5 Buy from iVANKY

iVANKY's FusionDock Max 1 is a new Thunderbolt dock with double the bandwidth compared to any other docking station currently available &mdash ; but you have to pay for it.

AppleInsider has tested a lot of Thunderbolt docking stations. We believe we have done more than anyone else.

Over the past eight years, we've seen the full range of features, prices, storage capacity, and additional ports in dozens and dozens of reviews. The iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 is the first we've seen that uses two Thunderbolt ports from the host device, and we're not sure how significant that is.

iVANKY's FusionDock Max 1 is a Thunderbolt 4 dock designed for Apple professionals using Apple Silicon. These two ports from the host and the two Thunderbolt controller chips inside the dock provide more external monitor support than we've ever seen in a dock.

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 review: iVANKY docking station next to the MacBook Pro

But all this comes at a very high price.

FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt review – Design

Housed in a body with a “floating” appearance, the FusionDock Max 1 looks like a high-end Thunderbolt 4 dock. It's easily the most unusual design of the current models, but even so, it can still be mounted horizontally or vertically, and it has a large number of ports front and rear.

The company claims the floating design helps dissipate heat, but we're skeptical. The dock surface is no longer exposed to air compared to a surface with rubber feet.

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 Review: AirPods Pro, Magic Mouse and iPhone 15 Pro Max for Zoom

Double 0.7 USB port included m.-C, as well as a power cord and 180W power adapter.

FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt Dock Review – Ports and Connectivity

The dock has a total of 20 ports, covering the typical set of connection types that users may need.

At the front, there are a pair of 15W USB-C downstream ports supporting up to 40Gbps throughput, as well as two 10Gbps USB-C ports, one of which supports 20W power delivery, a pair of USB-A 10Gbps Gbps and 3.5mm headphone jack. There are also slots for SD and TFT UHS-II cards.

The connectivity options at the rear are much more extensive. The list starts with a pair of USB-C upstream ports with 40Gbps speed and 100W power, and a pair of USB-C downstream ports with 40Gbps speed and 15W power.

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 Review

Then there are three more 10 Gbps USB-A ports, a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet connection, a Toslink optical audio port, and 3.5 mm line-out connector. There are also two HDMI 2.0 ports, as well as a security slot and a power input port.

It does seem like there's a decent split between the ports available on the front and the ones you don't necessarily need to access all the time on the back. The selection itself covers all the basics, and the addition of optical audio is rare and convenient.

All ports work properly and provide the stated speed. So far, so good.

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 review: rear

The docking station comes with an unusual dual Thunderbolt 4 cable, the distance to which corresponds in advance to the gap in the Apple Silicon ports. This is a nice addition considering most docking stations are used with Apple laptops.

If you need to connect a dock to your desktop, this is doable. Two Thunderbolt 4 cables will do — but we do not recommend the dock for such use. Besides the Mac mini, the Mac Studio has enough ports to do what most users need, and in this scenario there's probably no need for this dock.

FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt docking station review – fantastic support for Mac monitors

The company's promotional materials make sense — The main reason to buy this Thunderbolt dock is the external monitor support.

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 review: Plenty of cables plugged in for use

All four 40Gbps USB-C ports are capable of handling a 6K display with frequency of 60 Hz, and you can use up to four such screens — provided the host hardware supports it. You can also combine two HDMI ports to get more connectivity options while keeping the USB-C ports free for other applications.

Of course, some of this will depend on the type of equipment you actually connect to the dock.

For starters, to take advantage of the dock at all and its two Thunderbolt 4 chips that handle all the connections, you can only use an Apple Silicon Mac. It is not compatible with Mac computers using Intel chips, nor with PCs. At all.

When you connect a Mac to it, the type of Apple Silicon chip used also affects what types of displays are supported.

For M1, M2 and M3 models (not Pro, Max or Ultra), the dock only supports one display up to 6K60Hz.

The dock will have two 6K60Hz displays for the Pro versions of each chip. When using the Max or Ultra options, the dock can drive four screens simultaneously at 6K60Hz.

We tested a couple of studio displays and two other 4K60 monitors from other manufacturers at the same time, and everything works as promised. Unfortunately, we were unable to test with four Pro Displays XDR, since we are not wealthy, so we will take their word on this matter.

FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt review – Power

As a docking system, FusionDock Max 1 must provide sufficient power for the connected equipment. Equipped with a 180W power adapter, it can provide a large amount of power to peripherals and other devices.

The USB-C input connection can deliver up to 96W of power, charging the entire Apple MacBook Pro line. It's not the equivalent of the MagSafe port on Apple Silicon, but we found it gets the job done.

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 Review: Connected USB Type-C Connectors

The 20W front USB-C port is the most powerful of the remaining connections, the others are downstream 40Gbps USB-C ports provide 15W of power, while other USB-A and USB-C ports provide 7.5W of power.

This 20W USB-C connection will be handy for charging your iPhone, especially since it's mounted on the front of the dock. However, the fact that the USB-C ports can be powered at 20W, 15W, or 7.5W may confuse users looking at the front of the dock, with the exception of the 20W port listed on the PD label.

FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt Dock Review —just not enough for the money

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 is a great vacuum dock. We really like the connectivity options, and a variety of ports do what they promise with the power they promise to support.

The biggest problem with this dock is its price. The retail price of $549 is absolutely brutal. There are usually discounts available on Amazon, but even the $399 you can buy the dock for with the code provided at the bottom of this review at the time of publication is too high for what you get, considering almost every other dock manufacturer -Thunderbolt stations are also constantly working. sales.

And this is specifically for MacBook Pro from M1 Max to M3 Max. Other models do not require support for four monitors. Technically it works on Mac Studio and Mac Pro, but it's a proprietary cable situation, which adds to the already high price.

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 review: instructions on which video ports to use in which cases

So, this is a mystery. We love this dock, it looks great and works very well. It's nice to just hang as many monitors as possible on it without worrying about bandwidth at all.

There are roughly equivalent Thunderbolt dock options for much less money, and in some cases you can buy two of these other options and sometimes have enough money left over for a small SSD.

We are deeply impressed with the hardware and engineering of the FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt. We're incredibly put off by the price and specificity of one particular MacBook Pro model.

iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 Review: FusionDock Max 1 in a box

FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt dock review – pros

  • Lots of legacy ports
  • Excellent power for all these ports.
  • Full port speed in almost any conditions.
  • Attractive design.

FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt docking station review – cons

  • Even with the discount, too expensive.
  • Does not fit any model other than the Max MacBook Pro.

All things considered, FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt getsRating: 3 out of 5We like the hardware of this dock, but its price, cable situation for anything other than a MacBook, and the fact that it's clearly designed for Max MacBook models Pro, are serious problems. If you can get it for around $350 and you absolutely need support for four monitors on the dock, it's worth it, and a higher score is needed for this particular scenario.

But in otherwise it is too expensive for its results.

Where to buy the FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt docking station

The iVANKY FusionDock Max 1 Thunderbolt docking station can be purchased directly from iVANKY using the promotional code FORINSIDER $150 off final price $399.

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