With Thunderbolt ports becoming more common in laptops, a Thunderbolt dock can be an important accessory. Think of it as a more powerful version of a USB-C hub, adding I/O expansion to your laptop, in the form of extra ports for mice, keyboards, external drives, SD cards, and, most importantly, displays.
Indeed, one important way that a Thunderbolt dock differs from its USB-C cousin is bandwidth. While a USB-C hub can support a single 4K display, often at an eye-wearying 30Hz refresh rate. Thunderbolt hubs can support up to two 4K displays, and at a comfortable 60Hz. If your laptop includes a Thunderbolt port, chances are it supports the Thunderbolt 3 standard, which provides 40Gbps. That’s enough to drive those displays and shuttle data back and forth between peripherals without causing your display to flicker or your video stream to stutter. Of course, you can expect Thunderbolt docks to also carry a price premium (typically $140 to $300, compared to a USB-C dock’s $20 to $70 range.)