Brydge Stone Pro TB4 Docking Station Review: The dock that seems to have everything
There are a lot of choices in Thunderbolt docks out there, and the Brydge Stone Pro TB4 Docking Station is an excellent one. What it comes down to what ports you need. And with Thunderbolt 4, there’s a lot of flexibility to what dock-makers can do.
Brydge included a trio of Thunderbolt ports on the back, and a trio of USB Type-A ports. Some companies, like Belkin, have foregone some of those Thunderbolt ports in favor of HDMI ports. Indeed, you’ll have to use USB Type-C to connect your displays here. If you’ve only got HDMI or DisplayPort, don’t worry; adapters are sold.
What’s nice about having those three Thunderbolt ports instead of, say, HDMI, is that you get more flexibility. In my use of it, I used two of them to connect 4K monitors, and that’s it. You can use one to connect an external GPU if you want too.
Navigate this review:
- Brydge Stone Pro TB4 price and availability
- Brydge Stone Pro 4 specs
- Design: The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 comes in black, and with lots of ports
- Who should buy the Brydge Stone Pro TB4?
Brydge Stone Pro TB4 price and availability
- The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 is available as of May 3, 2022, and it will run you $329.99.
Brydge has finally announced the successor to its Stone Pro Thunderbolt 3 dock, and naturally, 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 it will run you $329.99.
Right now, you can grab one from either Brydge or Amazon.
Brydge Stone Pro TB4 specs
Windows 10 & 11, macOS & ChromeOS devices
Single or dual displayNote: The 2020 MacBook Air & 13-inch MacBook Pro equipped with the Apple M1 chip do not support multiple displays. Stone Pro TB4 can still be used for a 5K/60 Hz single display and Thunderbolt 4 speeds.Stone Pro TB4 does support dual displays 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||USING THUNDERBOLT PORT:
Single @ 8K/30 Hz
Dual @ 4K/60 Hz
N/A – No DisplayPort
|Speed and Power||SPEED
1 x Power Supply (135 W)
Every Stone Pro offers a full 90 watts of power for charging your computer.
|Ports and Material||11 PORTS
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/Mic
1 x Dock Power
|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 the
recommended setup information below.
About this review: Brydge shared the Stone Pro TB4 with us for review. It did not have any input in this review.
Design: The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 comes in black, and with lots of ports
The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 comes in any color that you want, as long as it’s black. It’s interesting to me that that’s the only option, since its predecessor was silver. Obviously, black is probably the most mainstream colorway for a home office environment. Still, if you’re looking for something in a different color, like silver, to pair with your Thunderbolt 4 laptop and match up with your office, you have to look elsewhere.
One thing that’s nice is that you have the option of placing the docking station horizontally or vertically. This just gives you a little bit more flexibility with how it can sit on your desk.
Now, let’s talk about ports, because that’s probably what’s most important to you when choosing a dock. On the front of the Brydge Stone Pro TB4, you’ll find an SD card reader, the Thunderbolt port that connects to your laptop, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a USB 2.0 Type-A port. Of course, things like a full-size SD card slot and a headphone jack are key. An SD card slot is so rare for a laptop these days, so you’ll want that on an expensive docking station.
I do take issue with the USB 2.0 port though. As you can see by the icon, this is seemingly aimed at charging your devices, which is useful. The problem is that it’s even more useful to have a proper USB 3.2 port on the front of the dock, for peripherals that you might plug in and unplug somewhat frequently. And for many accessories, you won’t want to accidentally plug them into a USB 2.0 port.
On the back, you’ll find three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports and three Thunderbolt 4 ports, along with an Ethernet port. All the way to the left is the power jack, and yes, you will need to plug this docking station in for it to work. That’s true of any Thunderbolt dock, and it will charge your laptop as well. Indeed, this thing can output up to 90W.
Those three USB Type-A ports are about as fast as it gets. There’s a 20Gbps USB spec called USB 3.2 2×2, but it’s hard to find anywhere. USB 3.2 Gen 2 gets you 10Gbps, and you’ll be pretty happy with it.
And then there are the three Thunderbolt 4 ports. You can use one of these 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’re going to want to do. So, you’ll either need a USB-C monitor, or another adapter.
I own a few DisplayPort to USB-C dongles, for these types of use cases. I have to say, I do understand why there are no DisplayPorts or HDMI ports. When you start adding those, you have to start removing the extra Thunderbolt ports, and now you’re limiting the versatility of the device. But as a man that wants everything and reserves the right to complain about anything, I’ll say I wish I had a pair of DisplayPorts.
All-in-all, this is a pretty sweet dock. It has the right array of ports to get what you need out of it. Those two trios of ports on the back should get you everything that you need.
Who should buy the Brydge Stone Pro TB4?
The Brydge Stone Pro TB4 is a great Thunderbolt dock, but it’s not for everyone.
Who should buy the Brydge Stone Pro TB4:
- Gamers and creators that want to take an ultrabook and boost it with desktop-grade discrete graphics
- People with a lot of high-bandwidth peripherals (like a 4K webcam) and can use those USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports
Who should not buy the Brydge Stone Pro TB4:
- Anyone with an AMD laptop
- Users that don’t, and won’t need the benefits of Thunderbolt over a standard USB-C hub
The two big reasons not to buy it are the reasons to not 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 Type-A keyboard, mouse, and headset, along with a 1080p monitor or two. For me personally, I need to connect 4K monitors, so I run into issues when I review a laptop that doesn’t have Thunderbolt.