LaCie eSATA Thunderbolt Hub Now Shipping
New Thunderbolt accessories continue to show up on shelves, and LaCie's eSATA Hub Thunderbolt Series for $199 is the company's latest addition to the still sparse Thunderbolt party.
The device is a Thunderbolt pass-through that allows users to connect 2 eSATA drives to their Macs via a single Thunderbolt connection. Users can even daisy chain six of the devices together allowing up to 12 eSATA drives to connect to the userís Mac via a single Thunderbolt port.
The eSATA Hub Thunderbolt only utilizes the SATA II protocol with transfer speeds of up to 3Gb/s, which is half the speeds of the SATA III protocol and far slower than the 10Gb/s theoretical speed of Thunderbolt. Still, the transfer speeds beat USB 2.0, and Firewire 800 connections found on Thunderbolt Macs.
However, the cost of a few eSATA Hub Thunderbolt Series devices, plus a few Thunderbolt cables ($50 a piece) quickly add up. While it is encouraging to see manufacturers embracing the Thunderbolt I/O, a lot more needs to be done before the dreamy transfer speeds become economically feasible for most.