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MacBook meets its match – 1 not to be missed

Apple silicon MacBooks come with pretty good I/O – but what if you EVEN want more?

MacBook doc - the Ivanky FusionDock Max 1

The days of MacBooks having next to no I/O and being anything but Pro are luckily behind us.

But even with the great array of ports that our MacBook Pros come with there are always those times you want more. I’ve struggled to find the perfect dock for my MacBooks. My previous docks have had a chequered success rate and if you are a multi-display MacBook kind of user it makes the options even harder.

But over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out a new dock – the FusionDock Max 1 from Ivanky and I think I may just have found the perfect companion.

The moment you pick up the box you know that this is a quality product – it’s a hefty fella. Out of the box and on the desk it doesn’t disappoint either – it has a mid-steel blue colour aluminium body to it and looks almost as if it’s floating in an L-shaped mounting unit that it sits within which helps in keeping it cool. For all of its abilities which I’ll be getting to in a bit, it has never felt overly warm which for such a powerful dock with so much going on inside it’s is pretty impressive.

Because of the smooth design of the body of the Max 1, initially, I had some problems with it sliding around on my desk – but delving through the box some more I found some self-adhesive rubber feet that fit to the base of the dock which sorted that problem out.

MacBook type power

The FusionDock Max 1 is centred around the fact it is taking full advantage of Dual Thunderbolt chips and connectors which is why this dock is so versatile & powerful. Having those Dual Thunderbolt 4 chips basically doubles the overall capacity of the dock meaning that hooking up displays galore and other devices is a cinch.

As we start to look at the details of the dock just bear in mind that the FusionDock Max 1 is only compatible with Apple silicon MacBooks.

There’s a power brick supplied with various adaptors and a uniquely designed dual-pinned Thunderbolt plug that is spaced perfectly to match the USB-C ports on your MacBook – and of course, the ports on the back of the Ivanky dock – this one cable is all you need to get up and running and is so convenient.

The dock has 20 ports in total all of which are clearly marked up – it’s hard or almost impossible to mistake what should go where. With its 96W of power, you can also forget about the need to power your MacBook separately- the FusionDock Max 1 will take of that for you. It also can charge your phone at 20W.

A closer look

Around the back, you’ll find another pair of 40 Gbps USB-C ports which are capable of driving 6K displays at 60 Hz. In addition to those ports, two HDMI ports will support 60Hz 4K displays. Finishing up the array of ports at the rear are three 10 Gbps USB-A ports which each have 7.5 watts of power, a 3.5mm line out jack, a 2.5 Gb Ethernet port and an Optical Toslink audio port – oh and a Kensington lock to keep your FusionDock Max 1 safe.

Moving to the front of the dock is another pair of 40 Gbps Thunderbolt USB-C ports which again can power 6K displays up to a resolution of 60Hz. There’s yet another pair of powered 10 Gbps USB-C connectors and a pair of USB-A ports. You’ll also find a full-sized and micro SD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone/mic jack.

I told you it packed a pretty meaty punch right?

I mentioned external displays earlier – and this is without doubt one of the Max 1’s USPs. The FusionDock Max 1 can handle up to 4 displays – that said it depends on the MacBook you have driving the dock that will ultimately decide how many displays you can drive.

Display details

If your MacBook is a base M1 or M2 chip, those Macs will only support one monitor up to 60Hz. The base M3 MacBooks such as the MacBook Air that I’m writing this on will be able to drive a pair of displays – but in true Apple fashion only if you have your MacBook in clamshell mode.

M1, M2 or M3 Pro Macs should be good for running a pair of 6K displays but in their case, you can also use the MacBooks display . If your MacBook has an M1/M2/M3 Max or Ultra chipset I understand that you should be ok to power up to four 6K external monitors.

Those HDMI ports I mentioned earlier will only support 4K displays though.

From a peripherals standpoint, I routinely charge my iPhone through the dock now, and unlike many docks I’ve tried, the SD card readers actually work on this thing! I also run a couple of Scarlet audio interfaces through it as well – a 2i2 and a Vocaster One with no issues at all.

Final Thoughts

It’s taken some time to find a good dock, but finally I have.

I didn’t want to rush to tell you about this FusionDock 1 Max – but after a month of solid use, it has now firmly become part of my desk set-up at the studio. The single cable design makes it so quick to hook up to either my MacBook Air or Pro that it’s a no-brainer.

It’s proven to be powerful, quick and convenient. Everything Ivanky said it would do it has. It’s not the cheapest dock out there at just a tickle over £500 – but then again my MacBooks aren’t the cheapest laptops either.

You know that old adage of you pay for what you get – turns out that holds equally true for this FusionDock Max 1 as it is for my MacBooks. Sometimes when you want the best you just have to dig a little deeper.

Ivanky did provide this unit to me for review purposes but neither asked for me to write this piece or pay me in any other way. These thoughts are mine after a month of use. If you decide you’d like to try one for yourself, this affiliate link will help support me as a writer.

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