The company last week announced another in its forthcoming set of Thunderbolt adapters for the market, its Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter. The device will ship in October for a steep $149.95 price tag.
This Echo adapter will certainly appeal to owners of previous models of MacBook Pro, which came with an integrated ExpressCard/34 slot. The latest Mid 2011 MBP models "replaced" the card slot with the speedy ThunderBolt port, which could be used to connect adapters, even though there were very very few devices on the market at launch. Of course, now there are many other Macs with Thunderbolt ports including MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iMacs.
I, like a good number of other MacBook Pro owners, have a ExpressCard/34 adapter for an external eSATA storage system, so the forthcoming arrival of the Sonnet adapter is welcome news. The storage device has USB 2.0 ports on it, which can be used when necessary, but the eSATA performance is preferable. The price-point of the device seems high, but what can one do with a new technology, that's currently only on Apple units, and is necessary to support legacy devices?
The company said the Echo adapter will support hot plugging and swapping of ExpressCard/34 cards. It won't come with a cable.
The Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter supports Sonnet ExpressCard adapters ranging from CompactFlash and SDXC UHS-I Card readers to FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and select eSATA adapters. It also supports ExpressCard adapters supplied with specialty devices like Sonnet’s new line of Qio professional media readers, and the AJA io Express.