The first pricing for Thunderbolt add-ons is out and it ain't pretty. Fast as it is, is it worth $200?
Pro video apps Matrox makes graphics, imaging and video add-ons: break-out boxes; codec accelerators; IP video; vision systems and add-on cards. They aren't a consumer company: their products start at about $450 for a card and go way up from there.
Fine for indie film makers but not for Miss Jan Q. Public.
Pricing They've released pricing for some Thunderbolt products. One product, a Thunderbolt adapter - Thunderbolt to the Matrox proprietary interface - is listing for $299.
For the Matrox MX02 family of video connectivity and encoding Thunderbolt-native versions: an added $200 per box.
The Storage Bits take The Thunderbolt chips are new, fast with only one large customer: Apple. Matrox is only the first vendor to announce Thunderbolt pricing. They aren't getting the best pricing from Intel.
And for the Matrox target market - video pros - the fat uplift may not matter much. The ability to run the same quad-core Mac in the field as in the studio may be savings enough.
But in the consumer market $200 is a lot of green - especially for I/O. Look at FireWire - and it was never near $200.
Yes, vendors want to earn back their engineering investment in Thunderbolt ASAP, but if they want a long-term revenue stream from the consumer market they'll have to do better than this.
Comments welcome, of course. CalDigit has a Mac PCIe eSATA/USB 3.0 card for $139. Who would pay $339 for a Thunderbolt version?